5.8/10
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Tomorrow's Children (1934)

| Drama | July 1934 (USA)
A young woman wishes to marry her boyfriend and raise a family, but because her own family has been deemed "defective" by the state health authorities--her parents are lazy alcoholics who ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Diane Sinclair ...
...
Dr. Brooks
John Preston ...
Dr. Crosby
...
Jim Baker
...
Dr. Dorsey
W. Messenger Bellis ...
Dr. McIntyre
Hyram A. Hoover ...
Spike
...
Nurse
Lewis Gambart ...
Jeff
Arthur Wanzer ...
Mr. Mason
...
Mrs. Mason
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gene O'Brien
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Storyline

A young woman wishes to marry her boyfriend and raise a family, but because her own family has been deemed "defective" by the state health authorities--her parents are lazy alcoholics who continue to have children, and her siblings(brothers here) are crippled, have mental problems or are jailed--she is ordered by a court to undergo sterilization so that her family's "defective genes" won't be passed on to any more children. Her boyfriend and a kindly priest desperately search for a way to stop the forced sterilization before it's too late. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A DRAMA OF HUMAN STERILIZATION - IS THE PRICE TO GREAT (original print ad - all caps, with misspelling of "too" and lack of question mark) See more »

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Drama

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July 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sterilization  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although forced sterilization was practiced in the US at the time this film was made, it was not particularly widespread and was not a national policy, being left up to individual states. In Germany, however, under the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler it was an official policy, used often and throughout the entire country on individuals deemed "inferior"--for either physical or mental reasons--by the state, and not just on women (as in the US) but on both sexes. A possible reference to this can be noticed in the scene where two doctors are talking about the practice; in the door a symbol that looks suspiciously like a swastika can be seen. See more »

Connections

Featured in In the Shadow of the Reich: Nazi Medicine (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Past imperfect
1 January 2006 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

Alice Mason (Diane Sinclair) sure has her share of problems. She's the only one in her family who has a job; mom and dad spend the day guzzling cheap hootch and Dad won't even help clean the house because, he says, "That's no job for a man." Alice would like to marry her truck driver boyfriend Jim (Donald Douglas) but that would mean leaving her family alone. A well meaning but misguided doctor reports to the court that Alice's family is made up of "drunks, cripples and idiots" and suggests that the whole family be ordered by the court to be sterilised to prevent them for siring any more societal misfits like themselves.

Science fiction? A look into a possible Orwellian future? A warning against a Totalitarian government? Sorry but this is all true! When this movie was made 28 states had laws allowing mandatory sterilisation of criminals and people the courts deemed "unfit".

Okay now back to the review. As always the government is far from perfect. A drooling, hollow eyed psychotic is spared having to go under the knife even after he nearly assaults a nurse. Why? Because his dad is rich and slips the judge a big role of bills! Sadly Alice has no one to intercede for her except her boyfriend. Lucikly Jim learns an important clue about Alice from her drunken mother. Ah, but will he be in time to save her from the operation? For cryin' out loud Jim, drive faster!

Director Crane Wilbur was the brave hero in the action serial THE PERILS OF PAULINE (1914). He began to divide his time between acting and directing and this Poverty Row short is one of his efforts. He also went on to direct the 1959 remake of THE BAT; this one, starring Vincent Price, is the best remembered of all the versions.

Comedian Sterling Holloway pops up in a supporting role as an overworked intern whose efforts to take a much needed nap are constantly being spoiled. A year earlier Mr. Holloway had appeared in a musical number in the multi-starred comedy INTERNATIONAL HOUSE. He would go on to be the voice of Winnie The Pooh in several made for TV cartoons.

Sure TOMORROW'S CHILDREN is exploitation at its scariest but it's also a look into a dark aspect of past society.


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