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Beyond Tomorrow

Beyond Tomorrow

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Melton, Chadwick and O’Brien, rich but lonely heads of an engineering firm, invite three strangers to dinner on Christmas Eve. Only two show up, James and Jean, they fall in love and become friends with their three benefactors…until the latter are killed in a plane crash and come back to their old home as ghosts. In the coming months, true love encounters some rough spots; can ghostly O’Brien help the young folks?

STARS: Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger

84 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 1940 | Color


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Undying Friendship
Even after passing BEYOND TOMORROW, three old gentlemen continue to guard their two young friends.
Unfortunately rather obscure, this charming little film, bursting with the joy of life, brings a whimsicality as unexpected as finding a ten dollar bill on a snowy sidewalk.
Texas rodeo cowboy Richard Carlson and children's clinic worker Jean Parker are the two lonely people brought together on a cold New York City Christmas Eve by their new benefactors. They make a perfect couple, young & eager to embrace love - and each other - with open arms. Their enthusiasm at finding relief from their loneliness is genuine and imparts a special glow to the viewer.
The generous trio, who look after their new companions like benevolent uncles, are the very heart of the film. Cheery Irishman Charles Winninger, stalwart English major Sir C. Aubrey Smith, and melancholy Oklahoman Harry Carey, although dealing with their own secret sorrows, share their largess with complete strangers (whom they meet by a most curious stratagem) in order to share the Christmas Spirit. Elderly Maria Ouspenskaya gives a sweetly poignant performance as their beloved housekeeper; this tiny, wizened actress positively radiates joy as she steals her every scene.
Helen Vinson, as a singing temptress trying to corrupt Carlson, is the serpent in this garden. Silent Screen star Rod La Rocque, in one of his final films, gives support as Vinson's theatrical manager.
This would make wonderful Holiday viewing. In fact, one of the most delightful scenes in the film features a spirited singing of Jingle Bells in English, Russian, German & Italian.

Great for Christmas, a completely charming fantasy which could only be made in the 40's
We begin with three old business men on Christmas Eve. George Melton of Oklahoma, played by Harry Carey, is in "bah humbug" Scrooge mode absorbed with business planning. C.Aubrey Smith's "Chad" is from Britain, and is not yet particularly keen about the holiday. But in comes spunky Irishman Michael O'Brien played by Charles Winninger loaded with gifts and Christmas Spirit. This first scene gradually develops into complete joy. The gentlemen wager on a game that tests honesty which brings in the young couple destined to be lovers. The huge surprise is young Richard Carlson's voice! (I want to see/listen to the four other singing films Carlson made about this period.) He beautifully sings "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" to Actress Jean Parker who plays Jean Lawrence, before we hear Jingle Bells sung in a variety of languages. You will be totally into the Christmas Spirit when the first act ends. Then, rather slowly, with a lack of suspense but an overload of charm we enter the world of fantasy and Hollywood mystic theology. How are all the old guys going to die? We have to have a plot device that gets rid of them all at once. You won't have much trouble guessing what is going happen next when actress Maria Ouspenskaya pleads with them to take the train and not the plane. Mercifully you won't have long to wait to see if you guessed correctly.
"Beyond Tomorrow" switches gears as we move into the meaning of the title. There will be ghosts. The lad with the heart of gold and the golden voice will be tempted, lured toward purgatory. Mystic fantasy visuals will effectively dazzle, even though low budget. The mood the story needs is achieved perfectly and you'll be glad the film was made sixty-eight years ago and not today. Welcome to drama in an imagined dimension no-one who can read this has yet entered.
I founded this DVD at a dollar store!

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