The Next Voice You Hear was a pet project of MGM producer Dore Schary, who lavished more attention on this modestly budgeted drama than he did on some of his "bigger" projects. Though based on characters first introduced in the 1942 film Joe Smith, American, Next Voice was not a sequel to the earlier film. James Whitmore stars as blue-collar family man Joe Smith, while future first lady Nancy Davis appears as his pregnant wife and Gary Gray rounds out the family unit as their son. The Smiths, their relatives, their neighbors and the citizens of the World are shaken out of their complacency when the voice of God begins delivering messages over the radio. For six consecutive evenings, the voice speaks over the airwaves (the movie audience never hears the voice, thanks to a series of clever evasionary tactics). At first frightened, the listeners gradually realize that God simply wants to convey the age-old message "Love thy Neighbor." With this realization comes several changes of attitude, some minor, others profound. The concept may sound portentous (and pretentious), but the actors handle their responsibilities with subtlety and conviction. So, too, does director William A. Wellman, a curious choice indeed for this sort of film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi.
Nancy Reagan wonders if God's voice on the radio is one of those "Orson Welles things" and asks husband James Whitmore if HE sounds like Lionel Barrymore. From the bizarre Cold War film "The Next Voice You Hear..." (1950).
The Next Voice You Hear...
Warner Archive Collection
1950 / Color / 1:37 flat full frame / 83 min. / Street Date December 1, 2009 / available through the Warner Archive Collection / 19.95
Starring James Whitmore, Nancy Davis, Gary Gray, Lillian Bronson, Art Smith, Tom D'Andrea, Jeff Corey, Douglas Kennedy.
Cinematography William Mellor
Film Editor John Dunning
Original Music David Raksin
Written by Charles Schnee from a story by George Sumner Albee
Produced by Dore Schary
Directed by William A. Wellman
Last week we announced that FDD Productions under David Fadida in partnership with Radio Kol Chai is producing a singing competition program for the Motzash Chai program on Radio Kol Chai, hosted by Menachem Toker. During the course of the competition, tens of competitors will audition on the stage opposite a panel of judges including Dr. Mordechai Sobol, Ohad Moskowitz, Aryeh Broner, Chaim Yisrael, and Adi Ran, and will try to win their hearts and merit the title of “Hakol Habah-The Next Voice” in the world of Jewish Music. The winner will record a full album produced by the duo of Eli Klein and Yitzy Berry, and will be given a stamp of approval by David Fadida’s office.
The message of the film was very similar to the one in, The Next Voice You Hear, and when contact is made, will it be an experience that will be spiritual or will it be something more tangible?