Watch The Journey
- 2 hr 6 min
The Journey is a 1959 drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, and Jason Robards. The film is set in Hungary during the late 1940s, following the end of World War II, and revolves around a group of Western travelers who are trying to cross the country on a train. The passengers are forced to confront the reality of the ongoing war, as well as their own prejudices, fears, and desires. Kerr plays Diana Ashmore, a British widow who is traveling with her young son after the death of her husband. Brynner plays Major Surov, a Russian officer who is escorting a Hungarian general back to Budapest. Robards plays a cynical American journalist named Hugh Deverill, who is traveling with his photographer girlfriend Joan (played by Eileen Heckart). The other passengers on the train include a wealthy British businessman, an American couple on their honeymoon, and a Hungarian woman traveling with her young daughter. As the train makes its way across the country, the passengers are confronted with a series of increasingly dangerous situations. They witness the aftermath of a bombing by Soviet forces, and shortly afterward they are ambushed by Hungarian rebels. The rebels, led by the charismatic Kovacs (played by Robert Morley), take the passengers hostage and demand a ransom from the Soviet authorities. As the situation grows more tense, the passengers are forced to confront their own prejudices and fears. Diana Ashmore and Major Surov develop a tentative romance, despite their initial distrust and hostility towards each other. Hugh Deverill is initially cynical and detached, but he gradually becomes more involved in the situation and begins to empathize with the rebels. The Hungarian woman and her daughter provide a humanizing element to the story as well, as they become increasingly vulnerable to the violence and chaos around them. Despite the high stakes, the film is not simply an action thriller. Rather, it is a character-driven drama that explores the psychological and emotional toll of war and oppression. The film is notable for its nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of the Hungarian rebel fighters, who are shown as flawed but ultimately sympathetic human beings. The performances in the film are uniformly excellent. Kerr brings a subtle sense of vulnerability and melancholy to her role, while Brynner is imposing and commanding as the Russian officer. Robards is particularly impressive as the jaded journalist who is forced to confront his own cynicism and detachment. The film is also visually stunning, with beautifully composed shots of the Hungarian countryside and a haunting, understated score. The Journey is ultimately a sobering and thought-provoking film that remains relevant today. It touches on themes of war, nationalism, and the human cost of political conflict, and it raises important questions about the ethics of violence and the nature of empathy. The film is a testament to the power of cinema to explore complex social and psychological issues, and it remains a potent reminder of the enduring consequences of war and oppression.