Next Time We Love is one of the earliest films in the career of Jimmy Stewart. Made in 1936, this is a classic story of love which pairs Jimmy Stewart alongside Margaret Sullavan as Christopher and Cicely. As a young couple their life together is tested when he is assigned to work overseas and she finds fame on the stage. Despite diving into marriage, the couple find that they’ve got aspirations on opposite sides of the globe which create an emotional rollercoaster.
The plot is direct and not designed to mislead, rather it aims to expose the relationship in its quirks and flaws. Stewart does a great job playing the confused and frustrated husband while Sullavan plays an equally confused and emotional new wife. Meanwhile they’re both able to open up to Tommy, their intuitive friend, played by Ray Milland. In the end it has a Hollywood ending that I expected from a 30’s film.
In addition to Stewart the talent in this movie is remarkable. Sullavan would be nominated for an Oscar for Three Comrades two years after this film. Milland would later win an Oscar for best actor for The Lost Weekend. Like Stewart, Milland would find some of his greatest success in a Hitchcock film opposite Grace Kelly. Milland played the lead in Dial M for Murder in 1954.
The chemistry is great, likely due to the fact that Sullavan and Stewart had worked together in a college stage group. This translated into something more believable in this film. They would go on to work together in several other movies, including The Shop Around the Corner.
Like most of the films Mr. Stewart made, this is a family affair. With movies pushing the boundaries today it’s great to have films like these that the whole family can enjoy. As I explore more of James Stewart’s filmography, I hope to give families more opportunities for wholesome entertainment.