Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)

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In 1918, Elizabeth MacDonald learns that her husband, John Andrew, has been killed in the war. Elizabeth bears John's son and eventually marries her kindly boss. Unknown to her, John has survived but is horribly disfigured and remains in Europe. Years later, on the eve of World War II, Elizabeth refuses to agree to her son's request to enlist and is stunned when an eerily familiar stranger named Kessler arrives from abroad and becomes involved.

"Tomorrow Is Forever" is a Hollywood melodrama film launched in 1946. It was directed by Irving Pichel and produced by David Lewis. It includes stars like Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles, George Brent, and Natalie Wood, making her film debut. The story pivines around a World War I veteran, presumed dead, who carries his identity's secret into World War II after being severely damaged and forced to undergo cosmetic surgery.

Embed in 1918, the story revolves around Elizabeth MacDonald (Claudette Colbert), who bids goodbye to her hubby, John MacDonald (Orson Welles), as he avoids to eliminate in World War I. Tragedy strikes when a telegram arrives stating that John has actually been eliminated in action. Devastated, Elisabeth finds solace in the arms of Lawrence Hamilton (George Brent) when she discovers that she's pregnant with John's kid. She and Lawrence get married, and they raise the child, Drew (Richard Long), as their own.

Years go by, and the plot shifts to the edge of World War II. A strange Austrian chemist, Erik Kessler (also played by Orson Welles), seeks work in Lawrence's chemical company - it's suggested this is John MacDonald after facial reconstruction surgical treatment and a couple of decades residing in Austria. Elizabeth, nevertheless, does not acknowledge him due to his extreme disfigurement. Erik, familiar with Elizabeth's marital relationship, chooses not to expose his identity.

Moving on
As time passes, Erik becomes familiarized with Drew, who confides in Erik about his wish to sign up with the army rather than follow his stepfather's steps into the chemical industry. However, Lawrence, influenced by the loss of Drew's 'biological' dad in the previous War, highly disapproves of Drew's desires. Erik ultimately composes a letter to Elizabeth to reveal his true identity to her. He does this primarily because he supports Drew's choice to sign up with the war and feels that Elizabeth needs to know the fact.

Climax and Conclusion
In a twist, Elizabeth does not receive Erik's letter. Rather, Lawrence discovers the letter, reads it, and is devastated for Elizabeth, choosing to keep the trick. Nevertheless, when he faces Erik, a shaken Erik rejects the composed claims and preserves that he is merely an Austrian chemist, not John MacDonald.

Sadly, Erik dies from an onslaught of his war injuries before Elizabeth can get any clearness. Nevertheless, she recognizes that Erik was certainly John when she recognizes a particular gesture that Erik does, stirring her memories. Nevertheless, the film ends on an uncertain note as Drew, unaware of Erik's real identity, leaves to battle in World War II, similar to his genuine father.

Overall Reception
"Tomorrow Is Forever" is a perfectly crafted drama, delivering a touching story of love, loss, sacrifice, and renewal in a brand-new identity. It both captivates and touches audiences with its intense performances, especially those from Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles. In spite of its narrative panning throughout two World Wars, the movie handles to keep an individual and intimate tale of a family captured in the times of misery, making it a cinematic classic of the 1940s.

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