30 user 16 critic

The Young in Heart (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 6 July 1938 (USA)
Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her.


Richard Wallace, Lewis Milestone (uncredited) | 2 more credits »


Paul Osborn (screenplay), I.A.R. Wylie (from the novel by) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Janet Gaynor ... George-Anne Carleton
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Richard Carleton
Roland Young ... 'Sahib' Carleton
Billie Burke ... Marmy Carleton
Minnie Dupree Minnie Dupree ... Miss Fortune
Paulette Goddard ... Leslie Saunders
Richard Carlson ... Duncan Macrae
Henry Stephenson ... Mr. Anstruther
Lawrence Grant ... Mr. Hutchins
Walter Kingsford ... Inspector
Eily Malyon ... Sarah
Tom Ricketts ... Andrew
Irvin S. Cobb ... Mr. Jennings
Lucile Watson ... Mrs. Jennings
Margaret Early ... Adela Jennings


The Carletons make a living as card sharps and finding new suckers to mooch off of. When their latest scam backfires, they are asked to leave Monte Carlo. At the train station, they meet a kind old woman named Miss Fortune. The elderly lady is very wealthy and very lonely. As a reward for saving her life after the train derails, Miss Fortune invites the Carletons to come live with her. The family hopes that by winning her affection, they can eventually be named sole beneficiaries in her will. But will a change of heart soften their mercenary feelings before that time comes? Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


here comes the CARLETON FAMILY See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Legendary stage actress Laurette Taylor (Amanda Wingfield in the original 1945 Broadway production of "The Glass Menagerie") made a screen test for David O. Selznick for the role of Miss Fortune, eventually played in the film by Minnie Dupree. The screen test can be seen in the documentary Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (2003). See more »


From exterior shots, the "Wombat" automobile has a divided rear window. However, interior shots show a single pane of glass for the rear window. See more »


Miss Fortune: I'm an old woman, Mr. Anstruther. A very old woman - who has led a lonely, useless life. But, I've learned somethings in my loneliness. Perhaps because of it. I've learned not to judge people. I've learned to take them as I find them, not as others find them. Amd most of all, I've learned to give complete and unquestioning faith to the people I love.
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Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Janet Gaynor (1962) See more »


American and British marching song adapted from 18th Century drinking song.
Whistled by Fairbanks
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User Reviews

The con artists and the old lady
16 July 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Janet Gaynor, Roland Young, Billie Burke, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. meet Minnie Dupree, who is "The Young at Heart" in this 1938 film. Gaynor et al are the Carltons, a family of con artists. When we first meet them, Richard Carleton (Fairbanks Jr.) has nabbed a live one, an unattractive albeit wealthy young woman, and George-Anne (Gaynor) has met a Scottsman (Richard Carlson), who is broke. However, they're found out and have to go on the lam. On the train, they meet an old lady, Miss Fortune, and when the train crashes, they get her outside. She credits them with saving her life. Realizing she's lonely, they move in with her for two weeks while they figure out their next destination. When they realize she has money, they decide to make their living situation permanent, figuring she'll put them in the will. Well, a funny thing happens on the way to the con.

This film might not be to everyone's taste - some will find it overly sentimental - but it is definitely to my taste. Vivid characters, funny scenes, and with good performances, "The Young in Heart" is a warm film. Paulette Goddard plays the young woman whom Fairbanks Jr. meets, and she's lovely.

Without this fine cast and the direction by Richard Wallace, this might have been a sappy movie. Janet Gaynor looked sweet, but she was also a very good actress. Here she's smart and believable. Fairbanks Jr. is always wonderful, as are Billie Burke and Roland Young. Minnie Dupree is delightful as Miss Fortune.

A very satisfying film, a nice ending - highly recommended.

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Release Date:

6 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Young in Heart See more »

Filming Locations:

Charleston, West Virginia, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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