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On April 14, 1933, Today We Live, a star-studded adaptation of a William Faulkner story, “Turnabout,” hit theaters, featuring a cast of Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below.
When Today We Live is cut down to exhibition length it should prove very good entertainment. With Joan Crawford and Gary Cooper for the draw, it should sell about all the tickets there are to be sold in your zone.
The story by William Faulkner, with the screen play by Edith Fitzgerald and Dwight Taylor, is swell writing from beginning to end, but it is our opinion that the story was terribly overwritten for the screen, necessitating an over-shooting that cost Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer many thousands of dollars that should have been saved.
The released picture will contain very little of early sequences which proved entirely too boring for this spectator, and not until an air episode fairly lifts you out of your seat, do you realize you have finally gotten into what may prove a good picture.
It is a story of a girl (Joan Crawford) and three boys, (Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone and Robert Young) two of who are in love with her and the third is her brother. All of it is played with the world war as a background, with Cooper doing service in the air, Tone and Young in the water, and Crawford in the ambulance corps.
The picture brings to the screen some of the finest acting seen for some time. Joan Crawford, in addition to turning in a great performance, never looked so beautiful in her screen career. Gary Cooper edges further to the top with this picture under his belt.
You will hear a lot about this fellow Franchot Tone during the coming months; he has everything that is required for a big featured spot. Robert Young topped all his previous efforts. Roscoe Karns walked away with every scene he was in, and Louise Closser Hale was a treat to see and hear.
The direction of Howard Hawks was well nigh perfection. Aided by some beautiful writing and excellent acting, the picture will probably go down as one of the best directed in many a day; particularly in love scenes and the hair-raising scenes of battle, both in the air and on the water.
You can’t miss on this one. Give it everything you have. — Staff review, originally published on March 17, 1933
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