Hitchhike Into Darkness: Tomorrow is Another Day

Publicity still from TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951) with Ruth Roman & Steve Cochran

Publicity still from TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951) with Ruth Roman & Steve Cochran

Released in 1951 by Warner Bros. and often considered a film noir by some film buffs and critics, the little known TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY is a hard-to-peg but exceptional B-movie that proves to be something of a shape shifter in the genre department. The title is bland but also deceptive in the sense that it calls to mind a completely different and inappropriate reference – Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. The movie is also not true noir because, by general consensus and tradition, a noir can’t have a happy ending yet the two main characters – a bitter ex-con and a gold digging taxi dancer – are archetypes from a noir universe who try to flee their circumstances and still find redemption in the end. Along the way, the film (which airs on TCM on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11 pm ET) effortlessly morphs from one cinematic convention to another, starting with a social reform drama (shades of Heroes for Sale or I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang) in the gritty Warner Bros. tradition before detouring into noir. Then the tone quickly changes as the movie moves from the city to the rural backroads, becoming first a road trip/pursuit thriller of the paranoid kind, then a romance of thwarted lovers and finally an ethnographic slice of Americana that introduces a migrant worker subculture and the socio-economic hardships that come with it a la The Grapes of Wrath.        Continue reading