Young in Heart, The (1938) B-
This minor screwball comedy, produced by David O. Selznick and directed by, is adapted by Paul Osborn and Charles Bennett from a short story by I. R. Wylie.
“The Young in Heart” centers on a family of con artists, or as they perceive themselves, confidence tricksters. Paterfamilias Roland Young poses as a vet of the Bengal Lancers so that he can enter into high society. His birdbrained wife Billie Burke (doing her specialty) and their off-springs, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Janet Gaynor, go along with his immoral schemes.
Janet Gaynor (then at the height of her popularity) is smitten by the Scottish millionaire Richard Carlson (making his screen debut) . The whole family teams up to fleece a wealthy old lady called Miss Fortune, played with relish by Broadway veteran Minnie Dupree. But through Miss Fortune’s sweet, unassuming manner, the family begins to reform. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. makes sacrifice by taking a job, which wins him the affections of the poor-but-honest Leslie Saunders (Paulette Goddard).
“The Young in Heart” originally ended with Miss Fortune passing away while surrounded by the repentant family. But preview audiences hated this conclusion and so Selznick to shot a new ending, with Minnie Dupree joyously tooling about on a motorcycle!
In one of the film’s best scenes, Roland Young and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. at a construction site, comparing the workers to insects.
Oscar Nominations: 3
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Original Score; Franz Waxman
Scoring: Franz Waxman
Oscar Awards: None
Eric Wolfgang Korngold won for “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” and Alfred Newman for “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”
Running time: 90 Minutes.
Directed by Richard Wallace
Written by Paul Osborn and Charles Bennett
Released: November 3, 1938.
DVD: October 19, 2004
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