Thoughts on Ruth:
I’d never heard of Ruth Roman before watching this film but might check more out in the future. I wasn’t especially impressed by her performance in this film but let me know in the comments if there’s any I should check out!
TCM Movie Schedule:
- Always Leave Them Laughing
- The Window
- Lightning Strikes Twice
- Mara Maru
- Great Day in the Morning
- Look in Any Window
- Strangers on a Train
- Tomorrow is Another Day
- Down Three Dark Streets
- 5 Steps to Danger
- Young Man With Ideas
After being let out of prison for killing his father, Mike Lewis (Steve Cochran) gets involved with a taxi dancer, Cathy (Ruth Roman) and they must run from the law after killing a police officer.
This movie feels like several different films and concepts put together, and the final execution is lacking. It’s a noir, then a romance, later takes a Grapes of Wrath-esque turn, and finally ends in sort of a police drama. It’s not very effective at any of them, leaving the viewer unsatisfied and bored.
Things just keep happening for the sake of the story, and nothing of substance is really revealed about the main characters. The performances are dull and neither Roman nor Cochran feel like the right fits for their parts. They lacked chemistry and I just never really cared about their characters.
Much of the plot feels like pieced together elements rather than a whole story, so everything is solely surface-level. Especially with the lettuce-picking subplot, it feels like it’s trying to go for some sort of commentary on the working man, but chucks it out the window for violence and melodramatic romance scenes.
The “happy” ending feels out of place and makes the entire film feel pointless, as though the audience and characters have learned nothing from what just happened. I’m not usually one for slow burn movies, but this film felt like constant meandering with no end in sight. Since the characters were hardly developed, there was not really any reason to care about them wandering around California.
I did like the first 20 minutes though, as Mike is trying to adjust to living in the real world after spending time in prison for almost half his life. It feels more nuanced and realistic, even when it becomes more of a noir and we’re introduced to Cathy. After the pair decide to run away from their troubles, Tomorrow is Another Day devolves into a soppy melodrama that just does not work.
- Favorite Scene: I could not find scenes on YouTube, but my favorite part was when Mike and Cathy were fighting with the cop in her apartment.
- Favorite Character: Johnny Dawson
- Favorite Quote: “You worked a whole day just to dance a minute at Dream Land?”
- Roman’s Performance: She didn’t really stand out to me, though her transition from femme fatale to frumpy, jaded housewife was interesting. I’d give her performance a 2/5.
- Would I Recommend? No, it was boring and I’ve seen other films do similar things covered in this one, but better.
Audrey is a self-proclaimed film buff who loves to watch, read, and write about movies. Her passions include queer & feminist studies, watching obscure 80s/90s and Old Hollywood films, and discovering new music. She also writes for Scribe Magazine. Check out her podcast about actors who died young!