on 7 January 2010
Having got 'Beyond Christmas' in my Yule stocking I have just watched it. I have never seen it before and was totally won over by it. Despite being digitally remastered it kind of shows it's age, it's a bit creaky in some places and the background music occasionally overpowers the dialogue. But these are minor quibbles as the story is utterly charming. It's not the kind of film that would be made these days and we're all the poorer for it.
on 29 December 2010
"Beyond Christmas" is the title to this remastered and digitally coloured version of the 1940 film "Beyond Tomorrow". The Copyright to Beyond Tomorrow has lapsed so you can pick up home-brew copies on ebay and even view the whole movie on U-tube. So why bother buying this version? Well this is one black and white picture which does benefit greatly from being digitally coloured (and they've done a great job of it), also the picture has been stabilised, doing away with the judder and flicker of the versions distributed as public-domain. Other reviewers have given an outline of the story: I'll just say I found it very watchable, an ideal Christmas stocking-filler for anyone with a sentimental streak. I think students of cinema will also enjoy it - if only for some remarkable similarities to Powell and Pressburgers "A Matter of Life and Death" - The briefly glimpsed Stairway to Heaven as the credits roll at the end and the subject matter of a soul being called away from unfinished business on earth.
20th Century Fox present "BEYOND CHRISTMAS" (Released 10 May 1940) (79 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- Beyond Tomorrow is a 1940 fantasy film directed by A. Edward Sutherland. In it, a trio of ghosts try to help two young lovers whom they knew when alive --- In 2004, an alternate color version of the black and white film was produced by Legend Films and released by 20th Century Fox, under the title Beyond Christmas.
Under A. Edward Sutherland (Director), Mildred Cram (Screenwriter), Adele Comandini (Screenwriter), Adele Comandini (Associate Producer),
Lee Garmes (Producer), Frank Tours (Original Score), Lester White (Cinematographer), Otto Ludwig (Editor) - - - - - our story line and plot, Three elderly business partners and friends are disappointed to learn that their expected Christmas Eve guests have cancelled --- In the hopes of sharing their repast with some deserving strangers, they throw three wallets, each containing $10 and a business card, onto the sidewalk and wait for them to be returned --- These being the streets of New York in 1940 rather than today, their hopes are fulfilled --- An attractive young woman and man each return one and are duly invited in for dinner, where a romance develops between Jimmie (Richard Carlson) and Jean (Jean Parker) --- The lonely old men (Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger) act as guardian angels to the couple, even before a plane crash takes their lives and they return to earth as ghosts to watch over them --- Jimmie's newfound success as a singer under the tutelage of the wanton (read: divorced) Arlene Terry (Helen Vinson) threatens his engagement to Jean, while the three ghosts try to keep the couple together --- They are involved in their own drama as each is called away to The Great Beyond--one to a bleak downward place because of some transgression in his past, the other to meet his son in paradise, and another who is doomed to "wander the shadows of the earth" because he gives up his chance at the Pearly Gates in order to lead Jimmie down the right path again --- the film succeeds in striking a nice balance of heartwarming sentiment..
the cast includes:
Harry Carey ... George Melton
C. Aubrey Smith ... Allan 'Chad' Chadwick
Charles Winninger ... Michael O'Brien
Alex Melesh ... Josef - the butler
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Madame Tanya
Helen Vinson ... Arlene Terry
Rod La Rocque ... Phil Hubert
Richard Carlson ... James Houston
Jean Parker ... Jean Lawrence
J. Anthony Hughes ... Police Officer Johnson
Robert Homans ... Police Sergeant
Virginia McMullen ... Radio Station Secretary
James Bush ... Jace Taylor
William Bakewell ... David Chadwick
1. Harry Carey
Date of Birth: 16 January 1878 - The Bronx, New York
Date of Death: 21 September 1947 - Brentwood, California
2. Charles Winninger
Date of Birth: 26 May 1884 - Athens, Wisconsin
Date of Death: 27 January 1969 - Palm Springs, California
3. C. Aubrey Smith
Date of Birth: 21 July 1863 - London, England, UK
Date of Death: 20 December 1948 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California
4. Maria Ouspenskaya
Date of Birth: 29 July 1876 - Tula, Russia
Date of Death: 3 December 1949 - Los Angeles, California
5. Richard Carlson
Date of Birth: 29 April 1912 - Albert Lea, Minnesota
Date of Death: 24 November 1977 - Encino, California
6. Jean Parker (aka: Lois Mae Green)
Date of Birth: 11 August 1915 - Deer Lodge, Montana
Date of Death: 30 November 2005 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
Legend Films can restore, colorize and release many of the classic earliest black and white films --- a patented coloring and remastering process makes each film picture perfect plus more vivd than ever --- no one can resist collecting every title that Legend Films releases.
Hats off and thanks to Barry B. Sandrew Ph.D. (Founder, COO & CTO) and his Legend Films Staff --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage era of the '20s, '30s & '40s --- order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Legend Films where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.
Total Time: 79 mins on DVD ~ 20th Century Fox. ~ (10/12/2004)