The Journey (1959)

122-123 or 125 mins | Drama | February 1959

Full page view
HISTORY

The following prologue appears in the onscreen credits: “The action of this story takes place between Budapest, the capital of Hungary, and the Austro-Hungarian border, where the film was actually photographed. The time is November, 1956, during the tragic days of the Hungarian uprising.” The opening and closing cast credits differ in order. A Jan 1957 HR news item states that the idea for The Journey was based on an untitled story by French writer Joseph Kessel. An Aug 1957 item in the LAT reported that Ingrid Bergman would star in the film.
       Although the film’s credits state, “produced at Wien Film Studios, in Vienna, Austria,” news items specify that the film was partially shot at the Rosenhuegel Studio in Vienna. According to a Feb 1959 Var article, producer-director Anatole Litvak indicated that the Soviet government had attempted unofficially to pressure the Austrian government to stop the production of The Journey . Litvak also noted that the film had been subject to severe criticism in the Communist press.
       The film marked the screen debut of Jason Robards, Jr. (1922--2000), the son of character actor Jason Robards (1892--1963). Although Ron Howard had appeared in an unbilled part in the 1956 Top Pictures' film Frontier Woman (see above), The Journey marked his first credited appearance; he was billed as Ronny Howard. For more information on the origins of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, please refer to the note for Allied Artists’ 1958 film, The Beast of Budapest ... More Less

The following prologue appears in the onscreen credits: “The action of this story takes place between Budapest, the capital of Hungary, and the Austro-Hungarian border, where the film was actually photographed. The time is November, 1956, during the tragic days of the Hungarian uprising.” The opening and closing cast credits differ in order. A Jan 1957 HR news item states that the idea for The Journey was based on an untitled story by French writer Joseph Kessel. An Aug 1957 item in the LAT reported that Ingrid Bergman would star in the film.
       Although the film’s credits state, “produced at Wien Film Studios, in Vienna, Austria,” news items specify that the film was partially shot at the Rosenhuegel Studio in Vienna. According to a Feb 1959 Var article, producer-director Anatole Litvak indicated that the Soviet government had attempted unofficially to pressure the Austrian government to stop the production of The Journey . Litvak also noted that the film had been subject to severe criticism in the Communist press.
       The film marked the screen debut of Jason Robards, Jr. (1922--2000), the son of character actor Jason Robards (1892--1963). Although Ron Howard had appeared in an unbilled part in the 1956 Top Pictures' film Frontier Woman (see above), The Journey marked his first credited appearance; he was billed as Ronny Howard. For more information on the origins of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, please refer to the note for Allied Artists’ 1958 film, The Beast of Budapest .
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Feb 1959.
---
Daily Variety
19 Mar 1958.
---
Daily Variety
14 Apr 1958.
---
Daily Variety
2 Feb 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Feb 59
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 1957
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1957.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 1958
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1958
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 1958
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 59
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
14 Aug 1957.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Feb 59
p. 148.
New York Times
20 Feb 59
p. 19.
Variety
4 Feb 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Asst prod
WRITERS
Addl wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d unit photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Cost consult
MUSIC
Mus adv and incidental mus
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1959
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 19 February 1959
Production Date:
mid March--late June 1958 at Wien-Film Studios and Rosenhuegel Studios, Vienna, Austria
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc. & Alby Productions, S.A.
Copyright Date:
3 December 1958
Copyright Number:
LP13009
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
122-123 or 125
Length(in feet):
11,284
Length(in reels):
14
Countries:
Austria, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19012
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1956 Hungary, a national uprising against Communist rule results in Soviet military occupation. At the Budapest airport, several foreigners anxiously waiting to depart are informed that flights have been canceled, but they will be transported to Vienna by bus. British television representative Hugh Deverill is surprised to find acquaintance Lady Diana Ashmore among the waiting passengers. Diana hopes to keep secret that she is traveling with Hungarian national Paul Kedes, who is hiding a severe wound from a street battle and is traveling under an assumed British identity. Although weak and exhausted, Paul insists that Diana disassociate herself from him in the event that he is detained. As the bus departs Budapest, Diana startles Hugh by confiding that she is divorcing her respected British husband. After the bus passes a Soviet roadblock, Paul faints and Diana rushes to his aid, raising Hugh’s suspicions. Further down the road, the bus is halted by a group of Hungarian freedom fighters led by the steely Eva. Allowed to proceed, the bus soon arrives in Mosen, the last Hungarian town before the Austrian border. The officer in charge of the border check point, Major Surov, confiscates the passengers’ passports and informs them that they must be individually questioned before being allowed to cross the border. Upon preliminary questioning, Surov is struck by Diana’s poise and beauty, and also notes Paul’s veiled hostility. At the local hotel, proprietor Csepege welcomes the travelers and, at the major’s orders, places the men in quarters apart from the women. Sharing a room with Simon Avron and Teklel Hafouli, Paul collapses into ... +


In 1956 Hungary, a national uprising against Communist rule results in Soviet military occupation. At the Budapest airport, several foreigners anxiously waiting to depart are informed that flights have been canceled, but they will be transported to Vienna by bus. British television representative Hugh Deverill is surprised to find acquaintance Lady Diana Ashmore among the waiting passengers. Diana hopes to keep secret that she is traveling with Hungarian national Paul Kedes, who is hiding a severe wound from a street battle and is traveling under an assumed British identity. Although weak and exhausted, Paul insists that Diana disassociate herself from him in the event that he is detained. As the bus departs Budapest, Diana startles Hugh by confiding that she is divorcing her respected British husband. After the bus passes a Soviet roadblock, Paul faints and Diana rushes to his aid, raising Hugh’s suspicions. Further down the road, the bus is halted by a group of Hungarian freedom fighters led by the steely Eva. Allowed to proceed, the bus soon arrives in Mosen, the last Hungarian town before the Austrian border. The officer in charge of the border check point, Major Surov, confiscates the passengers’ passports and informs them that they must be individually questioned before being allowed to cross the border. Upon preliminary questioning, Surov is struck by Diana’s poise and beauty, and also notes Paul’s veiled hostility. At the local hotel, proprietor Csepege welcomes the travelers and, at the major’s orders, places the men in quarters apart from the women. Sharing a room with Simon Avron and Teklel Hafouli, Paul collapses into bed with a high fever. Hugh warns Diana that if Paul is wanted by the authorities, Diana’s association with him may place all the bus passengers in jeopardy. When the others go downstairs to dine, Diana slips into Paul’s room to rebind his wound and Paul begs her not to place herself in danger. Surov attends the group’s dinner and notices Diana’s late entrance and Paul’s absence. When gunfire outside interrupts the meal, Surov wonders why the Hungarians hate the Soviets. After dinner, Surov’s impervious demeanor is shaken by the death of young freedom fighter killed just outside the hotel. That night, when Paul falls into a delirium and speaks an unfamiliar language, Simon awakens Hugh to express his and Teklel’s fear that Paul is not British. Roused by the murmur of the men’s voices, Diana overhears their discussion, then follows Hugh downstairs. Over tea, Diana reveals that Paul is a Hungarian biologist, whom she met and fell in love with in England years earlier. After Diana ended their relationship and married someone else, Paul returned to Hungary where his correspondence to England regarding her prompted government suspicion that he was a spy. Arrested and tortured mercilessly, Paul spent five years in prison and was just released. Still in love with Paul and wracked with guilt for his suffering, Diana is determined to get him out of the country. The following morning at breakfast, Csepege announces new regulations about reporting all Hungarian nationals and surrendering arms. Led by Simon, the men demand that Diana turn Paul over to Surov, but she refuses. When Surov arrives with forms for the passengers to fill out, he notices Paul’s continued absence, but no one in the group gives him away. Diana brazenly offers to fill out Paul’s form, then later takes it upstairs to him to sign. Surov follows and in a moment alone with Paul, accidentally finds and confiscates his gun. Later when Paul and Diana realize the gun is missing, Paul declares they must leave immediately. Diana asks Csepege how Paul might be smuggled across the border and he directs her to a contact at the fish market. After making the arrangements to escape that night, Diana is picked up by the military police and Surov. Taking Diana to a deserted brewery, Surov shows her Paul’s gun and demands to know why Diana has been lying. Diana is startled when Surov admits that although he can arrest Paul, Diana’s presence has forced him to hesitate and doubt his previous unquestioning attitude. That evening at dinner, Surov assures the anxious passengers that their trip will likely resume the following day and demands that the occasion be festive. Csepege secretly advises Diana that the escape plan is confirmed, but Diana is detained when Surov drunkenly insists that they dance together. Diana finally flees the dining room, but on her way to join Paul, Surov stops her to apologize for his behavior and to return Paul’s gun as a farewell gift. Moments later, Diana joins Paul and a guide in a small boat in the canal. As the boat floats by the guard tower, Surov arrives on horseback and Diana and Paul are caught. Paul struggles to defend Diana, insisting that she is not responsible. Back at the hotel, the remaining passengers are placed under house arrest and several wonder why Diana and Paul did not inform them of their escape. Back at his office, Surov files his report on Paul’s arrest, ignoring Diana’s emotional pleas to spare Paul. Later, Surov visits Paul in jail and is affected by his courage and humanity despite his bitter experiences. Meanwhile at the hotel, the passengers, led by pregnant American Margie Rhinelander, accuse Diana of instigating their difficulties. Margie declares that everyone has noticed Surov’s attraction to Diana and bluntly encourages Diana to take advantage of it to help save them. While riding back to the hotel from the jail, Surov’s horse is shot out from under him by Eva hiding in a tree. Distressed, Surov returns to the military headquarters, but is unable to kill his suffering horse. When Diana arrives, Surov bitterly chastises her naïve idealism, then admits that her influence has ruined him. When Diana confesses that she came at the behest of the others, Surov is outraged, then demands that Diana confess that she returns his feelings. Despite sharing a passionate kiss with Surov, Diana departs. Early the next morning, the group, minus Paul, returns to the bus. A few miles away, as the relieved passengers disembark at a small bridge leading to Austria, Surov drives up in a jeep with Paul. Diana rushes to thank Surov, but he assures her that he has acted only to clear his conscience. Moments after Diana and Paul are welcomed to Austria by the border guards, shots ring out as Surov is killed by Eva. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.