The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables... See full summary »
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Based on a collection of stories with the focus on young John Humperkink "Dink" Stover, a student at the Lawrenceville Prepatory School, in 1896, whose family, in Eastcester, New York, have... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
"Joe Smith, American" lives in a Los Angeles suburb and works at an aircraft plant. One night Joe hears a voice cut in on a radio program: "This is God. I'll be with you for the next few days." It turns out, everyone in the world listening to any radio heard the same thing. More messages come; some people react positively, others negatively. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is apparently one of only three films in which the MGM lion is not shown roaring at the start of the opening credits, probably because of the religious theme of the film. The only other known incidence of a non-roaring lion is Ben-Hur (1959), which also has a religious theme, and Westward the Women (1951). (The studio's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) uses the illustrated lion from the MGM record label at its beginning, not a real lion, and so doesn't count.) See more »
The Next Voice You Hear is about Almighty God interrupting all the radio broadcasts on all frequencies on planet Earth at exactly 8:30 pm Pacific Standard Time. He does this for one week.
The film shows the affect hearing from the Almighty on one American family, the Smith family of Los Angeles. The Smiths are played by James Whitmore, Nancy Davis, and Gary Gray. Whitmore is an aircraft worker and Davis is quite pregnant with their second child.
Of course the film is made through an American Christian filter so to speak, that was the targeted audience back in the day. Yet it avoids any direct reference to Christianity or any other faith for that matter. It even says God is speaking to the ears listening behind the Iron Curtain, to places where His existence isn't acknowledged.
James Whitmore was supposed to be another Spencer Tracy for MGM and while his career never quite got that far it certainly has been lengthy and honorable. Nancy Davis of course opted for another career along with her husband. Both play well the parts of Mr.&Mrs. Average American, you'd never know there was a future First Lady in the cast.
The reactions to hearing from the Almighty himself run the gamut, in fact it does take a week to convince most it isn't some kind of gigantic hoax. Significant in 1950 that God uses the radio as His media outlet. Most families still did not have televisions. Good thing to because then the film would have had one huge casting problem.
Of course we never actually hear the Voice. When the first broadcast comes Davis and Gray are in the kitchen and Whitmore hears it in the living room. He comes back reporting on the strange thing that just happened and Davis remarks did it sound like Lionel Barrymore. I remember on All in the Family Archie Bunker once remarking God would sound like Bing Crosby. I suppose there are an infinite number of schools of thought there. We always get a report second hand on what the Voice has said.
The final message is I guess what encapsulates the interfaith message of the film is about. What this old world needs in equal measure is love, freedom, peace, and faith. Equal measure is important because a lack of any one of these causes problems. And it's not up to just nations to practice this, but more so for individuals.
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