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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
Trivial comedy programmer was the start of Mary Astor's mother roles...
YOUNG IDEAS strains to be a smart screwball comedy but early on it becomes apparent that this is strictly a trivial bit of fluff designed to showcase some new talent in a cast headed by two older reliables: MARY ASTOR and HERBERT MARSHALL. Astor is fine but Herbert Marshall is painfully bad in a couple of his "comic" scenes. He was much more suited to dramatic roles.
Astor went on record in later years saying that she regretted signing with MGM when all they did was cast her in mother roles in some less than distinguished films. This is one of them.
SUSAN PETERS and ELLIOT REID are her children with "young ideas" who decide to spoil her marriage to Herbert Marshall by making him believe her risqué books were really autobiographical in nature. It's all on the "cute" side and very predictable, although there's nothing terribly wrong with the performances.
RICHARD CARLSON, ALLYN JOSLYN and GEORGE DOLENZ provide some good support but it's simply not worth their combined efforts.
Under Jules Dassin's direction, it passes the time quickly in one hour and seventeen minutes, but is obviously just designed to showcase up and coming new talent like Susan Peters and Elliot Reid. Not long after this film, Susan had the hunting accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down, a tragic end to a brief career in the limelight.
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