Next Time We Love makes its arrival on Blu-ray for the first time by way of Kino Lorber Studio Classics with a brand new 2K master.
The film marks the first of four collaborations between Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart. Their next three team-ups were in The Shopworn Angel, The Shop Around The Cornerand The Mortal Storm. Sullavan only appeared in 16 films throughout her career with her final film role coming in 1950. She stepped away from the screen in order to focus on both her children and the stage.
Christopher Tyler (James Stewart) and Cicely Hunt Tyler (Margaret Sullavan) are newlyweds. It’s early in their marriage when Christopher, a news reporter, takes a post in Rome. Unfortunately for him, Cicely decides to stay behind in New York. Before you know it, they grow estranged from each other. Anyway, she informs longtime secret admirer Tommy Abbott (Ray Milland) that she’s pregnant. Tommy, a friend of Chris, had helped Cicely with getting a job an actress as Chris is heading overseas for work. After her pregnancy, Chris comes back home but later gets an offer to work in Russia. As the years go on, Tommy offers her a choice: divorce her husband and marry him. Cecily visits Chris but their two lives are on a different path from each other. In fact, it’s really heartbreaking.
This is one of those films that showed what it meant to be working under contract at a studio. The contract with Universal basically meant that Sullavan had to do the film no matter what reservations she had. It wouldn’t be the last time that this happened during her career.
Francis Lederer was original cast for the film but scheduling conflicts forced him to pull out. Meanwhile, Sullavan knew James Stewart because he first husband Henry Fonda’s best friend. It’s because of their friendship that Sullvan recommended Stewart for the leading role. The rest, as they say is history. If not for this film, who knows what James Stewart’s career would have liked like! Prior to this film, Stewart’s only film appearances were minor roles in B-movies. After this film, he truly started down the path of becoming a screen legend. You can see the sparks of his future film career in this film, thanks to Sullavan’s coaching during production. It helps that both Sullavan and Stewart knew each other.
The 1930s were a different time in filmmaking. This film continued filming into the end of December 1935 with the theatrical release during the following month. Most filmmakers would never be able to get a film out that quickly, even the best of them.
Next Time We Love is fine, if only to see James Stewart before it becomes James Stewart.
- NEW Audio Commentary by Author/Film Historian Lee Gambin and Costume Historian Elissa Rose
DIRECTOR: Edward H. Griffith
SCREENWRITER: Melville Baker
Cast: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Ray Milland, Grant Mitchell, Robert McWade, Anna Demetrio, Ronnie Cosby
Universal released Next Time We Love in theaters on January 30, 1936. Grade: 3/5
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