One More Tomorrow, 1946. 9/10

A very entertaining romantic drama. The cast artfully plays off one another: Christie (Anne Sheridan) and Alexis Smith (Cecelia) are the women in Tom’s (Dennis Morgan’s) life, with Pat (Jack Carson) as Tom’s wingman. Tom and Christie spend most of the movie longing for each other in a very appealing state of unrequited love. Christie’s skittishness about marrying Tom initiates their dilemma. Cecelia swoops in like a vulture and steals him. It’s agonizing to see Cecelia more or less pick away at Tom’s pride and independence that he’s has worked hard to create.

Cecelia is possibly too good at being bad–she’s controlling, manipulative, scheming–a Pandora’s box of emerging personality disorders. Meanwhile, Christie is going nuts kicking herself for refusing Tom in the first place, and then having to deal with the fact that she still loves him. The scene in her studio when he sneaks in front of the camera is fascinating visually, and playfully dramatizes their emotional distance. Pat thankfully relieves the tension here and there with his quips and antics to the extent that even Cecelia misses him after she petulantly sends him packing.

The subplot implicating Tom’s father in wartime profiteering gives a backdrop to the personal drama. Tom undergoes a sea-change from a happy-go-lucky playboy to a responsible professional; more or less repudiating his background, his family, and, eventually Cecelia. He really hasn’t burned any bridges. I’ve got to admit that things work out snugly for Tom and Christie. But, his dad and Cecelia aren’t any worse off as a result of Tom’s and Christie’s happiness. It might’ve been more intriguing if Tom’s dad is indicted, or Cecelia refuses Tom a divorce. Still, there’s enough dark spots in One More Tomorrow to keep this out of sentimental territory.

It’s a very talky, nuanced, emotional movie. It works because the cast builds up believable characters–the simple plot keeps the emphasis on acting. Sheridan and Smith are both extremely attractive; with Sheridan’s soft features, against the more severe, angular Smith telling us a lot about their character’s personalities. Wearing their hair up accentuates their very different faces. The guys are also opposites, the suave Tom playing well against the sometimes goofy Pat. The supporting cast highlights the main characters convincingly.

Great stuff for fans of these actors, this era, and romantic dramas. 9/10.

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