18 July 2015 | Bunuel1976
SONG FOR TOMORROW (Terence Fisher, 1948) **
Coming from the same Rank stable as PENNY AND THE POWNALL CASE (also 1948), there is no doubt this time round that the title (a mere 59 minutes in length) under review was commissioned merely to showcase the vocal talents of Evelyn McCabe; for some odd reason, despite obviously being the leading lady, she does not even rate a credit on IMDb (which must be a first for a film's star)! This, however, could be explained by the fact that, in all probability, this was the singer's only vehicle and the movie itself had been out of circulation for the longest time (I only viewed it on "You Tube" myself, albeit via a copy that suffered from audio and video glitches around the half-way mark!). Incidentally, this not only marked Terence Fisher's inauspicious debut as director but, interestingly, he got to collaborate with Christopher Lee (suavely-moustached and affecting a French accent as a swanky restaurant owner in his one scene) right off the bat – however, while fifth-billed during the opening credits, the future Horror icon gets relegated to thirteenth (and last) for the full cast list at the picture's end!
The plot seems to be somewhat derived from (the hugely successful) THE SEVENTH VEIL (1945) which, likewise, had incorporated classical music, psychology and numerous suitors for the heroine – here, a middle-aged surgeon (Ralph Michael, also from PENNY AND THE POWNALL CASE) and an amnesiac pilot. In fact, the former – who had been after the singer for years, but she had always put her career first – brings the latter into her life since her voice (casually heard) proves the young man's only connection with his former self (he has even conveniently forgotten all about his devoted girlfriend, whom the doctor rather foolishly fails to inform his own intended about)! However, he apparently can still fiddle around with a piano and a church organ – I guess making him a musician was a not-too-subtle way of creating an opportunity for plugging Miss McCabe's repertoire every 15 minutes or so! As much as the musical interludes are an acquired taste, James Hayter's flustered German impresario – for whom the world seems to revolve solely around his discovery's upcoming performance in the "Samson And Delilah" opera – is at least as hard to take!