The Next Voice You Hear (1950)

82 mins | Drama | October 1950

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writer:

Charles Schnee

Producer:

Dore Schary

Cinematographer:

William C. Mellor

Editor:

John Dunning

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Eddie Imazu

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The following written Biblical passage appears above the title in the onscreen credits: "'...neither was the Word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.' First Book of Samuel, Chapter III, Verse 7." The closing credits contain the following passage: "'In the begining was the word; and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.' John, Chapter I, Verse I." Seven intertitles appear in the film and divide the story into episodes representing the days of the week. The Next Voice You Hear was one of twelve films that Dore Schary personally supervised during his tenure as Vice President in Charge of Production at M-G-M. According to contemporary sources, Schary, who took his post in Jun 1948, used the film as an object lesson in frugal budgeting for the M-G-M producers under his supervision. A Mar 1950 DV news item noted that the film was budgeted at $500,000, approximately half the cost of the average production at M-G-M at the time. Various contemporary news items indicate that the production was placed on a three-week shooting schedule but was completed in a mere fourteen days, at a final cost of $460,000. Schary wrote a book about picture, entitled Case History of a Movie , which traced the progress of the production from a short story to a completed film. The publication of Schary's book was slated to coincide with the release of the ... More Less

The following written Biblical passage appears above the title in the onscreen credits: "'...neither was the Word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.' First Book of Samuel, Chapter III, Verse 7." The closing credits contain the following passage: "'In the begining was the word; and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.' John, Chapter I, Verse I." Seven intertitles appear in the film and divide the story into episodes representing the days of the week. The Next Voice You Hear was one of twelve films that Dore Schary personally supervised during his tenure as Vice President in Charge of Production at M-G-M. According to contemporary sources, Schary, who took his post in Jun 1948, used the film as an object lesson in frugal budgeting for the M-G-M producers under his supervision. A Mar 1950 DV news item noted that the film was budgeted at $500,000, approximately half the cost of the average production at M-G-M at the time. Various contemporary news items indicate that the production was placed on a three-week shooting schedule but was completed in a mere fourteen days, at a final cost of $460,000. Schary wrote a book about picture, entitled Case History of a Movie , which traced the progress of the production from a short story to a completed film. The publication of Schary's book was slated to coincide with the release of the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Feb 50
p. 3.
Daily Variety
20 Feb 50
p. 15.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 50
p. 8.
Daily Variety
10 Mar 50
p. 1.
Daily Variety
7 Jun 50
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 Jun 50
p. 2.
Film Daily
7 Jun 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Jun 50
p. 329.
New York Times
2 Apr 1950.
---
New York Times
30 Jun 50
p. 18.
Variety
7 Jun 50
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Grip
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the short story "The Next Voice You Hear" by George Sumner Albee in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Aug 1948).
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1950
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 June 1950
Production Date:
21 February--9 March 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 August 1950
Copyright Number:
LP239
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82
Length(in feet):
7,443
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14457
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Joe and Mary Smith and their young son Johnny live in a modest home in a suburban Los Angeles neighborhood. The Smiths lead simple lives defined by mostly their daily routines: Joe works hard at his steady job at the Ajax Aircraft Plant and Johnny attends school and delivers newspapers, while Mary, who is nine months pregnant, is a homemaker. One evening, while Mary is helping Johnny with his homework, Joe turns on the radio in the living room, expecting to hear his favorite program. However, instead of the usual programming, Joe hears a voice that identifies itself as the voice of God. Though perplexed by the voice and initially believing it to be a hoax, Joe later tells Mary that he heard the voice tell him that God will be broadcasting on the radio for the next few days. The following morning, Joe reads in the newspaper that three thousand people reported hearing a strange voice on the radio the previous night, and that they all heard the same thing he heard. Later that evening, when Joe returns home from his bowling game, Mary tells him that she heard the voice of God on the radio and that it said that God was planning to perform miracles. As the government begins an investigation into the mysterious radio voice, which is now being heard all over the world, the talk of the town is the voice of God. The next time that God addresses the world, a fiery thunderstorm suddenly advances upon the city, sending Mary and Johnny into Joe's arms for comfort. Joe tries to calm them by insisting that the storm was a coincidence, but ... +


Joe and Mary Smith and their young son Johnny live in a modest home in a suburban Los Angeles neighborhood. The Smiths lead simple lives defined by mostly their daily routines: Joe works hard at his steady job at the Ajax Aircraft Plant and Johnny attends school and delivers newspapers, while Mary, who is nine months pregnant, is a homemaker. One evening, while Mary is helping Johnny with his homework, Joe turns on the radio in the living room, expecting to hear his favorite program. However, instead of the usual programming, Joe hears a voice that identifies itself as the voice of God. Though perplexed by the voice and initially believing it to be a hoax, Joe later tells Mary that he heard the voice tell him that God will be broadcasting on the radio for the next few days. The following morning, Joe reads in the newspaper that three thousand people reported hearing a strange voice on the radio the previous night, and that they all heard the same thing he heard. Later that evening, when Joe returns home from his bowling game, Mary tells him that she heard the voice of God on the radio and that it said that God was planning to perform miracles. As the government begins an investigation into the mysterious radio voice, which is now being heard all over the world, the talk of the town is the voice of God. The next time that God addresses the world, a fiery thunderstorm suddenly advances upon the city, sending Mary and Johnny into Joe's arms for comfort. Joe tries to calm them by insisting that the storm was a coincidence, but Mary is not convinced. As all scientific attempts to explain the voice fail, people all over the world begin to conclude that the voice really is God. Joe eventually decides that the voice is real, too, and that he has been given a sign from God to respect his boss, Fred Brannan, and to be kinder to Mary's sister, Ethel. On the fourth consecutive day of God's radio broadcasts, the world is instructed to perform miracles of kindness and peace. The following day, while drinking in a bar with his friend Mitch, an intoxicated Joe has a epiphany and realizes that the time he spends with Mitch in bars is wrong. Before staggering out of the bar, Joe tells Mitch that he is the "voice of evil." When Joe returns home, Johnny sees his father drunk for the first time and is ashamed. Joe quickly reforms his ways and, the following day, apologizes to Ethel for his past behavior. Johnny, however, becomes disillusioned and runs away from home. Joe finds his son at Fred's house, and their frank discussion leads to a reconciliation. The next day, the Smiths attends a special church service to hear the voice of God speak on the radio, but on that day, the seventh day, no voice is heard. Their minister concludes that God must be resting, and with that pronouncement, Mary goes into labor. Hours later, Mary gives birth to a baby girl, and Joe and Johnny are overjoyed. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.