(1933)2.5Hans J. WollsteinThe combination of William Faulkner, Howard Hawks, Joan Crawford, and Gary Cooper should have been a tantalizing prospect. Unfortunately, Today We Live, the result of all this talent, is a deadly dull, overly talky, and badly miscast World War I romance set in an England apparently entirely populated by Yankees. Miss Crawford, complete with a bizarre 1933 Adrian wardrobe, at least says "I cahn't" a couple of times, but Robert Young, as her fiancé, doesn't even attempt a British accent. Gary Cooper, whom MGM borrowed from Paramount, plays his old American self but doesn't sound any different than Mr. Young. Oddly enough, director Hawks reportedly filmed a prologue with child actors playing Crawford, Young, and Franchot Tone as youngsters, then scrapped the footage when the children appeared too American! Along with Cooper, the studio also borrowed (or purchased) quite a bit of footage from Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels (1930), aerial combat sequences that momentarily break the monotony of William Faulkner's verbose dialogue. Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone, who married two years later, reportedly met on this film.
A love triangle forms the basis of this drama set during WWI. The screenplay was written by the story's original author William Faulkner. It centers on a pleasure-seeking British girl who is romantically involved with her brother's naval buddy. She then sees and falls for an American pilot. He leaves to fly a combat mission over France and is later listed as dead, causing her to return to the sailor. Fortunately, the flyer didn't actually die and eventually the two are joyfully reunited.