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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > As Young As You Feel

As Young As You Feel


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: C     Film: B-



Though 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.


Producer 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!


This 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.


The full 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

original 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.


This was 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


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