And Now Tomorrow (1944) Poster

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Almost Forgotten Romantic Drama.
jpdoherty5 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The best description that can be afforded the almost forgotten AND NOW TOMORROW is, I should think, a neat and enjoyable well written romantic drama. Produced in 1944 for Paramount Pictures by Fred Kohlmar it derived from the novel by Rachel Field and was beautifully directed by Irving Pichel. The movie is notable for its appealing screenplay which was put together by Frank Portos and surprisingly Raymond Chandler. Ace cinematographer Daniel Fapp gave it a superlative crisp black and white look and the great Victor Young gave it a gorgeous sound with his lovely score.

Emily Blair (Loretta Young) is the rich sophisticated industrial heiress who finds that after a bout with meningitis she is stone deaf. Searching throughout America and Europe for a specialist who could possibly cure her she finally gives up hope and now concentrates at home on her forthcoming marriage to wealthy Jeff Stoddard (Barry Sullivan). Emily's doctor and family friend Dr. Weeks (Cecil Kellaway) has a new associate in the young Dr. Marek Vance (Alan Ladd) who coincidently is working on a new serum to cure meningitis deafness. After he cures a rabbit of the deafness Dr. Weeks suggests to the young doctor to try and experiment on Emily. He Refuses at first but after Emily's entreaties he reluctantly agrees. In the meantime Emily's attractive sister the vivacious Janice (Susan Hayward) begins having an affair with her sister's intended and things really get complicated when Dr. Vance falls in love with Emily his patient. But the core of the story is Dr. Vance's experimental serum and will it work on Emily. Of course in the final reel, and like all good romantic dramas, everything works itself out to everyones satisfaction.

Performances are just about fine from the entire cast. The beautiful Loretta Young just lights up the screen as the pivotal character of the piece and Alan Ladd is excellent in a different kind of role to which he was usually assigned at the time. This is not the hard bitten two fisted tough guy we are so used to seeing him play. Here he is a subdued almost reticent gentleman of medicine. It is a likable and well balanced performance. This was a pleasing change of pace for the actor and his scenes with Young are engaging and appealing. The pair had starred together the previous year in Paramount's wartime adventure CHINA and were a hit with audiences. Good too is the lovely Susan Hayward in another step on her ladder to full stardom and Barry Sullivan as her weak willed and non-committal lover.

Also of note is the marvellous score by the brilliant tune-smith Victor Young. There is a lovely waltz theme for Emily which is heard in its broadest rendition under the titles and for the film's softer moments in scenes with Young and Ladd. And there's an equally lovely theme for the errant lovers Janice and Jeff which is played in one scene as an attractive waltz at a family get-together.

AND NOW TOMORROW is not and never was regarded as a brilliant motion picture but it is and will remain an engaging, enjoyable well produced and well played romance.
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Incredible cast!
savoir1 July 2002
Although she got second billing to Ladd, Young's articulate smooth projection of her character shines in this movie. Ladd probably got the top spot because in 1944 all men were fighting overseas leaving the women to make up the majority of the audience. Still, his portrayal is very believable as one who has humble beginnings yet rises in the class structure while still showing rough edges. The poor boy and rich girl theme is not as boring as it seems. The Ladd-Young interaction works well as their characters develop a reluctant caring for one another.

The supporting cast and crew represent a Hollywood Who's Who at the time. Beulah Bondi is one of the great supporting actors of the 30s and 40s. Her appearances while cameo always added depth to her films. Susan Hayward is superb as the brash assertive sister. One could go on: Barry Sullivan with his mellow distinctive voice; costumes by Edith Head, one of the great ladies of Hollywood; music by Victor Young.

Yes, the movie is dated. The Great Depression looms in the background. But that is also its strength. Seldom was the Depression ever directly mentioned in the cinema. It truly was one of the most formative experiences of American life because it affected the entire population. While class envy always existed in our collective culture class hatred never engendered much support. This movie touches on this with sophistication.
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jotix1004 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"And Now Tomorrow" a Paramount release of 1944 showed on cable recently. Directed by Irving Pichel, a veteran Hollywood man, with a great cast that made the film more enjoyable than it should have been. Raymond Chandler, an unlikely candidate to adapt the original novel, was on hand to co-write an intelligent screenplay.

This was a vehicle for Alan Ladd, who was one of the most popular stars of that era. Loretta Young had second billing, but gives a stellar performance as Emily Blair, a rich woman who finds out she is deaf. To her rescue comes Dr. Merek Vance, a man of humble origins who grew up poor in Blairtown, the city that is dominated by the rich Blair family. The treatment Dr. Vance wants for Emily is not exactly proved to cure her illness and runs the risk of doing more harm than good.

To make matters worse, Emily's fiancé, the aristocratic Jeff Stoddard, falls in love with his future sister-in-law, Janice. Jeff is too decent to turn away from Emily, even though his heart belongs to another. Emily who finally realizes she doesn't want to be married to Jeff, and a possible disaster is averted. After all, Emily gets to know that her doctor has more than her cure in mind, since he also has fallen for the good and kind Emily.

Loretta Young did wonders with her Emily. Alan Ladd was also effective with his portrayal of Dr. Vance. The supporting cast includes Susan Hayward, Barry Sullivan, Beulah Bondi, Cecil Kellaway and Grant Mitchel.

Although a bit dated, "And Now Tomorrow" will certainly not disappoint to fans of this genre.
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Sure, it's got a few problems and clichés...but it's still a marvelous movie.
MartinHafer27 September 2017
meningitis several years before--learned to read lips awfully fast but she was speaking...easier lipreading NOT that accurate didn't' ask people to say things twice disdain for Blairs

I have a different insight into this film than most viewers since I am the father of a deaf daughter. So, I realized there were a few mistakes...but they certainly won't bother the average viewer. So, when I laugh when I see a woman learn to PERFECTLY speech read (the newer term for lip reading) almost no one can do it like the character does in this movie and most other films featuring deaf folks. No, deaf people cannot magically and perfectly understand folks by watching their lips...just like blind people cannot read with their fingers like Daredevil!

When the story begins, Emily Blair (Loretta Young) is seeing yet another specialist who informs her they cannot cure her deafness. You see, she recently lost her hearing due to meningitis (and learned to read lips almost INSTANTLY). However, a very grouchy young doctor, Dr. Vance (Alan Ladd) MIGHT be able to help her. So she puts her life into his hands...which is tough since he HATES the Blair family and has a hard time separating that from Emily.

At the same time, Emily's fiancée (Barry Sullivan) is waiting and waiting...two years. And, not surprisingly, he's tired of waiting and has fallen in love with Emily's sister (Susan Hayward). But, because he wants to be a good and faithful guy he STILL plans to marry Emily...but his heart certainly isn't in it!

So what's to become of all this melodrama? See the'll enjoy it. Overall, it well acted though I WISH they had Ladd play someone who WASN'T grouchy as he played a grouch in MOST of his films!! Still, despite this, Young and the rest are quite good and the film a nice date night film...provided your date likes old films. If she doesn't...dump her (I am kidding).
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How many ears.....
dbdumonteil15 June 2010
....must one (wo)man have Before he (she) can hear people cry ?(Dylan)

Emily may be deaf ,but as a spoiled child from the high society ,she is mainly deaf to her less fortunate fellow men,as her father and family were (the short Christmas flashback may seem irrelevant but it makes sense in that context).Good doctor Alan Ladd -a very Borzagesque character- is her contrary:he was not born silver spoon in hand ,he made it by the sweat of his brow and afterward ,he did not let the Poor down.Emily does not realize it ,but Dr Merek Vance is first a soul doctor.He tells him so several times but she's so selfish she is only busy looking after herself.The turning point in her life is the night the physician,with her by his side,saves a child's life .You can go as far as to say that ,beyond that point,she is not "deaf" anymore.

This is a fine melodrama,with a stellar cast including one of the future stars of the genre ,Susan Hayward as Emily's sister.

Like this? try these......

"Magnificent Obsession" J.M .Stahl,1935;Douglas Sirk,1954.

"Green light" Frank Borzage ,1937

"Doctor's wives " Frank Borzage ,1931
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Class resentments
bkoganbing3 August 2012
And Now Tomorrow was the second of two films that Alan Ladd did with Loretta Young. The first one was China an action/adventure wartime potboiler of a film. It was Alan Ladd's type of film that was made just before he was drafted. It was also not one of his best. And Now Tomorrow is more Loretta's kind of film and while it's better than China it will never be ranked as in the top ten for either Ladd or Young.

This one is a medical soap opera, the only time Ladd ever did one of these kind of films in his career. Young is a socialite who never thought about social problems in the town that she was brought up in which incidentally is named after her family, the town's chief employer. They own a mill from which Ladd's father was fired years ago. Now all grown up Ladd's got class resentments.

And he's back in his hometown at the behest of Dr. Cecil Kellaway who has heard of his experiments with curing deaf people who got it as a result of spinal meningitis. That's what gave Young her deafness and among other things postponed her marriage to another yuppie Barry Sullivan.

The main focus in this film is the growing mutual attraction between doctor and patient despite all their differences. A subplot also involves Sullivan seeing Young's sister Susan Hayward on the side.

And Now Tomorrow is kind of a secular version of Magnificent Obsession without all the religious folderol that Lloyd C. Douglas put into his work involved. For those who like soap opera type films And Now Tomorrow will do. Young made a ton of these in her career, but it wasn't Alan Ladd's cup of tea.
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Hear No Clichés
writers_reign28 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I've been trying to track this one down for years on the strength of a screenplay co-written by Raymond Chandler and the fact that Alan Ladd was top-billed only sweetened the pot. It was Chandler of course who famously said that Ladd was a small boy's idea of a tough guy and as someone who admires both Chandler and Ladd I've always been uneasy with the quote. It is, of course, undeniable that Chandler, writing entirely alone, turned out a vintage Ladd vehicle in The Blue Dahlia but alas, And Now Tomorrow is a wilting violet by comparison. Basically a soap it's the one about the rich girl who falls for her doctor and Bette Davis did it so much better in Dark Victory albeit Dr. George Brent was unable to cure her terminal illness. Ladd fares much better with Loretta Young's total deafness where better surgeons failed but along the way we get Young's sister Susan Hayward stealing fiancé Barry Sullivan from under her nose. It passes the time but could have been so much better.
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Unusual Pairing and Venue
misctidsandbits28 December 2012
This is a decent quality movie overall with some good people, some surprising to see together. That's the way I felt about Loretta Young and Alan Ladd. Somehow, Ms. Young came off kind of awkward in appearance here, perhaps partially due to compensations having to be made for the difference in height between the two leads. But she seemed less graceful overall than I've ever seen her, even in a lot of the costumes. As mentioned, this is a departure for Ladd in type and he's good enough doing what he did, but not 100% for the pairing. He seemed to be mocking and scoffing at Emily all the way through, despising her really rather extremely and then suddenly he's in love with her. Not so smooth a transition. Yet, I enjoyed some of it, but it was just too choppy between them overall. The ending was unforgivable. Ms. Young's automatic speaking of the title phrase was so flat and inept as was the following kiss, with Ladd looking like he was lying in her lap with his head on her chest. Just so awkward.

The rest of it was smooth enough, if not redeeming of the angst created by the above. Barry Sullivan was in very good looks here, Susan Hayward doing a good enough job. Ms. Bondi, as always, provided quality and authenticity in her unusual role as a society matron. Cecil Kellaway was wonderful. Maybe another try at some future date.
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an unusual pairing of Alan Ladd and Loretta Young
blanche-217 August 2017
Alan Ladd and Loretta Young star in "And Now Tomorrow" from 1944, also starring Susan Hayward, Barry Sullivan, and Beulah Bondi.

Young is Emily Blair, a woman from a wealthy family, who becomes deaf after a bout of meningitis. She goes from specialist to specialist, but no one can help her. Finally the family doctor (Cecil Kellaway) brings in his protegee, Merek Vance (Ladd) now working in Pittsburgh, who has had success in curing deafness. They convince Emily to give his treatment a try, which means serum injections weekly for as long as it takes. But Vance promises to tell her right away if he thinks the treatments are useless.

Emily has delayed her marriage to Jeff (Sullivan) hoping for a cure, but in the interim, he and her sister Janice (Hayward) have fallen in love and are sneaking around.

This is an entertaining film, and I liked the pairing of Ladd and Young, though the script was choppy. The intentions of the characters were not clearly defined -- Vance is from the other side of the tracks and resents the Blair family, for whom his father worked. Then suddenly he's in love with Emily. Janice acts like she hates and is jealous of her sister sometimes, and other times, she's kind and loving. Emily herself is a society brat one minute and seems misunderstood the next.

The underlying subtext - I think - is that Emily is "deaf" to real life, and starts to "hear" and understand when she goes with the doctor to the home of a family in Shantytown. But you have to be a Rhodes scholar to figure that out, or to see 5000 films as I have.

One other thing which bothered me - this idea of not using the serum on Emily but testing it on charity patients. This is completely unethical. I know that Dr. Mellon, director of the Hospital Pasteur in Haiti, would not allow experimental drugs to be tested on Haitians. Testing drugs is done by volunteers who fit a set of parameters.

Nonetheless, I loved the actors, all of whom were very good. The author of the novel on which the film is based, Rachel Field, also wrote "All This, and Heaven Too," which was a beautiful film starring Bette Davis and Charles Boyer.
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Could have been a contender... alas: weak script
joanna-1053 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"And Now Tomorrow" could have been a great romantic picture. It had a top notch cast and interesting premise but the script collapses somewhere in the middle of the story, never delivering the romance a movie of this type needs, to stay interesting. I don't know the book the movie was based on (I'm not really a fan of this sort of stories) but I can hardly believe that it was as weak on logic as this script. This movie got 7 stars from me mostly because Alan Ladd does a very good job showing the 'conversion' of a bitter, resentful doctor, from the wrong side of the tracks, into a passionate man in love with an unattainable woman. He immediately establishes that he finds Emily (Loretta Young) attractive but spoiled. Then there is a slow dawning of admiration for her spunk, followed by recognition of her vulnerability and finally something much deeper. My favorite is the scene in the diner after the somewhat contrived "emergency operation". You can see in Ladd's face (and in his words) that he starts to deeply care for Emily, whom he now, considers a friend. This follows to an inevitable confrontation with Emily and confession of his feelings (totally in keeping with the "straight shooting" never-to-be-able-to-suffer-in- silence type Dr. Vance supposed to be). The movie is worth seeing if only to admire Ladd's range (which, inexplicably, was and is continuously questioned by the critics). Where the film suffers is in the portrayal of Emily Blair: Ms. Young can play to a tee the proud, spoiled socialite with big problems, but she cannot overcome a very inconsistent script. Initially our heroine can be excused to be so self-absorbed (after all she is trying to overcome what she considers "a major handicap") but after while (given that this supposed to be a love story) she should start showing some kind of affinity towards the doctor. Never do we see that she finds him in the least bit attractive. Never do we see any kind of deeper feeling developing for him. For most part she treats him no better than an employee (somewhat tiresome to boot). The above mentioned diner scene shows only that she begins to see him as a consummate professional. In fact, the cure is the only thing she seems to want from the good, handsome doctor (as he bitterly points out in the latter part of the picture). Therefore, the last 15 minutes, or so, are completely incomprehensible. There, in quick succession: she forces the marriage with the long suffering finance (with whom she spends no time, whatsoever, since she started seeing the doctor) driving a decisive stake through Dr. Vance's heart; then she emotionally blackmails the lovelorn doctor into jeopardizing his career and everything he worked for, just so she can take another long shot at the cure for the sake of happiness with another man (she actually tells Dr. Vance that!). Then, improbably, she gets over the shock of finding out that the man she was going to marry in a few days doesn't love her anymore (it takes her less than 30 seconds of the screen time!); and, finally (hold on to your hats folks!), chasing Dr. Vance to Pittsburgh. What?! Frankly, at this point, if I were Dr. Vance I would slam my door in her face! ;D To be fair, Loretta Young is not entirely to blame here - the script and direction gave her character just one dimension: spoiled brat who cannot see beyond her own concerns. Good supporting cast doesn't have too much to do either, with possible exception of Ms. Hayward, who manages to inject some interesting spark into the role of Emily's spunky younger sister.
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Raymond Chandler tackles Rachel Field
JohnHowardReid18 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Anyone coming late for this Alan Ladd movie and not knowing the credits, would probably be amazed to discover that the screenplay – based on the novel by Rachel Field – was written by none other than Raymond Chandler (in collaboration with Frank Partos). Alas, this turns out to be nothing more than a typical Hollywood phenomenon. A more inappropriate assignment for Chandler would be difficult to imagine. It's probably sufficient to say that the screenplay bears not a jot of the literary qualities inherent in Chandler's famous novels. The dialogue here is banal and cliché-ridden and the few attempts at wit are clumsily inept. And although the movie stars Alan Ladd, he plays a doctor, would you believe, not a gangster or a pseudo-detective or a gung-ho adventurer or a fast-on-the-draw cowboy? However, while Ladd and his co-star, Loretta Young, are write-offs, the movie does effectively present Susan Hayward in an unsympathetic role which she plays with such panache, it will probably startle many of her fans. A pity the rest of the movie holds such little interest, although Helen Mack makes a favorable impression in an unusual role. She plays Angeletta Gallo and is hard to recognize. But yes, that's Helen Mack all right!
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