Love can be challenging when it involves saying goodbye in Now and Forever by writers Vincent Lawrence and Sylvia Thalberg, story ideators Melville Baker and Jack Kirkland; producer Louis D. Lighton, and director Henry Hathaway. Harry Fischbeck; Ellsworth Hoagland; and Mack Gordon and Harry Revel handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California’s San Bernardino National Forest.
The drama lasts 81 minutes. Its distributor was Paramount Pictures. Its USA-release date was August 31, 1934.
The movie begins with Jerome Day (Gary Cooper) collecting on overdue bills. He claims to be Occidental Hotel manager Mr. Ling’s (Tetsu Komai) auditor. His own Shanghai hotel bill is due. Toni Carstairs (Carole Lombard) is his companion of the last three years.
Jerry has a five- or six-year-old daughter, Penelope (Shirley Temple). Penny is the ward of Jerry’s deceased wife Elsie’s brother/attorney George (George Webb). Jerry plans to sell permanent custody for $75,000. Toni remains in Paris while Jerry goes to Connecticut.
Jerry claims Penny after hearing about Uncle George’s keeping boats padlocked because Penny likes imagined sailings near night-camping pirates. The two go to NYC. Jerry sells Felix Evans (Guy Standing) bogus gold mine options for $5,000.
Toni considers writing “My Breathless Years”, in which Jerry dies young. She demands that Jerry flee creditors alone or settle down with her. Jerry opts for family life. He sells real estate through Rivera Realty Company.
Felix contacts Jerry. He introduces himself as a swindler who accepts being swindled in order to be a blackmailer for money back with interest. He offers Jerry the choice of arrest or crime. He plans to steal Mrs. JHP Crane’s (Charlotte Granville) pearl necklace.
Jerry does not have the money for Penny’s school bill. He overdraws his account. Mrs. Crane suggests her adopting Penny. Jerry turns Mrs. Crane down even though he will go to prison if he does not help Felix or to debtor’s jail if he does not.
Mrs. Crane gives a party for Penny. Her pearls go missing after Penny:
Penny questions Jerry’s role. Jerry swears “honor bright”, honest-to-goodness truth that he is not the perpetrator. Penny uncovers the pearls in her teddy bear.
The movie ends with:
Toni attributing the theft to Jerry’s concern over Penny’s schooling;
Jerry demanding the necklace from Felix;
Felix and Jerry fighting over Felix’s gun;
Both receiving mortal wounds;
Jerry returning the necklace to Mrs. Crane;
Jerry saying his goodbyes to Penny, whom Mrs. Crane will adopt, and Toni.