Beyond Tomorrow (1940)

by Jacques Nel

Beyond Tomorrow is a classic film from 1940, directed by A. Edward Sutherland.

Three good old men are awaiting distinguished guests for a Christmas dinner, when at the last moment their guests cancel.

Determined not to be alone and let their food go to waste, they throw wallets out the window among the buzz of people outside. Their thinking is that when people return the "lost" wallets to them, since they have their cards with their addresses inside, they will ask those people to stay for dinner.

The first wallet is picked up by a celebrity woman who has "no soul", and she, although she sees the address inside, just gives the money to her cab driver as payment and throws the wallet away.

The second wallet is picked up by a young man from Texas. He returns it to the old men who invite him to stay for the evening.

While he is there, the last wallet is also returned by a young lady. The young man and her experience a moment of love at first sight.

They all have a good time together, and become the best of friends. The young man from Texas whose name is James, also sings for them.

But later on, things go bad. The three old good men die in a plane crash when going on a business trip, and through the same celebrity who has "no soul" that had picked up the first wallet but didn't return it, who is known as Arlene Terry, James lands himself a singing career which takes him away from the young woman Jean he had met that night he had dinner with the three old men and whom had become his fiance.

To top it off, Arlene Terry's ex-husband is devastated as Arlene would not help him get back on his feet in his career. He is a devastated man, and decides to kill Arlene and her new boyfriend James.

And, the ghosts of the three men who have seen trouble coming for James and Jean, are called away to their final resting places before the matter is resolved! Is all lost now?

The cast of the film includes Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Alex Melesh, Maria Ouspenskaya, Helen Vinson, Rod La Rocque, Richard Carlson and Jean Parker.

I would definitely recommend that if you like old black and white films, you see this film at least once. It starts out with a wonderful feel of good, grateful characters, then hits you with a slightly weird finality of death, and ends with a mix of satisfaction and sadness.

In 2004, a colorized version of the black and white film was produced by Legend Films and released by 20th Century Fox under the title "Beyond Christmas".