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For those, if any, who have wondered why so many Paramount contractees appeared in United Artists' films during the war years, this is another one of the Paramount productions that was sold to United Artists in the early-40's when U.A. was having trouble meeting their exhibitor contracts because of lack of product, mainly due to their loss of production in England. A group of starving, but young and willing, actors band together to share finances and an apartment. Norman Reese (William Holden) orders no love nonsense between the boys and girls till they are set on broadway, but Marge Benson (Barbara Britton) and Tony Dennison (James Beown) are already secretly married. A friend drops in to see Dottie Coburn (Martha O'Driscoll) and is shocked to find the boys and girls sharing the same apartment and insists it is her duty to inform Dottie's father (Jay Fassett.) Since Dottie is the only one with any money, the boys hurriedly pack their belongings and leave until after Mr. Coburn's ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Paramount made this film in 1941, but the movie-going public didn't see Young And Willing until 1943 when the film was sold to United Artists to help them fulfill booking commitments. That it was held up for two years is always a bad sign.
It's not a horribly bad film, but not all that good. It concerns six people who are aspiring thespians who share an apartment. Bills such as they are are paid by Martha O'Driscoll who has a rich dad. The others living there are William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Susan Hayward, James Brown and Barbara Britton. It was agreed no romance, but Brown and Britton have already broken that rule, they are secretly married.
The young folks do struggle and when O'Driscoll's father learns she's been living coed he threatens to take her back to their small Illinois home town where family values prevail. The six of them pull all kinds of schemes to both keep O'Driscoll around and get a big break from playwright Robert Benchley.
One thing that truly drove me up the wall as much as it did to the characters on screen was Florence MacMichael's baby talking voice. She's a high minded young woman who finks on the arrangement to O'Driscoll's dad. That woman was hard to take from the moment she opened her mouth until the rest of the film was over. She made me glad when it was over.
This had to be the ultimate of what Bill Holden called his 'Smiling Jim' roles before Sunset Boulevard which he ached to get out of. But at least Young And Willing being the last film the public saw Holden in before he joined the Army Air Corps kept him in the public eye. The public wouldn't see him again until 1946 in Blaze At Noon.
Beware of Florence MacMichael.
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