Runner-Up Of Vet Homecomings
Till The End Of Time (1946) Is Best Years At Half The Sit
A drama about returning vets, Till The End Of Time is less heavy than the safe that fell on it a few months later, The Best Years of Our Lives, a proud industry's Anointed One re serviceman readjust. Let's just say that if you've two hours of patience for this topic rather than three, then End Of ... may be wiser invest. It tries less hard to be The statement on discharge to civilian woes and settles instead for less intense tour 'round
|Script Study Between Scenes for Dorothy McGuire and Guy Madison|
Till The End Of Time is mentioned less, but did precede Goldwyn's brontosaurus. It was sold, not with emphasis on postwar issues, but love between beautiful people that were Dorothy McGuire (she of "kissable lips," according to publicity) and Guy Madison, who was photographed as much with shirt off as on. These were focal point of all ads, star creation a priority as dictated by David Selznick, who was silent partnered with RKO and sold them package that was Till The End Of Time, complete with stars, producing Dore Schary, and script-from-novel by Niven Busch. Selznick was by mid-forties given less to mounting own projects than developing ones to a point, then handing ready-to-go to RKO, a company happy for meals they'd only have to microwave on soundstages. The split was good for all on a number of DOS/RKO ventures, % to each, and Schary wetting his beak as well. Some of negatives would revert to Selznick later: The Spiral Staircase, The Farmer's Daughter; but Till The End Of Time stayed with RKO, sunk deep in their TV lots, viewed often as not through bleary eye of late, late scheduling. Now there's at last a DVD, from Warner Archive, which looks good as likely will short of remaster to HD, which I hope is soon to-do by Warners.
A notable turn of phrase in 1946 promotion: Here's a photoplay that's timely and crammed with human interest, a drama of returned service men trying to adjust themselves to the forgotten conditions of peace, and anew to the influence of civilized womankind. Thus was essential difference between Till The End Of Time and The Best Years Of Our Lives, the latter focused primarily on mature men transitioning out of uniform (Fredric March, Dana Andrews), Years' younger principal Harold Russell largely immobilized by handicap. Till The End Of Time is about boys who've been rushed to manhood by combat and taking of lives overseas. Can "civilized womankind" back home straighten kinks left from three-four years at violent pursuit? This had to have been fear at least known if not felt by families taking back membership much changed by war. A potent scene in Till The End Of Time has "Cliff Harper" (Guy Madison) eating waffles prepared by his mother, who wants him still to be the boy she remembers, but distressed now as he refers to "stinking" foxholes and engages too-ribald chat with visiting Bill Tabeshaw (Robert Mitchum).
You Can Never Go Home (intact) Again is reality of Till The End Of Time, even as the picture goes yards toward reassuring us that these boys-suddenly-men will be OK with time and support extended by loved ones. The Brotherhood Of Broken Men is nicely conveyed when Cliff and Pat Ruscomb (Dorothy McGuire) comfort an Army discharge who's got post-trauma shakes. He sits isolated among kids in a canteen and can't pick up a Coke glass. Vets could spot trouble like his a mile off and would "close in" to assist where needed, says the film, and we can hope that was true during troubled time when so many wounded warriors were given back to civilian life. Whatever truth of the moment, it's sincerely done. Quick-to-temper and violent impulse as hangover from war is acknowledged by Till The End Of Time, Cliff a hair trigger at times (he nearly slugs an on-job supervisor), but he'll be calmed by "civilized womankind" that is Pat. Real life and solutions, if any, would not have been so simple, Till The End Of Time being palliative as most popular of movies were when addressing concerns that too sharp a focus could turn to despair. The Best Years Of Our Lives had dealt a same uplift, both films' mission to make customers feel good, or at least hopeful, on ways out of watching.
Vets from the First War are shown as less complicated, Cliff's dad Tom Tully and neighbor pals sharing generation-ago laughs of
|Some Of Welcome Shooting On L.A. Locations|
Till The End Of Time cunningly set postwar problems to music. The theme tune was adapted from Chopin and lately sung by Perry Como. Kids found it dreamy. Imagine such a thing today. They also went for Guy Madison in a big way. He'd been in the Navy, met Selznick scouts on leave, and was tried in Since You Went Away as, what else?, a sailor on leave. Fan mail went skyward, his SYWA cameo calibrated to achieve just that, by which time DOS had Madison locked at $100 per week once out of uniform. He'd be awkward at times in Till The End Of Time, but photographed splendidly with Dorothy McGuire.