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The Mason clan is no good. Made up of drunks, jailbirds, cripples and the deranged, the family is known to welfare services as a blight on their community. In keeping with pre-war government policies, officials at the Board of Health offer Ma and Pa Mason welfare-for-life, on the condition that they and their children submit to being sterilized. Greedy for money and weary of having more mouths than they are able to feed, the couple agrees. The Mason's eldest daughter Alice, actively planning marriage and a family with her boyfriend Jim, flees in desparation before the state can carry out its vile plan. A dragnet for Alice is set up and she is recaptured. After a corrupt and heartless judge refuses to intervene, Alice is condemned to go under the knife. Armed with the knowledge that Alice is a foundling without true Mason blood in her veins, Jim races against the clock to preserve poor Alice's reproductive rights in a thrilling operating room climax. A veteran of silent and sound films, actor/director Crane Wilbur (1886-1973) is best known for the 1959 remake of Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Bat. In Tomorrow's Children Wilbur applies a poetic gloss to the otherwise wooden dialogue of this low budget production. Shot on leftover art deco sets, Wilbur's movie has a surprising sheen of sleek professionalism that elevates it to the forefront of 1930's exploitation films.

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ALP4766 Tomorrow's Children DVD (1934/Sterling Holloway) $5.99