REVIEW: The Journey (1959)

Title: The Journey
Release Year: 1959
Genre: Drama & Romance
Cast: Yul Brynner & Deborah Kerr
Plot: A group of foreigners try to escape Budapest but are stopped at check point for vague reasons by a Russian officer. He then delays their leave after falling madly in love with one of them.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️




Review: Rasha and I both love Yul and are always desperate to find good films that he had starred in, so we were extremely happy when we stumbled upon this gem.

In my opinion, Yul is one of the best actors in old Hollywood. I especially like to see him in Russian roles, for a number of reasons, one of which is to hear him sing Russian folk music or Romani (Gypsy) music with his deep hypnotising voice! So naturally, finding him in another Russian-themed film, got me even more excited to watch.

Like in "Anastasia" and "The Brothers Karamazov", his character, Major Surov, is somewhat similar in a sense that he is reserved and a little lonely, hiding behind a tough persona. Also, his characters always fall madly in love with the heroine, somewhat obsessively. I always feel sorry for his characters and fall in love with each and every one of them.

Yul Brynner, as usual did an exceptional job in revealing Surov's character and obsession gradually throughout the film. I felt almost as if Yul had experienced such loneliness and heartbreak in his real life. In my opinion, he deserved an Oscar for it!




In a recent interview, Ron Howard talked about how Yul was a great influence in his career. He recalled a scene where Yul's character bit through his glass and Howard was so impressed - being five at the time - but when Yul noticed, he called him over and told him that it's not real glass and that it was made of sugar. I love that in the middle of all that he was doing, he was still concerned that it might be a bad influence.

Ingrid Bergman was the first choice to play opposite Yul but it is unknown why she did not go through with it. Deborah Kerr was cast instead and she was great.
I love her articulate speech as well as her acting but, as usual, I could see Gene Tierney in her place. Hmm I think I see Tierney in almost everyone's place when Yul's involved hehe


Anyway Kerr's character, Diana Ashmore, was caring but still wasn't caring and selfless enough throughout the story, even when her mind was going crazy with all the decisions she had to make for other people, which I felt was out of character for someone who'd sacrifice so much.

I felt that although, at first impression Surov and Diana could seem like complete opposites, as the story develops, they are actually very similar. They both were surrounded by many people yet felt very lonely. Surov had his officers whom he worked and lived with, while Diana had all these "allies" whom she stayed with but they still felt lonesome.

I liked that in the film, they placed a mixture of nationalities in one place. It sort of added a little comedy to the film, especially when they had a clash of views. But most of all, they were all at peace with one another. Something you wouldn't see in Hollywood films today.



The rest of the cast were great but I'm not a big fan of Jason Robards' acting. Would've preferred someone else in his place. Another person I could've lived without seeing was an officer who was sent to check on their passports and he had the worst Russian accent I've ever heard 😤 He got on my nerves! I think if he had more scenes, I could possibly have never watched the film again!

Other than that, I think this is one of the best scripted romantic dramas ever made and I can't believe how underrated it is.

P.S I don't know if this is true and I've never really noticed this before - I watched this film a thousand and one times - but I read that a crazy woman/stalker injured Yul's hand & that there were scenes where he had to cover it 🤔 will have to watch it again to notice...

Comments

  1. Wow, I’m glad Ingrid Bergman declined the role, because even-though I preferred someone else as the role of Diana Ashmore than Deborah Kerr (like Gene Tierney) she was still a much better choice than Ingrid Bergman.
    I think having Ingrid Bergman and that officer in the same film would’ve been pure torture to watch!
    Love this review, Brilliant as usual, Chuckaboo!

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    Replies
    1. Yes it would have! Plus how was she going to be able to sound british hahahhaha
      Thank you Chuckabella

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