Reuniting Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck from Double Indemnity, Tomorrow is relatively little-known in Douglas Sirk’s late run of domestic dramas.
But if this black-and-white movie lacks the rich Technicolor gloss of, say, All That Heaven Allows or Imitation Of Life, its depiction of the cosy all-American home as a soul-sapping trap is as unrelenting as any in the director’s canon. “Here is the American man,” Sirk remarks in the excellent bonus booklet, “dominated not by his wife so much as the rules of society...”
MacMurray’s the husband, relegated to cashprovider status in his own home. His kids treat him with casual indifference and his wife ( Joan Bennett) offers superficial affection but invariably puts her offspring’s needs ahead of his.
Then into his life comes Stanwyck, an ex-colleague from his younger days who’s long carried a torch for him – and possibilities start opening up that they scarcely dare contemplate. Stanwyck movingly portrays a woman who’s channelled erotic disappointment into career success, while MacMurray, too often a bland, dull actor, taps into emotional depths he rarely attained elsewhere.
Sirk subtly undercuts the studio-imposed ‘happy ending’, playing shots right against the dialogue, and the widescreen visuals boast noir-tinged sharpness throughout. Best of the extras is an hour-long, illuminating career doc, with rare Sirk interview footage from 1982.
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