And Now Tomorrow

And Now Tomorrow is a 1944 American drama 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.

And Now Tomorrow
Directed byIrving Pichel
Produced byFred Kohlmar
Written byFrank Partos
Raymond Chandler
Based onAnd Now Tomorrow
by Rachel Field
StarringAlan Ladd
Loretta Young
Susan Hayward
Barry Sullivan
Music byVictor Young
CinematographyDaniel L. Fapp
Edited byW. Duncan Mansfield
Paramount Pictures
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 22, 1944 (1944-11-22)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office891,418 admissions (France, 1946)[1]


Emily Blair (Loretta Young), born into a very wealthy family in Blairtown, becomes deaf after contracting meningitis. She has left home, trying in vain to find a cure for her deafness, but is now returning to Blairtown. Before leaving, she was engaged to Jeff Stoddard (Barry Sullivan), but put the wedding on hold because of her illness and the following hearing disability.

On her return home, 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 help Dr. Weeks (Cecil Kellaway), Blairtown's only physician, in trying to cure Emily's deafness. Merek has a record of curing deaf patients in the past. When Merek learns the reason for his being summoned 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 exhausted 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 of 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 altogether and Merek goes back to Pittsburgh.

Since Jeff still hasn't told Emily about his love for 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 it 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, she discovers that she has gotten her hearing back. She overhears Jeff telling Janice that he loves her, but she also 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. Field died on 15 March 1942, when the story was being serialised in a magazine; it was published in May.[3] The book became a best seller.[4][5]

Paramount bought the film rights for $75,000, outbidding Warner Bros and David O. Selznick. They originally announced George Stevens would direct.[6] Susan Hayward was announced early on to play one of the two sisters.[7] Loretta Young and Joel McCrea were then named to play the other leads.[8] Talbot Jennings was reported as working on the script.[9] Irving Pichel was assigned to direct. For a time Veronica Lake was mentioned as Young's co-star[10] but Hayward ended up playing the role.

In September McCrea dropped out to do war work and was replaced by Franchot Tone.[11] Jane Murfin was then working on the script.

The film was meant to start production in November. Then Alan Ladd was invalided out of the army and became available for the role; Tone was dropped and replaced by Ladd.[12] Hedda Hopper reported in her regular column around this time that "when Loretta Young and Alan Ladd played in China together, he swore he'd never make another picture with her. That's all forgotten now."[13]

Raymond Chandler signed a long term contract with Paramount in late 1943 and he was put to work on the script.[14]

Filming took place in December 1943 through to January 1944.

Loretta Young later said she "never made any contact" with Ladd as an actor:

He wouldn't look at me. He'd say, "I love you..." he'd be looking out there some place. Finally, I said,"Alan, I'm he-ere!!"... I think he was very conscious of his looks. Alan would not look beyond a certain point in the camera because he didn't think he looked good... Jimmy Cagney was not tall but somehow Jimmy was at terms with himself, always. I don't think Alan Ladd ever came to terms with himself.[15]


The Los Angeles Times said the film had "taken a provocative idea and treated it conventionally."[16]

The film was a hit at the box office.[17]


Ladd and Young reprised their roles in an adaptation of the film for Lux Radio Theatre in 1945. It was introduced by Preston Sturges.

See also


  1. French box office for 1946 at Box Office Story
  2. TCM entry for film
  3. RACHEL FIELD, 47, NOVELIST, IS DEAD: 'All This and Heaven, Too' Was Based on Life of Great-Aunt -- Stricken in Los Angeles WROTE CHILDREN'S BOOKS She Won Medal for Juvenile Volumes, 'Time Out of Mind' Among Works. The New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Mar. 1942: 15
  4. BOOKS: 43 Books Top 100,000 Mark in 1942 Sales Butcher, Fanny. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 30 Dec 1942: 14.
  5. The Best Sellers Of the Week New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 14 Sep 1942: 13.
  6. 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. The New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y.] 08 May 1942: 27.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. SCREEN AND STAGE: 'Mr. Jordan' to Return Sans Bob Montgomery Claudia Drake Cast as 'Great Love' of Goebbels in Forthcoming Movie. Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 08 Sep. 1943: A10.
  11. 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. The New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y.] 25 Sep. 1943: 10.
  12. 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.
  13. SCREEN AND STAGE: Hedda Hopper LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD, Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 16 Dec. 1943: 12.
  14. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Lowell Gilmore Is Named for Role in 'Dorian Gray' -- Fox 'Happy Land' Opens Today Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. The New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 08 Dec. 1943: 33.
  15. Funk p. 236
  16. "Deaf Heroine Motivates Paramount Screen Play". Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Los Angeles, Calif. 21 Nov. 1944: 11.
  17. Funk, Edward. Behind the Door: The Real Story of Loretta Young, Bear Manor Media, 2015 p. 233
  • Funk, Edward (2015). Eavesdropping: Loretta Young Talks about her Movie Years. Bear Manor Media.
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