And Now Tomorrow

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And Now Tomorrow
And Now Tomorrow FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Irving Pichel
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Written by Frank Partos
Raymond Chandler
Based on And Now Tomorrow 
by Rachel Field
Starring Alan Ladd
Loretta Young
Susan Hayward
Barry Sullivan
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Edited by W. Duncan Mansfield
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 22, 1944 (1944-11-22)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office 891,418 admissions (France, 1946)[1]

And Now Tomorrow is a 1944 film based on the best-selling novel, published in 1942 by Rachel Field, directed by Irving Pichel and written by Raymond Chandler. Both center around one doctor's attempt for curing deafness. The film stars Alan Ladd, Loretta Young and Susan Hayward. Its tagline was Who are you that a man can't make love to you?. It is also known as Prisoners of Hope.


Emily Blair (Loretta Young), who stems from a very wealthy family, is deaf ever since she had meningitis several years ago. She has been away trying in vain to find a cure for her deafness, but is now returning to the town where she was born and raised, Blairtown. Before she went she was engaged to a man named Jeff Stoddard (Barry Sullivan), but put the wedding on hold because of her illness and the following hearing disability.

Upon her return to the hometown she shares a taxi with Dr. Merek Vance (Alan Ladd), who also grew up in Blairtown, but under less fortunate circumstances. He works as a physician in Pittsburgh. Merek's first impression of Emily is that she is a terrible snob, and he is surprised to learn that she can read lips.

Emily is unaware that her former fiancé Jeff and her younger sister Janice (Susan Hayward) have fallen in love with each other. Jeff is reluctant to tell Emily about his new relationship, feeling sorry for her.

Merek is unaware that he is summoned back to his hometown to aid Dr. Weeks (Cecil Kellaway), Blairtowns only physician, in trying to cure Emily's deafness. Merek has a record of curing deaf patients in the past. When Merek hears about the reason for him being there he is disappointed but agrees to help as a favor to Dr. Weeks.

At a dinner at the Blair residence that evening, Merek tells Emily what he really thinks of her, and it turns out his father used to work in one of the Blair factories but was fired right before Christmas one year. Merek still remembers how Emily stared at him at the company's Christmas gathering.

Emily is not keen on the idea of letting Merek use her as a "guinea pig", but since she has emptied out all her other alternatives she eventually agrees to let him try to cure her.

The treatment begins and Merek tries to cure Emily not only of her deafness but also of her snobbery. She gains the respect of some of the factory workers, the Gallos, when she helps the doctor treat their child, Tommy. Merek starts to change his view on Emily and tells her not to marry Jeff as she has planned.

Upon their return to the Blair residence, Merek accidentally sees Jeff and Janice together and understands that they are an item. He keeps the discovery to himself and doesn't reveal anything to Emily.

Some time later, Merek concludes that his treatment is not working, but he tells her that he has fallen in love with her, despite her snobbish manners. Emily doesn't believe he is sincere, and they stop the treatment all together and Merek goes back to Pittsburgh.

Since Jeff still hasn't told Emily about him and Janice, Emily starts planning for their wedding again. She hears of a new treatment that Merek has successfully tested on rabbits, and asks him to return and try if it works on her too. Reluctantly Merek agrees, but when Emily is given the serum she falls into a coma.

Devastated Merek goes back to Pittsburgh. When Emily eventually wakes up from her coma and discovers that she has gotten her hearing back. She overhears Jeff telling Janice that he loves her and understands that she herself is in love with Merek. Emily then goes to Pittsburgh to confess her love for Merek and they reconcile.[2]



The film was based on the last novel of Rachel Field. Paramount bought the film rights for $75,000 and originally announced George Stevens would direct.[3] Susan Hayward was announced early on to play one of the two sisters.[4] Loretta Young and Joel McCrea were then named to play the other leads.[5] After a few weeks McCrea was placed by Franchot Tone.[6] However then Alan Ladd was invalided out of the army and became available for the role and he was cast instead.[7] Ladd was co-starred with Loretta Young, despite the fact when the two made China together he swore he would never act with her again.[8]


  1. ^ French box office for 1946 at Box Office Story
  2. ^
  3. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Paramount Pays $75,000 for 'And Now Tomorrow,' Late Rachel Field's Last Novel IN THIS OUR LIFE' TO OPEN Film Based on Pulitzer Prize Novel at Strand -- Premiere for 'Kipps' on May 23 By Telephone to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 08 May 1942: 27.
  4. ^ DRAMA AND FILM: Susan Hayward Likely Lead in Field Drama Diana Lewis Chosen for 'Cry Havoc;' 'America's Children' Aimed Abroad Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 Apr 1943: 21.
  5. ^ DRAMA AND FILM: McCrea to Act Doctor Role in Field Story Laughton Will join Cast of 'Dragon Seed;' Lon McCallister Set for Film at 20th Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 10 Aug 1943: 11.
  6. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Lukas Is Named for 'Address Unknown' -- E.G. Robinson to Star in 'Once Off Guard' NEW LAUGHTON FILM DUE ' The Man From Down Under,' Topical Drama, Will Open at Globe Theatre Today Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 25 Sep 1943: 10.
  7. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Alan Ladd Will Have Lead Role in 'And Now Tomorrow' -- 'Sahara' Opens Today Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 Nov 1943: 28.
  8. ^ SCREEN AND STAGE: Hedda Hopper LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 16 Dec 1943: 12.

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