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William A. Wellman
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"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 <email@example.com>
The voice of God is never actually heard in the movie. The screenplay is written in such a way that the consequences of each of God's broadcasts are seen, but the broadcasts themselves are omitted. See more »
Wow how did I ever miss this one? As many old movies as I've seen and still I find ones that surprise me. This is a very interesting film about a voice coming on the radio nightly saying it is the voice of God. Although the voice is heard by everybody, the movie centers on one family in particular, the Smiths. In the midst of the voice drama, Mary Smith (Nancy Davis) is pregnant and there's some concern about whether she will be able to deliver safely. This and some lesser issues the family has adds to the authenticity of these characters.
A story like this could easily slip into Corn City, but thankfully it's well-written. The family are played by good actors who make the characters seem like real people and not some of the more unfortunate cardboard stereotypes that would dominate 1950s portrayals of white suburban families. James Whitmore and Nancy Davis give two of the finest performances of their careers. The actor playing their son, Gary Gray, is excellent as well. The supporting players were solid also.
We never hear the voice of God. It's written in such a way they manage to skillfully avoid that. Very clever, I think. They relay what the voice said through others. It's also a seemingly non-denominational God, so if you're worried about a faith you don't believe in forcing their beliefs on you...relax. Although it could be argued it's a Judeo-Christian God, there's nothing preachy about it. I've read some complaints about the ending. Without giving too much away, I'll try to address this. The complaints seem to be that the movie sets up a premise that deserves a big payoff. I feel like these reviewers missed the point. The payoff, in my opinion, was appropriate and meaningful: that miracles happen everyday and we should learn to appreciate them.
This is a great film with a simple but thoughtful message. A good cast, a veteran director, and intelligent writing. A true underrated gem that everyone should see.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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