Melton, Chadwick and O'Brien, rich but lonely heads of an engineering firm, invite three strangers to dinner on Christmas Eve. Only two show up, James and Jean, they fall in love and become friends with their three benefactors...until the latter are killed in a plane crash and come back to their old home as ghosts. In the coming months, true love encounters some rough spots; can ghostly O'Brien help the young folks? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Fox Home Entertainment has once again attempted to improve upon a classic. Last year it was THE GREAT RUPERT, which the studio decided to colorize and release under the title THE Christmas WISH. (Fortunately, the B&W original--with the new title, alas--was included as a bonus.) Now, BEYOND TOMORROW gets similar treatment. However, in addition to colorizing and retitling the film (BEYOND Christmas), the company has also chopped out about 5 minutes of material from the movie. (Made even more obvious by the fact that the footage shows up on TV and on all previous VHS & DVD versions, including the bargain bin copies.) Granted, they include the material in the Extras as "deleted footage," but that only begs the question, "What was the point of deleting it at this time, to begin with?" Some of the deletions, such as the sequence where Arlene Terry's ex-boyfriend clashes with her new leading man, destroy the emotional impact of the showdown between the two men and Arlene during the film's finale. To first-time viewers unfamiliar with the film, the jilted lover's appearance at the end comes almost out of the blue, causing confusion as to who he is. In spite of these alterations/deletions, the box proudly announces the film is fully restored. Sorry, Fox, but the term "restoration" does NOT mean alteration or condensation. (For those wanting to see the complete film as it was meant to be seen, check out the VCI DVD.) And with the various advances in such technology, it is amazing to see how artificial the colorization still looks, at least on this film. (To this day, perhaps the most realistic colorization remains the process used on select episodes of Walt Disney's ZORRO TV series from the 1950s. If colorization is a process that has to still be practiced, then it needs to be perfected. There is no excuse for the color quality on this, especially considering how long ago it was that Disney colorized ZORRO and some of the early Mickey Mouse shorts, to convincing effect.) On a more positive note, however, the Fox release does include some vintage theatrical Christmas shorts, such as Bob Hope and Bette Davis pitching Christmas Seals.
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