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Tomorrow's Children

Tomorrow's Children(1934)

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The working title of this film was Sterilization. The viewed print did not include any credits; the above credits were taken from reviews. The following written foreword appeared in the opening credits of the viewed film: "News flash. Germany: Hitler decrees all unfit to be sterilized! United States: Twenty-seven states put human sterilization laws into practice! The topic that's on everybody's tongue. Here is its story! What it means and how it can affect you! The first authentic major operation to reach the screen! Has the state the right to deny children to a woman? The answer is here in the first picture to boldly present the facts of STERILIZATION!" Intercut with this foreword is footage showing women talking about the sterilization procedure, a minister advocating the abolishment of sterilization, a set of parents pleading against sterilization before a judge, and a physician preparing for surgery. According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, this film faced stiff censorship problems. A few states and territories rejected the film "in toto," while others demanded extensive cuts before approval. Ads for the production carried a "picture of a nude girl" and the line, "The most daring, sensational drama ever filmed," according to censorship files. The Catholic Church of Detroit included the film on its July 1934 list of pictures to be boycotted. The Motion Picture Herald review states that in the dialogue, the subject of sterilization is "handled from an anti-sterilization viewpoint and very much in accordance with the tenets of the Catholic Church." The reviewer continues: "On the other hand, the action serves to demonstrate the scientific benefits of sterilization, with no regard for moral law or personal wishes." The Hollywood Reporter review lists Wallace Thurman as the sole screenwriter, while Motion Picture Herald credits both Thurman and Crane Wilbur with the script. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Thurman, who made his writing debut with this picture, was a former USC athlete. Another Hollywood Reporter news item stated that producer Bryan Foy was "planning a musical score" for the picture-his first picture to have an added score-but was going to try it first without music. No music credits were found in reviews or other sources, however, and publicity for Foy's next film, High School Girl , boasted that it was the first Foy picture with a music score.