The Next Voice You Hear

( 1 )

Overview

The Next Voice You Hear was a pet project of MGM producer Dore Schary, who lavished more attention on this modestly budgeted drama than he did on some of his "bigger" projects. Though based on characters first introduced in the 1942 film Joe Smith, American, Next Voice was not a sequel to the earlier film. James Whitmore stars as blue-collar family man Joe Smith, while future first lady Nancy Davis appears as his pregnant wife and Gary Gray rounds out the family unit as their son. The Smiths, their relatives, ...
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Overview

The Next Voice You Hear was a pet project of MGM producer Dore Schary, who lavished more attention on this modestly budgeted drama than he did on some of his "bigger" projects. Though based on characters first introduced in the 1942 film Joe Smith, American, Next Voice was not a sequel to the earlier film. James Whitmore stars as blue-collar family man Joe Smith, while future first lady Nancy Davis appears as his pregnant wife and Gary Gray rounds out the family unit as their son. The Smiths, their relatives, their neighbors and the citizens of the World are shaken out of their complacency when the voice of God begins delivering messages over the radio. For six consecutive evenings, the voice speaks over the airwaves the movie audience never hears the voice, thanks to a series of clever evasionary tactics. At first frightened, the listeners gradually realize that God simply wants to convey the age-old message "Love thy Neighbor." With this realization comes several changes of attitude, some minor, others profound. The concept may sound portentous and pretentious, but the actors handle their responsibilities with subtlety and conviction. So, too, does director William A. Wellman, a curious choice indeed for this sort of film.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Love it or loathe it -- and these seem to be the only two options for many viewers -- The Next Voice You Hear is certainly one of the more unusual films to have been made in Hollywood during the 1950s. Those who love Voice are likely drawn to its warm sentimentality (but also appreciate the imperfections it gives characters to make them more real), its depiction of American life and, above all, its message. Those who loathe it find it unbearably preachy, dislike its oversimplification and find the manner of delivering its message terribly hokey. Those able to look at the film as a film, rather than as a means of delivering a message -- admittedly difficult to do in this case -- will probably find Voice a well acted, sensitively directed picture that paints an interesting if not altogether true portrait of "normal" Americans in a quite unusual situation. James Whitmore turns in a solid, affecting performance as the father, very believable as a good-hearted, simple worker but avoiding stereotypical characterizations, and Nancy Davis is also quite good as his agreeable wife. The earnestness of the story becomes tiresome in places, but William Wellman's direction helps to mitigate this somewhat. The score is rather good, while the cinematography competent but uninspired. is Voice is an unusual film in concept; as drama, it's fine, neither deserving the adoration or the contempt it evokes in some.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/1/2009
  • UPC: 883316225523
  • Original Release: 1950
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 36,380

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Whitmore Joe Smith, American
Nancy Reagan Mrs. Mary Smith
Gary Gray Johnny Smith
Lillian Bronson Aunt Ethel
Art Smith Mr. Brannan
Tom D'Andrea Hap Magee
Jeff Corey Freddie Dibson
George Chandler Traffic Cop
Chet Huntley Radio announcer
Douglas Kennedy
Lou Merrill Radio announcer
Technical Credits
William Wellman Director
John D. Dunning Editor
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
Eddie Imazu Art Director
William C. Mellor Cinematographer
David Raksin Score Composer
Dore Schary Producer
Charles Schnee Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

    highly recommended

    makes you stop and think about life

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews