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It Happened Tomorrow

Entry updated 26 April 2021. Tagged: Film.

Film (1944). United Artists. Produced by Arnold Pressburger. Directed by René Clair. Writers include René Clair, Lord Dunsany, Helene Fraenkel and Dudley Nichols. Cast includes Linda Darnell, Edgar Kennedy, Jack Oakie and Dick Powell. 85 minutes. Black and white.

Romantic comedy about a newspaper reporter (Powell) who idly wishes out loud to know about newsworthy events ahead of time (see Precognition; Timeslip). His wish is granted in the form of the next day's newspapers, mysteriously given to him over the course of three days by the apparition of an elderly former co-worker. He decides to apply this revelation of the immediate future for personal gain, first using his knowledge of an impending bank robbery to beat other reporters to the punch rather than to try to prevent it from happening. The next day he tries to make a fortune in horse racing. Both times his efforts backfire. On the third day he reads of his own death on the front page, sending him on a frantic mission to try to prevent it. At heart a morality tale, It Happened Tomorrow was based loosely on a one-act play by Lord Dunsany play, The Jest of Hahalaba (January 1927 Atlantic Monthly; 1928 chap). The same basic idea was given a more serious treatment in the Television series Early Edition (1996-2000). The film was nominated for an Academy Award and a Retro Hugo Award. [LW]


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