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Movie Mom

Between Two Worlds

posted by Nell Minow

Between Two Worlds, released in 1944, is the story of a mysterious voyage from London to America. As they sail, each of them guesses or is told that they are dead and on their way to where they will be judged and sent to either heaven or hell. We learn each of their stories and we see how they respond to the news and to the opportunity to think about their lives, their choices, their regrets, and their future. The passengers include a cocky American journalist always seeking an edge (John Garfield), a wealthy snob (Isobel Elsom) and her quiet husband (Gilbert Emery), a gold-digging actress (Faye Emerson), a thuggish businessman who thinks he can buy his way out of anything, a minister, and a humble woman who has devoted her life to caring for others and dreams of a quiet cottage with a garden (the luminous Sara Allgood). When the examiner (Sydney Greenstreet) arrives to talk with them about how they will be treated in the afterlife, there are a number of confrontations, realizations, surprises, and lessons learned.

This is a neglected gem with quiet power, well worth watching and discussing.

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