Emil Bruckner, a young German boy who has been indoctrinated in Nazi propaganda, is sent to live with his mild-mannered American uncle (Academy Award winner Fredric March) in this critically acclaimed World War II classic.... more » Now a rigid proponent of the Third Reich, Emil wreaks havoc on the whole community while his family struggles to counter the insidious Nazi influence. Based on the prize-winning Broadway play, the film remains a fascinating look at the battle between bigotry and tolerance and movingly portrays the personal effects of Hitler's chilling declaration: "Today Germany, Tomorrow the World."« less
"If you thought Rhoda in "The Bad Seed" was without peer in the annals of hateful screen tots, I submit for your consideration Emil in "Tomorrow, the World!" He should now take his place just behind her with the video release of this long unseen gem from 1944. True, he doesn't actually kill anybody during the course of the 82-minute running time, but anyone who would hurl racial epithets at sweet Betty Field or crack little Joan Carroll (of "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Bells of St. Mary's" fame) over the head with a poker in the name of "duty" is clearly capable of just about anything. I had always wanted to see this movie because Fredric March is one of my favorite actors, but although Mr. March is of course sincere and admirable in his role, the real attraction here is the mesmerizingly manic performance of Skippy Homeier as the menacing and manipulative little storm trooper. His "reformation" at the end is a little abrupt and not entirely convincing, but that's more the fault of the writers than of the amazing Master Homeier. As for the DVD quality, the print of the film definitely shows some wear, but at least the picture is sharp and there are no "jumps" or missing bits of film that I noticed. There are no "extras" on the DVD, but in this case I'm just glad that the folks at Image have made this golden oldie available again as they did with "The Story of G.I. Joe" last year. I highly recommend this movie both as a tour de force for a remarkable if forgotten child actor and as a reminder of what it must have been like when the Hitler youth movement was still a source of grave concern.
Extremely entertaining propaganda!
Jay Littner | 10/16/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Made during WWII to show American audiences what their boys were fighting against, the Nazis brainwashing children into godless, goosesteppers of death, "Tomorrow the World" attempts to show what would happen if one of these children of Hitler was let loose upon Smalltown USA.As a film, "Tomorrow the World" is pretty pedestrian. The usually terrific Frederic March and Agnes Moorehead are really constrained by their weakly written characters. The direction is bland. The sets are cheap looking. And the melodramatic musical score is just awful! Overall, this is a grade B wartime propaganda movie with the usual white picket fence, mom's apple pie view of America and Americans.However, there is one thing that keeps this movie eminently watchable and entertaining long after its propaganda purpose has ceased to exist and that is the over-the-top performance of Skippy Homeier as the Nazi orphan from hell, "Emil Bruckner." This kid is one bad apple. He walks around in his Hitler Youth uniform while spying on his relatives. He threatens a classmate, whose father is a POW in Germany, by claiming that he can have her father killed if she informs on his wickedness. He writes graffiti that says his teacher and soon-to-be aunt is a "Jewish tramp." He clubs his cousin over the head with a fire poker. He tries to knife a boy, but then, in the most vicious fight I've ever seen between two child actors, gets pummelled unconscious by his intended victim. And, finally, his own uncle tries to strangle him to death. Normally, watching one child knock out another child with repeated blows to the face and then seeing an adult try to strangle a child would cause revulsion, but Mr. Homeier's character is such a detestable little weasel that you'll be cheering as he gets physically assaulted. It takes one heck of a performance to overcome one's digust at child abuse and Skip Homeier delivers it in this movie.I did not know that Mr. Homeier was a child actor before I saw this movie. I'm mostly familiar with him as a young man when he played the detestable, punk, wanna-be gunfighter in the terrific 1950 western- "The Gunfighter" with Gregory Peck. Boy, that kid knew how to play creeps!"
I want an illuminated watch, with seventeen jewels...
Mrs Baldwin | Portland, OR | 09/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you don't want to know anything about the plot of this movie 'til you watch it, stop reading right here. I shall not belabour myself over plot, but some details always get in anyway.This was a good story of learning to adapt your ways and get rid of prejudices to make oneself agreeable to others so that everyone can live in peace. Skippy Homeier as Emil really did an excellent job and took the show away from Betty Field and Fredric March, and even the little girl who plays the daughter Pat, but I would definitely say that the story mostly centres on the children. Which is nice because there aren't many movies (fairly realistic ones) where the main action concerns children. Overall it is a very good movie. Emil does hit Pat on the head with a poker toward the end, but it doesn't really show anything, just his shadow as he wields the instrument. The two main conflicts are Emil's hatred for his father (he was taught that Carl Bruckner was a traitor to the Third Reich, but in reality he was a good man who fought against it with his books) and the fact that Betty Fields' character was Jewish. The less important problems concern Stan being Polish and the fact that Emil wants to take charge and make everyone do things the way he knows to do them. The whole town (or neighbourhood) turns against Emil one by one, and at his birthday party Pat had to bribe three boys to come.Of course, in the end, everything works out to the benefit of everyone involved, and they all lived happily ever after. I think you should give this movie a chance at least because it's a good story."
Interesting Propoganda Piece
J. Pomis | Guantanamo, USA | 07/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Tomorrow the World" was one of my favorites as a kid. We watched the movie every time it came on TV. Skip Hohmeier is a totally evil little Nazi. All the Americans are pure of heart, of course. You must remember that we were at war with Germany when this film was made. The film, while quaint, is also quite chilling in parts thanks to the masterful performance of Skip Hohmeier as Emil. I was disappointed that a couple of lines I remembered were missing from the film. Was there some political correctness in taking out Emil's threat- "Perhaps a little German persuasion may change your mind!" ? hmmm Quite watchable."
Fine wartime drama with a political slant
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 07/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tomorrow-The World gives us a fine drama with even some thriller aspects set in America during World War II. The plot moves along at a good pace although there are some times when the movie could have been trimmed a bit here and there. The choice to film this movie in black and white will enhance the overall emotional effect it has on its audience.
The action begins in a "typical" American household that isn't actually so typical: wartime scientist Mike Frame (Fredric March) is about to marry his Jewish girlfriend Leona Richards (Betty Field). Mike has a daughter, Pat (Joan Carroll), presumably from a previous marriage and they have a German-American housekeeper as well. Just when everything looked rather rosy right before Mike and Leona's wedding, in comes Emil Bruckner (Skippy Homeier), a young 11 year old boy from Germany who is Mike's nephew.
And that's where trouble quickly starts. Emil has been brainwashed by the Nazi party in Germany that his father was a traitor and that all Americans will inevitably be conquered by Hitler's regime. Emil starts upsetting people the first day he arrives by coming downstairs for lunch in a Nazi uniform complete with swas****. Emil soon alienates the other children at school; and Emil tries desperately to ruin his uncle Mike's plans to marry the Jewish Leona Richards.
Some people believe that to some degree this is a propaganda film. Yes, there is indeed an undercurrent of that flavor. The American family is remarkably pure and civilized--they don't believe in beating children (which still happened plenty in 1944, the year this film was made); and marriage between a Jew and a Christian seems not to bother anyone. Naturally, in 1944 mainstream America might not have approved of such a marriage. The striking proof that this is an unusually progressive family comes when Emil notices that Mike's daughter Pat calls her father by his first name! Now THAT'S not so common even in OUR times! Of course, the Nazi child Emil has blond hair and blue eyes; a rather mean stare on his face; and he wants to cause as much heartache as he can for the Americans in order to honor Hitler.
Emil Bruckner (Skippy Homeier) truly DOES steal the show with his excellent, convincing acting--and the ending scenes with Emil once again prove his competence as a fine actor. Fredric March turns in a great performance as Mike Frame who tries so hard along with the other Americans to be patient while Emil "adjusts" to American life--even though his "adjustment" and de-brainwashing remains highly in doubt at many times throughout the picture.
Actualy, there's much more to the plot but I hate to put in too many spoilers--just get this film and watch it! They did a great job with the cinematography; and the choreography shines in crowded classroom scenes and other scenes that are designed to have an emotional impact on the viewer.
In short, Tomorrow-The World represents a great period piece about the Nazis and the Americans who want to help Germany overthrow and overcome its domination by an evil dictator. The fine acting holds your attention even if at times they could have left a little bit more on the cutting room floor. The incredibly pure and good Americans want so desperately to change Emil for the better they come off looking like Saints even though they have their occasional human frailties!
I highly recommend this film for World War II buffs and anyone who cares to enjoy a fine drama about people as they cope with the strife caused by that war. Fans of Fredric March and Agnes Moorehead will enjoy seeing their idols on the screen; and the children's acting remains very impressive to this day. "