As Young As You Feel
C+ Sound: C Extras: C Film: B-
she is only a supporting character as the amusing secretary Harriett, Marilyn
Monroe’s performance was enough for Fox to make it one of their new releases in
the third DVD series of her films at the studio. Though four are being issued, there is not a
boxed set version this time. As Young As You Feel (1951) would still
be noteworthy, as its original story was by none other than the legendary Paddy
Chayefsky. This was his first work to be
brought to the big screen.
Lamar Trotti wrote the final screenplay and the result is an amusing comedy
about how systems and corporations neglect people. Monty Wooley is John Hodges, the gentleman
forced to retire from his printing job, just because he is 65. At first dismayed, he realizes that one of
the reasons is that it is the doings of a policy of Consolidated Motors, which
is an affiliate of his company, so he decides to try to get the law changed by
posing as the CEO of the company!
includes visiting the top board member at another subdivision (the great Albert
Dekker a few years before Robert Aldrich’s 1955 classic Kiss Me Deadly), coordinated by his seductive secretary
(Monroe). He has problems of his own at
home with an unhappy wife, Lucille (Constance Bennett), who falls for the
impostor. Thelma Ritter is family
matriarch who gets to put in her two-cents throughout. David Wayne, Jean Peters and Russ (Rusty
here) Tamblyn also star.
frame, black and white image was shot by Fox favorite Joseph (Joe here)
MacDonald and looks good, though the print has its share of grain
throughout. It is also a print on the
clean side, but the age of the stock is obvious. This still has its solid attributes and is
watchable enough. The Dolby Digital 2.0
is available in both
monophonic and a boosted simple stereo mix, but they sound smaller than they
sound either way, despite no major pops, clicks or scratches. Extras are a sea of trailers for other Monroe films, a Monroe box and this film.
the directorial debut of Harmon Jones, who went on to other notable feature
films, then some competent TV work. He
does a smooth job of juggling the comic timing and acting, never allowing for
dated melodramatics. It is over a
century old, but As Young As You Feel
has the power and grace to entertain because of its writing and cast
alone. Fox did us a favor by issuing it.
- Nicholas Sheffo