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As Young as You Feel (1951)

Approved | | Comedy | 1951 (UK)
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A 65-year-old printer hatches an elaborate scheme to avoid forced retirement.

Director:

Harmon Jones

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), Paddy Chayefsky (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Monty Woolley ... John R. Hodges
Thelma Ritter ... Della Hodges
David Wayne ... Joe Elliott
Jean Peters ... Alice Hodges
Constance Bennett ... Lucille McKinley
Marilyn Monroe ... Harriet
Allyn Joslyn ... George Hodges
Albert Dekker ... Louis McKinley
Clinton Sundberg ... Frank Erickson
Minor Watson ... Harold P. Cleveland
Wally Brown ... Horace Gallagher
Russ Tamblyn ... Willie McKinley (as Rusty Tamblyn)
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Storyline

Sixty-five-year-old John Hodges must retire from Acme Printing. He later impersonates the president of the parent company and arrives at his old plant on an inspection tour. Acme president McKinley is so nervous not even his beautiful secretary Harriet can calm him. McKinley's wife Lucille becomes infatuated with Hodges. Many further complications ensue. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture about a wonderful family-for the whole family to love!!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1951 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Will You Love Me in December? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clifton Webb was the original choice to play John R. Hodges. His participation fell through and Monty Woolley was cast. See more »

Quotes

Frank Erickson: [Trying to convince Gallagher that their visitor was a fake] All you have to do is to look at his picture in the file, sir.
Horace Gallagher: Never mind the file. Now let me get this straight. You say the whole world thinks that the man who inspected our plant yesterday was the president of the Consolidated Motors, is that it?
Frank Erickson: Yes, sir. Then he made a speech at the Chamber of Commerce.
Horace Gallagher: Mr. McKinley thinks he is the president of the Consolidated Motors, the papers think so, the Chamber of Commerce thinks so, but ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: None Without Sin (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Russian Dance
(uncredited)
From "The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a"
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played by the orchestra at the beginning
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Window to the Early 1950's
12 December 2004 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

"As Young As You Feel" is a modest budget early 50's B&W comedy. While the creative people were experimenting with 'film noir' and 'neo-realism', the studios were cranking out stuff like this for a traditional audience. This adaptation of a story by Paddy Chayefsky was made during the McCarthy years, so the social satire aspect could only be subtly subversive. The themes (balancing work and play, doing work that gives you personal satisfaction, and maintaining your integrity) give the film a worthwhile message and are not delivered in an overbearing manner.

Monty Woolley (as John Hodges) carries the film as a printer who is pushed into retirement at age 65 and decides to impersonate the president of the holding company that owns the printing plant where he worked. This sets up a sort of 'Being There' effect, where his views on national affairs become an inspiration to the whole country. David Wayne (who would eventually play the Mad Hatter on "Batman") plays his prospective son-in-law and their scenes are all gems, partly because they have a real chemistry and partly because they got the best dialogue. The best scene is the opening, a very well staged scene of the company orchestra playing the "Nutcracker": the camera opens on a promotional poster, pans left and takes us into the concert hall as a little girl scurries to her seat. The camera moves around in the crowd where we meet most of the main characters. Hodges is playing one of the piccolos and he soon launches into an impromptu solo, much to the annoyance of the guest conductor and an accurate preview of what his role will be throughout the film.

This film is fairly entertaining but is most valuable as a cultural artifact. Because it was not a high budget production the cast is almost entirely older stars at the very end of their careers (like Wooley and Constance Bennett) and young actors at the beginning (Wayne, Jean Peters, and Marilyn Monroe). So there is a kind of torch passing at work. It is also hints at Monroe's special screen presence which somehow allowed her to beat the Hollywood starlet system. She and Peters were the same age (both were born in 1926) and had both started too late in the movie business. By this film they had already lost all the youthful luster of their early 20's (check out how much better Peters looked two years earlier in 'It Happens Every Spring' and Monroe before she became a blonde), yet Monroe was somehow able to transcend this and become a big star.

Arthur Miller said of Monroe: "She was rarely taken seriously as anything but a sex symbol. To have survived, she would have had to be either more cynical or even further from reality than she was. Instead, she was a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes."


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