TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (director: Felix Feist; screenwriters: Guy Endore/Art Cohn; cinematographer: Robert Burks; editor: Alan Crosland Jr.; music: Daniele Amfitheatrof; cast: Steve Cochran (Bill Clark/Mike Lewis), Ruth Roman (Cay Higgins), Lureen Tuttle (Stella Dawson), Bobby Hyatt (Johnny Dawson), Hugh Sanders (George Conover), Ray Teal (Henry Dawson), John Kellogg (Dan Monroe), Stuart Randall (Frank Higgins), Lee Patrick (Janet Higgins), Morris Ankrum (Hugh Wagner), Harry Antrim (Warden), Walter Sande(Sheriff); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Henry Blanke; Warner Bros.; 1951)
“Gloomy minor film noir with a happy ending.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Gloomy minor film noir with a happy ending. The movie was made for John Garfield, but he died in 1951. A satisfactory Steve Cochran takes the part and gives it his best shot. Competently directed by Felix Feist (“The Devil Thumbs A Ride”/”The Threat”/”Donovan’s Brain”), as always, and adequately written byGuy Endore (blacklisted after the movie for his political activism) and Art Cohn. Though watchable, the social conscious film remains forgettable–unable to leave a particularly sympathetic lasting impression of its outsider characters, whose distrust of the authorities leads them to be anti-social types and humorless downers for most of the pic.
Warning: spoilers throughout.
At 13 Bill Clark (Steve Cochran) killed his abusive drunken father, and has no remorse. After 18 years he’s released from prison and given a stern lecture by the warden to go straight. Bill returns to his hometown, even though he has no relatives left there. But leaves when a local reporter (John Kellogg) befriends him only to use him by writing about his prison release as an exclusive headline story about the state’s youngest convicted killer returning home.
Seeking anonymity Bill goes to NYC, where the lonely and brooding ex-con is smitten with Times Square dancehall hostess at a dime-a-dance jointCatherine ‘Cay’ Higgins (Ruth Roman). When she takes him back to her apartment, her nasty boyfriend George Conover (Hugh Sanders), a venal officer detective, is already there and slaps her around and pulls a gun on him when he goes to her aid. In the ensuing tussle, Cay plugs the cop with his own shooter while Bill was knocked cold by him. The cop dies in the hospital but before going to heaven tells the truth (if you can believe!). But the couple do not know this and go on the lam–making the law suspicious.
Cay has Bill believing he was the shooter, as she doesn’t trust anyone. But they are attracted to each other and get married using the phony names Mr. and Mrs. Mike Lewis. The marriage now means she trusts her fella (he made an honest woman out of her), and will later on confess that she killed the cop. After riding the rails hobo style and hitching, they get work picking lettuce in Salinas, California thanks to the migrant farmer Dawson family that gave them a ride. But the Dawson’s young son Johnny (Bobby Hyatt), an avid reader of pulp crime magazines, recognizes a photo of Bill Clark in the magazine that says he’s wanted by the NYC police. The family puzzle over that he looks just like Mike Lewis and when the family patriarch Henry (Ray Teal) is severely injured in a car accident with an oil truck, his wife Stella (Lureen Tuttle) reluctantly turns Bill over to the sheriff for the large reward money they suddenly need for medical expenses. Back in NYC, the DA gives the couple the surprising news that Conover told them in a statement what really happened and they both are free to leave and face no charges. How this will effect the reward money and the hospital treatment for Henry, without the reward dough, is never revealed, as I guess the filmmaker, on a limited budget, either ran out of film or didn’t think that was germane anymore to the main story.
REVIEWED ON 1/11/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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