From This Day Forward (1946)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Release Date - Mar 27, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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From This Day Forward technically belongs to the "bring the boys home" films that followed the end of World War II, the best known of which is The Best Years of Our Lives. Forward is not in the film's class; it's also part of the genre almost by accident, for little of Forward actually takes place post-war. Instead, most of it is taken up with flashbacks detailing the trials of its young married couple before the war intervened. As a result, it feels like a marital issue film to which the post-war problem has been tacked on to give it a then-contemporary feel and context. Indeed, the screenplay in general has a haphazard, clumsily constructed feel to it, which weakens the film's overall effectiveness. That said, there are a number of affecting scenes and the film's hesitant, nervous take on marriage is refreshing; the final sequence, with the camera pulling back to reveal the couple dwarfed by the bridge they stand on makes for an ambiguous, rather chilling close. John Berry's direction is uneven, but quite good when it hits the mark. The supporting cast is quite good, but the leads are a bit problematic. {$Mark Stevens is a bit weak, and Joan Fontaine simply isn't believable as a Bronx housewife, but both try very hard and each has some fine moments.