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Academy Award-winner* Mary Astor (The Maltese Falcon) stars as a widow whose grown children try to break up her romance with a college professor in this charming, offbeat comedy directed by the legendary Jules Dassin (Never on Sunday, Naked City, Rififi). When Susan (Susan Peters) and Jeff Evans (Elliot Reid), the adult children of widowed author and lecturer Jo Evans (Astor), discover that their mother has fallen in love with staid professor Michael Kingsley (Herbert Marshall), they intervene to try to end what they believe is an inappropriate relationship. Written by
It's too bad that Herbert Marshall was not a professor of English literature as opposed to physics. If he had been he'd have recognized Othello in the scheme that Susan Peters and Elliott Reid had to break up the marriage between their mother Mary Astor and Marshall.
In Young Ideas Peters and Reid are caught off guard with the whirlwind courtship and sudden marriage of Astor to Marshall. Also caught off guard is Astor's literary agent Allyn Joslyn who cancels the book tour he has for his client.
Peters and Reid decide they don't like Marshall and are determined to break up the marriage. What they hit upon as a tactic is to convince Marshall that some of the spicy characters that Astor uses in her novels are autobiographical glimpses of her own racy life. Later on when Joslyn and a French friend from Europe George Dolenz come, courtesy of Peters and Reid, Marshall's suspicions are confirmed.
It's partially Marshall's own fault. He insists that she retire and be a homemaker and he will support them on his college salary. Kind of narrowminded I thought and I couldn't quite grasp Astor going along with him. This film could never be made today. Besides what would be wrong with Astor writing in her spare time and bringing in the bucks?
George Dolenz was an interesting character. He was so obviously gay, but that was not spoken of in those days. How Marshall considered him a threat is beyond me.
Later on Peters relents as she falls for English instructor Richard Carlson. Reid however is a spoiled kid and he doesn't relent until almost the end.
Young Ideas isn't all that young with Peters and Reid playing Iago to the hilt. Still it's a pleasant and entertaining comedy showing off a number of MGM's young female contract players as coeds. Look sharp and you'll see Ava Gardner in the crowd. Good, but dated viewing.
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