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Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
By the time her fifth film was ready to be launched Margaret Sullavan had achieved a position of some clout with her original studio Universal Pictures. She used that clout to get as her leading man, a young player she knew from Broadway as the best friend of her then husband Henry Fonda. Sullavan got Carl Laemmle to get Louis B. Mayer to loan him James Stewart and from Paramount as the second lead she got Ray Milland.
But Stewart was her project and she more than director Edward Griffith got him through Next Time We Love to favorable notices. This was Stewart's highest billing yet, co-starring to Margaret Sullavan and he made the most of it. They did three more films together and in only one of them did either Sullavan or Stewart not die in. They were the king and queen of bittersweet romances back in the day.
Sullavan is highly successful stage star and Stewart is a reporter with ambitions to be an international correspondent. Sullavan might have been better off marrying Ray Milland who is a producer, but something about the shy and stammering Jimmy wins her heart and that would be the first in a long line of female hearts on the screen to feel that way.
Of course being an international correspondent does keep Stewart away a lot and Margaret does not want to give up a successful stage career that's just getting started. Even with the arrival of a baby boy the problems only increase until a really heavy crisis comes on that overwhelms all.
Next Time We Love is an intelligent mature drama that holds up well and I'm surprised has not been remade. I could see a Cate Blanchett or a Gwyneth Paltrow in Sullavan's role with possibly Matthew McConaughey in the Stewart part in a remake today. Somebody in Hollywood take note.
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