When Tomorrow Comes (1939)

90 mins | Drama | 11 August 1939

Director:

John M. Stahl

Cinematographer:

John Mescall

Editor:

Milton Carruth

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Co.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this picture were A Modern Cinderella and Give Us the Night , and it was based on the unpublished James M. Cain story "A Modern Cinderella." According to the Call Bureau Cast Service, Charles Boyer's character was originally named Charles and Madame Durand's Mrs. Dumont. News items in HR note that at least twenty-one writers worked on the script. Among them were Aben Kandel, Charles Kaufman and John F. Larkin . The script was incomplete when production began. The film won an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. In 1957, Douglas Sirk directed June Allyson and Rossano Brazzi in Interlude , another Universal version of the James M. Cain story, and in 1968, Kevin Billington directed Oskar Werner and Barbara Ferris in Interlude , a British version of the ... More Less

The working titles of this picture were A Modern Cinderella and Give Us the Night , and it was based on the unpublished James M. Cain story "A Modern Cinderella." According to the Call Bureau Cast Service, Charles Boyer's character was originally named Charles and Madame Durand's Mrs. Dumont. News items in HR note that at least twenty-one writers worked on the script. Among them were Aben Kandel, Charles Kaufman and John F. Larkin . The script was incomplete when production began. The film won an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. In 1957, Douglas Sirk directed June Allyson and Rossano Brazzi in Interlude , another Universal version of the James M. Cain story, and in 1968, Kevin Billington directed Oskar Werner and Barbara Ferris in Interlude , a British version of the story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Aug 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Aug 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Aug 39
p. 1, 8
Motion Picture Herald
12 Aug 39
p. 39.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Aug 39
p. 50.
New York Times
17 Aug 39
p. 16.
Variety
16 Aug 39
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Claire Du Brey
Hally Chester
James Morton
Ed Peil Sr.
Alden Chase
Ed Stanley
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A John M. Stahl Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
Irene Dunne's gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Press rep
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Give Us the Night
A Modern Cinderella
Release Date:
11 August 1939
Production Date:
4 May--18 July 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
16 August 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9044
Physical Properties:
Sound
Noiseless Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5593
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Philip Andre Chagal, a famous French concert pianist, is completing an American tour when he stops at a downtown cafe for lunch. His arrival creates a mild sensation at the restaurant because the waitresses, who are about to hold a secret union meeting, believe him to be a company spy. One of them, Helen, tries to trap Philip into admitting he is a spy and, impressed by her charm, he decides to attend the meeting. At the meeting, Helen delivers a fiery speech and Philip is enchanted by her dynamism. Also impressed is Holden, a union leader who is in love with Helen. After the meeting, Philip and Helen take a walk together, and Philip tells Helen that he has not worked for weeks, leading her to conclude that he is unemployed. Philip asks her to spend the following day with him, and learning that he has only seventy-two hours before he has to leave for France, Helen consents. On a borrowed sailboat, they cruise Long Island Sound until a sudden squall sends them to the shelter of a small wharf and Philip's country home. There, Helen finally learns her companion is a great concert pianist. As the strength of the storm increases, so does Philip's ardor, and Helen asks him to take her home. On the drive back, they are caught in a savage hurricane that forces them to take shelter in a church. Believing that they will not live through the night, Helen confesses her love for Philip who tries to tell her something, but she refuses to listen. In the morning, they are rescued and taken to a ... +


Philip Andre Chagal, a famous French concert pianist, is completing an American tour when he stops at a downtown cafe for lunch. His arrival creates a mild sensation at the restaurant because the waitresses, who are about to hold a secret union meeting, believe him to be a company spy. One of them, Helen, tries to trap Philip into admitting he is a spy and, impressed by her charm, he decides to attend the meeting. At the meeting, Helen delivers a fiery speech and Philip is enchanted by her dynamism. Also impressed is Holden, a union leader who is in love with Helen. After the meeting, Philip and Helen take a walk together, and Philip tells Helen that he has not worked for weeks, leading her to conclude that he is unemployed. Philip asks her to spend the following day with him, and learning that he has only seventy-two hours before he has to leave for France, Helen consents. On a borrowed sailboat, they cruise Long Island Sound until a sudden squall sends them to the shelter of a small wharf and Philip's country home. There, Helen finally learns her companion is a great concert pianist. As the strength of the storm increases, so does Philip's ardor, and Helen asks him to take her home. On the drive back, they are caught in a savage hurricane that forces them to take shelter in a church. Believing that they will not live through the night, Helen confesses her love for Philip who tries to tell her something, but she refuses to listen. In the morning, they are rescued and taken to a camp where Helen learns that Philip is married, and that his wife is waiting for him at the camp. Trying to run away, Helen boards the nearest bus and is trapped in traffic and offered a ride by Philip, who is driving with his wife Madeleine and his mother-in-law. In the car, Helen discovers that Madeleine has become deranged because of the loss of a child several years earlier. Sensing Philip's love for Helen, Madeleine goes to her and declares that she will never let Philip go. Playing on Helen's sympathy, Madeleine wins her promise never to see Phillip again. The night that Philip is to sail for France, he asks Helen to join him, and with a broken heart, she refuses, bidding him a tearful farewell. +

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.