In the Depression, Pete and Sidney are good kids, working hard, giving money to their parents, and engaged for three years while they save to get married. Each has a selfish mother: ... See full summary »
In the Depression, Pete and Sidney are good kids, working hard, giving money to their parents, and engaged for three years while they save to get married. Each has a selfish mother: Sydney's is cold, Pete's is clingy. Sidney's mother is looking for her own happiness, no matter how much that search harms her daughter and long-suffering husband; and, the longer the engagement lingers, the more pressure Pete's mom puts on Sidney to break it off and set her son free. "After Tomorrow" is Pete and Sidney's favorite song, but with illness, poverty, and temptation: will that good day ever come? Written by
This weeper is well directed, as you would expect with Frank Borzage directing. No one had a surer touch at directing a sentimental romantic drama than Borzage, and with James Wong Howe as the director of photography, you have some effective, beautiful shots. Together they know how to produce shots of depth and beauty that illuminate the story and create a three dimensional world, whether it's a deep-focus shot of the wedding rehearsal where you can see the neighbors hanging over the fence watching, or a shot of Marian Nixon and William Collier seated together, with only one in focus, under a scrim of light.
But this movie, while good, misses being great because of the lack of great performances at its heart. Charles Farrell was a good performer, but his stardom was due to being teamed with Janey Gaynor in their breakout hits, and Marian Nixon, while competent, is clearly a stand-in for Miss Gaynor. The best performance in the entire movie is William Collier Sr., who is great, reminding me of a pudgy, beaten-down Harry Carey.
Definitely worth your time if not worth seeing more than once.
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