Watched January 13, 2012
Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951): 4/5;
Tomorrow Is Another Day is an early ’50s noir which seems to be virtually ignored by most audiences, whether or not they’re fans of classic film. A Google search of the title brings up not the film’s IMDb page, but images of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, in reference to her character’s famous words.
Admittedly, I’m not too familiar with any of the actors in this film, and I can’t say I’ve seen much from director Felix E. Feist either. However, given my 2012 resolution to watch more “new to me” films and step outside of my Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart-filled comfort zone, I decided to record this one via TCM.
The film follows a man as he struggles to adjust to life outside of prison, after serving a long sentence for murdering his father. After his release, the man meets a woman. The two struggle to overcome his dark past while managing to get themselves into even more trouble. On paper it may seem a bit melodramatic and predictable to the average viewer, which is probably why it has flown so far under the radar.
When given a chance, though, the film turns out to be surprisingly captivating. Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran carry the film in their magnificently portrayed lead roles. What the film lacks in the typical “grit” that you find in noir films, it more than makes up for with these performances. The viewer becomes invested in the relationship between the two leads, despite the fact that they’ve participated in a crime and are a somewhat dysfunctional couple, because of the quality of the performances and the strong on-screen chemistry.
Hardcore noir fans may not appreciate this aspect of the film; I can see how one would find it flat or unexciting compared to other, more well-renowned noirs. If you’re able to get past that and accept this film as a slightly soapy “B” noir with two great lead performances, however, it becomes an enjoyable and thrilling viewing experience.