Director: John M. Stahl

Screenwriter: James M. Cain, Dwight Taylor

Producer: John M. Stahl

Editor: Milton Carruth

Cast: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Barbara O'Neil, Onslow Stevens, Fritz Feld

Cinamatographer: John J. Mescall


When Tomorrow Comes

narrative • USA • 1939 • 35mm • • 90 MIN

section: Best of Il Cinema Ritrovato

The second big-screen romance to team movie stars Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, When Tomorrow Comes was released in 1939, just five months after the premiere of their first pairing in Leo McCarey's Love Affair. Melodrama specialist John M. Stahl (Back Street, Seed) directs the story of a waitress whose love for a wealthy pianist is thwarted by surprising and moving circumstances. Dwight Taylor's screenplay, filled with humor and unexpected developments, and neatly unified to unfold over three days, was inspired by a short story authored by James M. Cain (Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity). Dunne and Boyer were teamed a third time, in the forgettable and aptly titled 1944 comedy Together Again, but When Tomorrow Comes has endured as one of the greatest of all golden age Hollywood melodramas. It matches Love Affair's power to grab an audience and move them to tears, but Stahl's movie has rarely been as celebrated as McCarey’s, perhaps because it has never officially been released on any home video format. Our WFF screening of an excellent archival 35mm print from Universal Pictures will give you the opportunity to discover this masterpiece for yourselves. (JH)