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It Happened Tomorrow

It Happened Tomorrow title card

Year - 1945
Studio - United Artists
Stars - Dick Powell, Linda Darnell, Jack Oakie, Edgar Kennedy, Edward S. Brophy
Director - René Clair
Writing Credits - René Clair, Helene Fraenkel, Dudley Nichols, Howard Snyder, Hugh Wedlock, Jr. (screenplay), Lord Dunsany (short story)
Music - Robert Stolz

Synopsis

Larry Stevens (Dick Powell) is a turn-of-the-century reporter for the local newspaper. When an old timer, Pop Benson (John Philliber) makes a suggestion that it might be possible to know tomorrow's news in advance, Larry scoffs. Pop shows up later and gives Larry a newspaper that he soon discovers is actually for the next day's news.

The headline story reports on a daring hold-up attempt at the town opera house, and Larry realizes he has an opportunity to make a name for himself with this scoop. He meets a lovely girl, Sylvia Smith (Linda Darnell), who performs with her uncle, Gigolini (Jack Oakie), as a psychic at a local nightclub, and invites her to attend the concert at the opera house. There, the robbery attempt and subsequent battle with the police occurs, and Larry rushes to the newspaper office with his pre-written story. He's a hero with his boss, but the police arrive and arrest Larry as an accomplice. Sylvia tries to cover for him, explaining that she, as a fortune teller, had foretold the event and told about it to Larry.

It Happened Tomorrow poster

The police inspector (Edgar Kennedy) attends her performance that night, to see her talents for himself. To convince him that she is genuine, she predicts that a woman will commit suicide by jumping into the river the following day, planning to stage that little event herself.

Pop appears to Larry again, and provides him with the next day's paper, with a story about the drowning and a man's attempt to save her. He arrives at the river where a concerned crowd has gathered, jumps in and finds Sylvia hiding below, carrying out her ruse.

Larry proposes to Sylvia and explains to her uncle that he will be a wealthy provider. The latest paper from Pop has the winners of the following day's horse races. But, to his horror, it also headlines that Larry will be shot and killed in the lobby of the St. George Hotel at 6:25pm.

The next day, after their wedding, Larry and Sylvia with Gigolini win $60,000 at the track but, returning home, Larry's wallet is stolen by a thief, who they chase back into town.

Larry attempts to avoid any possibility of being at the St. George Hotel that night, but when he and Gigolini spot the thief on the streets, they chase him up the stairs of a building. Larry and the thief struggle and fall down a chimney, into the lobby of the hotel. The battle continues as the police arrive, and they shoot the thief, while Larry lies stunned. Searching his pockets for identification, they find Larry's wallet and ID, and assume the dead man is him. Before the truth is discovered, the story is printed in the evening edition, but Larry and Sylvia happily resume their marriage.

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René Clair might be considered the "patron saint" of Film Blanc, having directed, in addition to this, I Married a Witch, Beauties of the Night, and The Ghost Goes West.