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"Tomorrow's Children," Film Review
How this picture will stack up as general entertainment in view of the subject treated is difficult to estimate. Basically, it's a topical study in eugenics, a matter currently being widely discussed. It is a frank presentation, from both a pro and anti standpoint, of human sterilization and its possibilities of improving or harming the human race.
Naturally it's dramatic. In that phase it has values of convincing presentation. It gives both proponents and opponents an opportunity to claim the picture as a conclusive argument of their respective positions. Yet as the picture is more controversial than straightaway formula entertainment, its successful presentation is a matter entirely in the hands of those who book it.
Here's the setup: Living in one of the 27 states where sterilization laws are on the statute books, the Mason family is a group of physical and mental misfits. Only the daughter Alice is normally healthy. As her love for Jeff and their marriage plans create dramatic and romantic interest, welfare workers, after first obtaining the parents' consent for sterilization, obtain a court order to operate on Alice. Suspense is built as Dr. Brooks, taking an interest in the girl and being an opponent of sterilization, seeks to convince the hospital heads that the girl should not be touched. In the meantime, Father O'Brien is trying to prevail upon Mrs. Mason to sign an order preventing the operation. Tension is maintained as two misfits, a criminal and a lunatic, are sterilized. In the climax, Mrs. Mason confesses that Alice is not her own daughter. With this information, Father O'Brien and Dr. Brooks obtain a court injunction and arrive at the hospital just in the nick of time to save Alice for Jeff and the babies they hope to have.
In dialogue, the subject is handled from an anti-sterilization viewpoint, and very much in accordance with the tenets of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the action serves to demonstrate the scientific benefits of sterilization, with no regard for moral law or personal wishes.
Thus the picture resolves itself into a controversial educational, rather than ordinary screen entertainment. The showmanship is apparent, presenting it as a dramatic exposition of sterilization, creating public pro and anti discussion; using hypothetical or actual cases as vivid illustrations -- such as "should a Dillinger be permitted to produce his own kind?" as startlers. -- McCARTHY, Hollywood.
Produced by Bryan Foy. Original story by Wallace Thurman. Screen play by Wallace Thurman and Crane Wilbur. Directed by Crane Wilbur. Running time. 70 minutes as seen on Coast. Release to be announced.