Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951) Poster

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10/10
Wonderful little noir about redemption.
Don-949 April 1999
This film screened at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on April 7, 1999. It was described in the American Cinematheque schedule as follows:

"TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY 1951, Warners, 90 min. Steve Cochran's an ex-con who's never been with a woman. Ruth Roman is a dime-a-dance dame with no use for sappy men. A hotel room, a dirty cop, a gunshot - the perfect jump-off for a fugitives-on-the-run love story. This virtually unknown noir is Felix Feist's masterwork, packed with revelatory set-pieces. Cochran was never more vulnerable, Roman never sexier. Imagine GUN CRAZY scripted by Steinbeck - it's that good."

I just saw this film, and I agree with every word of the above description.
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8/10
A Very "A" Class B Movie
grahamclarke29 May 2011
"Tomorrow is Another Day" is a B movie; those often looked down upon stepchildren of the Hollywood system peopled with so called second stringers. When a B movie is as good as "Tomorrow is Another Day", one realizes just what an amazing factory Hollywood was in its heyday. Helmed by the not too well known director Felix E. Feist it stars Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran in the leads. They were both dependable performers with a fairly strong screen presence, but here they both turn in compelling performances and indeed carry the film wonderfully. These characters have come from tough backgrounds and as the film progresses we sense them softening as their relationship develops. The transition is subtle and well handled. While the story itself may have its pitfalls, the dialogue is crisp and credible with some of those wonderful noir one liners one comes to expect from such fare. What elevates "Tomorrow is Another Day" so far above its peers is the wonderful work of cameraman Robert Burks. No wonder Burks was often chosen by Hitchcock for his masterly work, ("The Birds" and others.) Despite the modest proportions of this B movie, Burk takes great pains with each shot; selecting interesting and effective angles. It's his work that puts the stamp of class on this movie. While certainly not a classic, the poorly titled "Tomorrow is Another Day" offers a very satisfying movie watching experience.
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8/10
Surprisingly alert and moving lovers-on-the-lam story
bmacv3 December 2001
Tomorrow Is Another Day is NOT the sequel to Gone with the Wind but a lovers-on-the-lam story, and a surprisingly alert and moving one as well. For a supposed hack relegated to B-minus features like The Devil Thumbs A Ride, Felix Feist proves adept at filling his work with unexpected, inventive details. Steve Cochran leaves prison after 18 years for killing his brutal father when he was only 13, and now he's still a tentative, gawky pubescent operating inside a man's hulky frame. Lonesome, he visits a 10-cents-a-dance palace and falls for brassy, grasping Ruth Roman. But the sudden shooting of her police-bigwig boyfriend causes the ill-matched couple to hit the road, ending, like the Joads, in a California migrant-worker camp.

Roman's the revelation; in her best-known role, as Farley Granger's fiancee in Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, she was ill- and under-used. Here she modulates persuasively from bottle-blonde taxi dancer to sacrificing wife and mother-to-be (and a brunette, to boot). Cochran's almost as good, waffling between the suspicion of a wounded child and the explosive reactions of an under-socialized male. And the ending, while unconvincing, is nonetheless welcome. Along with They Live By Night and Gun Crazy, Tomorrow Is Another Day displays a redeeming sweetness and warmth that belie its film-noir pedigree.
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A beautiful title...
dbdumonteil15 November 2006
...for a suspenseful,absorbing,often moving film.

My favorite scenes are the very first ones:Bill/Mike leaving jail and discovering the outside world,struggling to adjust to something which is completely new for him.When he asks for three slices of cake ,everybody laughs at him,but we do not.This man spent 18 years in jail for something he had never done.

Steve Cochran and Ruth Roman (fresh from "strangers on a train") are a good pairing .The screenplay is not very new ,and sometimes verges on melodrama (M.Dawson's accident) but it's a well-constructed story of redemption (a double redemption) one can recommend to films noirs buffs.
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Two Conflicting Halves
dougdoepke14 January 2012
An ex-con and a dance hall girl flee the cops and a wrongful murder charge.

Catch that early scene in the tacky dance hall— it's a gem. I've seen a lot of cheap dives in movies, but none I think combines atmosphere and annoyance better than this one. Between the hard dames and the 1-minute buzzer, the guys better hold onto their wallets. Then too, the Warner Bros. production manages uncommon attention to detail. Note how taxi-dancer Cay (Roman) ends the dance hall scene by soliciting another customer. That way we know she's a real hard case no matter what she's said to poor Clark (Cochran).

These touches continue throughout, as with the back-and-forth wristwatch mirroring Cay's and Clark's relationship, or the heart-stopping dropped keys that unlock the carry-all car. All in all, these are the kind of deft touches that turn a good film into a memorable one.

However, despite the excellence of this noirish first half, I have to agree with reviewer Teller. The second half unfortunately collapses into unremarkable melodrama. Frankly, Cay's big turnaround from loose woman to wifely Madonna is simply too complete to be believable. That transformation is signaled in her change of hair color. There, Cay washes out the dance hall blonde for the darker natural color underneath, thereby releasing the real person redeemed now by true love. However, the problem remains-- the personality contrast between the "hard-case before" and the "all-sweetness after" is simply too strong and abrupt not to draw critical attention, regardless of how worthwhile the message.

That's not to say the second part is wasted. Those clapboard shacks for the transient pickers are right out of Grapes of Wrath and just as realistic. Plus, Clark's personality remains volatile and believable, though undergoing the inevitable softening. I just wish the film had modulated Kay's change in a similarly subtle manner. Then we might have had a memorable whole instead of a memorable half.
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Look For It
glabella6 August 1999
Yeah, I know, Scarlett O'Hara's favorite maxim. If by some weird set of circumstances this thoughtful little gem shows up on your TV after the latest infomercial, tape it, go to bed, and sometime when you're in the mood for some reflective film watching, shove it in the VCR maw. Steve Cochran plays a really dumb guy who gets entwined with Ruth Roman's cynical, smart loser dame through a series of preposterous events. If J. D. Salinger had written a crime film, it would have probably turned out like this. Why are films like this so hard to find? Other '50's obscurities worth checking out: Eight Iron Men; Kiss Me Deadly; Rogue River; Violent Saturday; Blood And Steel; Paratroop Command; Convicts Four (actually '62, but a great prison film.) I give up, nobody seems to remember anything about movies since 1980 anyway.
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6/10
Daring for its time
JohnSeal11 February 2001
I can't think of any other film from the pre-Moon Is Blue period that deals with so many tough social issues (without, of course, QUITE breeching the Production Code): prostitution, rape, pimping, and even premarital sex. Steve Cochran is excellent as a brooding ex-con on the run from a crime he didn't commit. Outstanding atmosphere, photography, and screenplay. Even the scenes in the lettuce fields are outstanding!
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8/10
Great Film - Hilariously Classic Ending
sunchicago19 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Fell into this by accident and couldn't turn it off even though it was 1am ... great story if melodramatic but that's why we love Noir, right? Ruth Roman is wonderful as always and it was fun to watch how easily she turned that platinum blond helmet into brunette (in the motel bathroom) as well as her tough dance-hall girl demeanor into the kind hearted maternal woman! The ingenious ways in which they seemingly easily made their way from NYC to Northern California were fabulous ... Steve Cochran is sure easy on the eyes ... great story but the ending was such that all I could do was laugh! Everyone got what they wanted - including the turncoat!
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8/10
A Dark Gem, According to TCM...And I Happen to Agree
evanston_dad16 June 2015
"Tomorrow Is Another Day" is an example of why I love TCM.

Included as part of the station's "Summer of Darkness" series, highlighting my favorite genre, film noir, "Tomorrow Is Another Day" aired at 10:45 pm. I had no intention of watching it, since I was tired and I'd already sat through two other movies in the series that evening: "The Gangster" and one of my all time faves, "Gun Crazy." But then the host started talking about how "Tomorrow..." is a "dark gem" in the noir canon and how it's relatively unknown, and I started to think about when I would ever have the chance to see it again and decided I had to sit down and watch the damn thing.

And man was I glad I did. A gem indeed, "Tomorrow..." stars Steve Cochran and Ruth Roman as a recently released con and a dance hall hostess, respectively, who move away from the city and set up house, only to find that his criminal past will not be left behind so easily. There's a whole sub genre of noir that involves flights from big cities into the open spaces of America and how those open spaces are no longer safe; the decay of urban environments will follow relentlessly, and the open spaces are even more dangerous because there are fewer places to hide. Cochran and Roman have incredible chemistry together, and the movie really makes you root for both of them, even though he comes across as perhaps a tad off his rocker.

In case I've oversold it, don't think this film is going to change your life. There's nothing groundbreaking to be found here. But it is a fresh surprise in a genre that's full of fresh surprises.

Felix Feist (who?) provides the playful direction.

Grade: A
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6/10
Soft-boiled noir
madmonkmcghee7 March 2011
The title sounds like a soap opera, and it kinda is, with some noirish touches. The first 30 minutes are familiar fare to any noir fan: ex-convict has troubles finding his way on the outside, meets a scheming blonde who only thinks of looking after Number One. At her place they run into her beau, who's none too pleased. Fists fly, and soon enough a shot is fired,hitting the boyfriend. We know it's the dame that did it, but since the ex-con was knocked out before the gun went off he doesn't know he's innocent. She doesn't clear things up for him, for obvious reasons. Fearing the worst, they hit the road together. From then on the melodrama takes over: she washes the bleach out of her hair, and becomes a reformed woman almost instantly. Love starts to bloom and they throw in their lot together. Will they ever find true happiness? At this point the movie lover who likes his noir hard-boiled might as well switch off. Those who sit out the rest of the movie either learn to care for the star-crossed couple or will feel cheated out of a good chase movie. I'm sort of on the fence about this one; both leads are engaging enough, but the story could have used more grit. Noir fans should try this one out, it has enough going for it, but be warned: Bonny And Clyde it ain't.
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half-noir, half-soap
goblinhairedguy6 February 2004
The first 45 minutes of this Warners programmer is an impressive, surprisingly frank and cynical noir, as an ex-con's attempts to readjust to a bewildering outside world just lead him into more hot water. Ruth Roman is particularly effective (and affecting) as a sassy, worldly-wise platinum-blonde dance hall girl. Once the two of them take it on the lam and she reverts to her natural hair colour, the movie descends into sentimental clichéd melodrama, with Steve Cochran as the protagonist showing off his pecs at every turn, and Roman cloyingly playing at the nurturing wife with the terrible secret -- there are more clinches than in a latter day Muhammad Ali fight. To his credit, director Felix Feist does like to emphasize the key points visually, and the first glimpse of Roman in her tight outfit at the seedy clip joint is striking. But unfortunately, it all amounts to another one of those paint-by-numbers working class Warner Brothers jobs instead of the tour-de-force it starts out to be.
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6/10
Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)
MartinTeller3 January 2012
A man is released after 18 years for killing his father, and falls right into hot water again when he meets a dodgy dancehall dame. Starts out strong and fizzles out. In the early stages, it's classic noir, with an intriguing femme fatale, appealing stylization, a rough edge and some good on-the-lam scenes. Then Ruth Roman's character takes a rather unbelievable turn and the film becomes a pretty dull melodrama. Once in a while an interesting facet will surface, but it's a big dropoff from the movie's early promise. Other films have pulled off this kind of shift quite nicely: ON DANGEROUS GROUND and ONE WAY STREET come to mind. But here it feels like the air being drained from a tire. Steve Cochran is pretty good throughout, and Roman is excellent up until the change (when she goes from blonde to brunette). While the movie never gets bad, it does get disappointing. The ending is a little too convenient as well.
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7/10
On The Lam.
rmax30482312 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Where do they get these generic titles from? "Another Dawn," "Tomorrow is Forever," "Guns of Darkness." This title, "Tomorrow Is Another Day," I would guess was ripped off from the last line of "Gone With The Wind." The producers reckoned that, by 1951, since "Gone With The Wind" had never been shown after its initial release, the last line, one of the most memorable, was buried somewhere in our collective unconscious. It probably rang the public's chimes but they couldn't identify the source.

Actually, it's a rather nifty B movie with a couple of endearing qualities and it's worth watching.

The writers did a good job of catching the tenuous quality of life on the run from the law. This isn't "They Live By Night" but it's in the same ballpark. Steve Cochran is an ex con and Ruth Roman becomes his moll. After an accidental but lethal shooting they leave New York and travel across the United States by stolen rides on boxcars and trucks, and by hitch hiking and walking. They come to earth in Salina, California at the start of the lettuce-picking season, and although the work is hard, they make a living and fall in love to the extent that they are married and Roman becomes pregnant. The experienced viewer of 1950s movies knows this mundane paradise can't last. The police finally catch up with them, but not to worry. It's not a tragedy.

The budget was from hunger. Yet the writers have managed to capture a lot of quotidian details. The couple first take flight to the house of Roman's brother in New Jersey. He's willing to put them up but his wife argues heatedly against it. Later, desperate for a ride, they climb aboard one of those trucks carrying half a dozen cars on its trailer, and a suspenseful scene follows in which they try to get the keys and open one of the cars where they can lie down and sleep. The lettuce scenes are out of "The Grapes of Wrath" but the pay is better.

It's not flawless. We first see Ruth Roman in a dime-a-dance place in New York, probably modeled on Roseland, where I once met a pretty girl ninety five years ago whose name I can still remember, Rose Brown. (Who could forget it?) Anyway, Roman is wearing a puffy platinum wig that's almost fluorescent. She speaks like a tart, or tries to. And she wheedles gifts and money out of poor Cochran, who doesn't know his way around because he's spent more than half his life in the Crowbar Hotel. She later reveals her brunettedness.

Well, I'll tell you. Ruth Roman is rather a dull actress, whatever the part, but least of all is she suited to the kind of role that might fit Marie Windsor or Gloria Graham. She's bourgeois. No getting around it. She was bourgeois in "Strangers on a Train" and she will always be bourgeois, except that here she sound like a bourgeois trying desperately to mimic a cheap whore.

And Steve Cochran -- a beacon for all of us who want to be Hollywood stars but lack talent. When he enters the frame, a gaping black hole appears and swallows up everything else.

But there is a good deal of tension throughout the movie, once you get used to Roman as a dance hall girl and Cochran as a morose ex murderer. Given the strictures of the plot, the dialog at times shows a certain keenness. The holes in the plot can be overlooked.
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9/10
***1/2
edwagreen30 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Very good film showcasing the acting talents of Steve Cochran and as the brassy blond in the first part of the film, Ruth Roman.

Rather than his usual tough persona, Cochran comes across quite well as the rather sullen convict leaving prison after 18 years for shooting his no good father. The film shows that he had missed the formative years of life while incarcerated.

Trouble seems to follow Cochran as he meets up with Roman, and he thinks he has killed her lover, a police officer.

The film deals with their adventures along the way. They wed under assumed names and eventually land in California, where befriended by a couple with a child. Cochran works hard on the land and the two settle down. Naturally, fate intervenes and the couple, through tragedy, are forced to tell who Cochran really is so as to collect the much needed reward money.

The ending may not totally satisfy our tastes as Cochran did actually wound another police officer, but we may be happy to see that he and Roman are given another opportunity at life.
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6/10
Okay Film Noir Until She Dyes Her Hair
rogueforte10 May 2019
In 'The Killers', the first 13 minutes or so that was written by Ernest Hemingway were terrific. But then it falls into a typical, contrived film noir. So it goes with 'Tomorrow is Another Day'. It's a decent enough film-noir when Ruth Roman is a hard, street-wise NYC blonde. But when she takes it on the lam with lonely ex-con Steve Cochran and they stop at a motel where she dyes her hair brunette, her personality suddenly (and unbelievably) softens 180 degrees and the whole movie switches gears (jumps the shark) and becomes some kind of wannabe 'Grapes of Wrath'. It really sucks too because, when Roman is a blonde, it's got a nice, gritty noir feel. But the smarmy later stuff just flat out ruins the movie. Another quite noticable change is Roman seems to lose her NYC accent after becoming a brunette, as well.

My recommendation? Watch it until Ruth Roman's hair color and speech change, then forget it.
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9/10
A Compromising Film-Noir…Softening the Sting
LeonLouisRicci4 January 2015
Steve Cochran is an Underrated Actor with Smoldering Good Looks and Usually Played the Heavy. This is a Challenging Role Because the Character Must be Vulnerable, Naive, and a Child in a Man's Body.

After being Released from Prison, Sentenced to Serve 18 Years, at 13, for the Shooting Death of His Abusive Father, He is a Lamb Among the Wolves. A Noir Tradition of a Cruel, Cut-Throat World where "Danger Lives" Around Every Corner.

Ruth Roman's Character is a Difficult Part as well. She Must Go from from Dime-a-Dance Dame, Always Looking Out for Number One, to a Caring Wife and Completely Unselfish Woman.

This May Not be a Pure Film-Noir and is a Film that Compromises. Starting in the 1950's Film Studios were Under Pressure from Anti-Communist Crusades and Film-Noir, with Some Exceptions, saw Capitulation Brought On by a Cultural and Political Paranoia. Careers were Lost and Campaigns Begun by Right-Wing Groups "Forced" Movie Makers to Light the Dark Shadows of American Life Appearing that they Didn't Exist.

Overall, this is One of Those Film-Noir from the Fifties and Stickler Fans were Finding Their Noirs Beginning to Soften.This One is Upbeat and More Conventional Movie Making. It's What We Got in the Fifties and Audiences were Given a Rose Colored View of Life. If Only that were True.
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8/10
Cute Story and Enjoyable
Bluesradio6228 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
While the movie does have some telegraphed plot lines like the Magazine that reveals the young couple while they are on the lam, and the movie does have a ending that some might not expect but that is still cliché, overall I found this to be a cute movie when I watched it on the Movie Network... And, yes there are unanswered questions like did the old couple get their money, did the old man recover, and where the lead couple went after he is freed, these are for our imaginations to play with and figure out for ourselves.... And, of course, though the movie was made in 1951 and the times are much different in 2019, some of the figures would have to be changed, the premise is still very real...And, I found the acting to be well done and definitely had some humorous lines and even some references to the times the movie was shot in such as the reference to Babe Ruth.....and of course those were times that folks were trying to make it by doing hard labor in the fields so even that feels right and we know that can be hard work.....I have become a fan of Film Noir and think this film is worth seeing especially as the talent is not from the A List but they still do a better job than some of the A-Listers probably would have with this material in my opinion...Check it out and make your own judgement....
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7/10
A neat noir!
JohnHowardReid22 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Ruth Roman (Catherine), Steve Cochran (Bill Clark), Lurene Tuttle (Mrs Dawson), Ray Teal (Mr Dawson), Morris Ankrum (Hugh Wagner), John Kellogg (Monroe), Lee Patrick (Janet Higgins), Hugh Sanders (Conover), Stuart Randall (Frank Higgins), Bobby Hyatt (Johnny), Harry Antrim (warden), Walter Sande (sheriff).

Director: FELIX E. FEIST. Screenwriters: Art Cohn, Guy Endore, based on the story "Spring Kill" by Guy Endore. Film editor: Alan Crosland Jr. Cinematographer: Robert Burks. Music director: Ray Heindorf. Music composer: Daniele Amfitheatrof. Art director: Charles H. Clarke. Producer: Henry Blanke.

Copyright 18 September 1951 by Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. New York opening at the Holiday: 8 August 1951. U.S. release: 22 September 1951. U.K. release: 25 February 1952. Australian release: 14 March 1952. 8,174 feet. 90 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: After serving 18 years for the murder of his father, an embittered man of 31 falls in love with a prostitute and is involved in the shooting of a policeman.

COMMENT: Well written, neatly directed, competently acted and superbly photographed melodrama. Though there is very little action, the screenplay holds the interest, achieving its impact with sharply realistic dialogue and suspenseful situations.

OTHER VIEWS: This melodrama begins quite promisingly, with some neat observation of settings such as the shabby dance-hall and roadside cafés. But the material is unduly familiar — and the ending is unlikely. — Monthly Film Bulletin.
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