Young Man with Ideas (1952) Poster

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Stay in Montana or move to Los Angeles?
bkoganbing14 July 2005
Young Man With Ideas has Glenn Ford as a young very junior attorney at a law firm in some small Montana town who's not the most forceful fellow around. With a wife and three kids, he can't afford to be. Wife Ruth Roman sees something more in him and convinces him to be more assertive. Ford decides to move the family to Los Angeles where he can work and study to pass the California bar.

The rest of the film is the trials and tribulations they have in Los Angeles, some comic, some serious. Ford shakes off some of his inhibitions, not always in constructive ways.

Glenn Ford is one of the easiest to take actors around and his films reflect that. He's got the art of underplaying down to a science. and Young Man With Ideas is a great example of that.

Look for good supporting performances here, especially from Nina Foch, as a fellow aspiring lawyer, Denise Darcel as a nightclub entertainer, Rith Roman as the wife and Sheldon Leonard as a bookie.

By the way Foch gets Ford a job in a collection agency she works for and some of the film's best moments are from the mild mannered Ford working there.
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Kind of a blah comedy but with some good scenes
blanche-228 May 2013
Glenn Ford is a "Young Man with Ideas" in this 1952 comedy directed by Mitchell Leisen and also starring Ruth Roman, Nina Foch, and Denise Darcel.

Ford is attorney Max Webster, living in Montana. He does the grunt work for the law office where he works -- research, writes summaries, etc., all things that the partners take credit for. His wife Julie (Roman) pushes him to ask for a partnership. He is rejected, so he quits, and the family moves to Los Angeles. There he crams for the bar with an attractive fellow student (Foch), who also gets him a job at a collection agency, something he is ill-suited for. Not only can't he collect, but he ends up paying part of a singer's (Darcel) bill.

But the Websters have much bigger problems than Max's failure at the collection agency. Their house was a gambling joint for bookies, and people keep calling and placing bets. Though they keep telling the callers that "Mike" has moved away and they have the wrong number, one day, Julie, in disgust, takes a $10 bet for Kimo, who comes in at 80 to 1. The caller on the other end wants his money.

Amusing comedy that could have been uproarious, but Leisen, who did such great work in the '40s, was a fallen star by then. Glenn Ford was always a very charming and attractive actor, and while his comedy talent was limited, he still manages to be likable. Still, we have two stars who usually do dramatic roles -- three really, if you count Foch -- in a comedy. They probably had to make the film to fulfill their contracts.

Cute but ultimately disappointing. The story had some fun things in it, including Glenn Ford trying to sing "Mother," and Mary Wickes having her son show off his acting expressions. It wouldn't have taken much to make this much better. but it needed a Leo McCarey or a Howard Hawks in the director's chair.
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Middling comedy
vincentlynch-moonoi8 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Here, Glenn Ford plays a young, junior attorney in Montana. His wife urges him to be more assertive, which eventually leads the family to California where Ford studies to pass the Bar exam...with Nina Foch. Meanwhile, in their new modest home, Ford and wife (Ruth Roman) inadvertently get involved in a gambling scheme. So Ford spends his time worrying about tough guys coming to his home to demand money they feel they've won, studying with beautiful Nina Foch, temporarily becoming a bill collector, and trying to balance the many demands on his emotions.

Okay, it's not Shakespeare, but it's a modestly entertaining comedy with some serious overtones. Ford pulls it off relatively well...although perhaps he just a bit too much of a nervous Nellie. Roman does nicely, although her character is not too likable. Nina Foch plays her part well, as well.

Some of the better moments of the film include a very well designed fight segment. And, Sheldon Leonard in his gangster mode. But the movie wraps up poorly, though happily.

Worth watching once, but not one for your DVD shelf!
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Great cast... a low-key comedy gem!
TedEbare23 May 2015
Glenn Ford renders his usual brand of under-played finesse in "Young Man With Ideas." Fortunately these roles offer a departure from earlier assignments for both he and his leading lady. With polished style Ford woos the audience to embrace Maxwell Webster, a shy "every-man" who longs to break free of a dismal law career in Montana. His wife Julie is delivered with verve by the competent Ruth Roman. Equipped with her trademark upturned collars Roman blossoms as an apt comedienne sidekick to Ford's straight man. Nina Foch perfectly balances this picture injecting some much needed sexual energy as Joyce Laramie a cool "blonde with a brain" law student. Standout supports include Denise Darcel playing Dorianne Gray, a broad lounge act (or a lounge act broad) singing "I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)." The beloved Mary Wickes pops in nearly tearing the scenery from it's hinges, as a kooky stage-mom neighbor she takes only her budding child-star Son as prisoner.

In what otherwise may have been a ho-hum movie given the ordinary A minus treatment, this dusty gem shines like a new penny under expert direction of Mitchell Leisen, a largely well-paced screenplay by Arthur Sheekman and a stalwart cast.
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If this woman was my wife, I think I'd take a contract out on her!
MartinHafer18 March 2016
When the film begins, Max and Julie Webster (Glenn Ford and Ruth Roman) are living in Montana. Max is a meek lawyer who doesn't get the respect his wife thinks he deserves. When they go to a very important meeting with Max's boss to celebrate a case they just won, Julie gets drunk and tells off Max's boss!! The next day, Julie nags poor Max into going in to the boss and instead of apologizing insists that he should ask for a raise. Not surprisingly, Max is fired.

The wife then insists that they should move to California and this means not only relocating them but forcing poor old Max to take the California Bar exam in order to practice there. Not only that, he doesn't have a job...though he is offered one as a bill collector. Naturally this job is all wrong for Max since he's so meek, but when the wife berates him for being so weak, he takes the job. The wife also nearly gets Max killed due to comments she makes to a stranger over the phone. What's next? Well, two other women end up throwing themselves at Max and you figure sooner or later he's going to up and leave Julie...or bust her in the kisser! But then,...there are the kids to consider.

This films has funny moments but the longer I watched it, the more the film annoyed me. While Max certainly should learn to speak up for himself, the writer made Julie too difficult to like and, well, a tad nasty. I found that as the film progressed, I wanted Max to leave her...and that made the film a comedy that simply stopped being funny. But you also know that in the 1950s no matter what she did and how hateful she acted, by the end of the film they'd be back together even if Max did leave her. I just wanted to see Max take the kids, move back to Montana and leave Julie to turn tricks or sell organs in order to survive...or something of the sort. I also think it was a serious mistake to make Max so meek and mild...yet occasionally, and inexplicably, a crazed madman who beats the crap out of thugs....none of which is really funny. The sum total of all this was tiresome and could easily have been funnier.
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Masquerade in Montana
dbdumonteil28 March 2010
Leisen's best years were behind him when he made "young man" .First of all,Glenn Ford is no longer a young man (36) in 1952 and he is not really good at comedy.Ruth Roman isn't either but she manages quite well in the scene of the dinner with chic people.Except for this scene and the appearance of the horrible child showing off ,there are not many funny moments in "young man...",even in the would be original sequences in which Max plays both the convict and the lawyer .The screenplay is poor compared to those of the forties ("Remember the night" " Arise my love" ) and the cast (which includes also Nina Foch and French Denise Darcel who never made a movie in her native country ) cannot hold a candle to Leisen's former actors such as Claudette Colbert,Ray Milland ,Don Ameche ,etc
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