The Young in Heart


The Young in Heart

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Movie Info

A comparatively little-known entry in the "screwball comedy" genre, David O. Selznick's The Young in Heart goes for quiet chuckles rather than bellylaughs. Adapted by Paul Osborn and Charles Bennett from a short story by I. R. Wylie, the film concentrates on a family of confidence tricksters. Paterfamilias Roland Young poses as a veteran of the Bengal Lancers in order to insinuate himself into high society; his birdbrained wife Billie Burke willingly goes along with any scheme her husband cooks up; and their work-resistant offspring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Janet Gaynor scheme to marry into weatlth. Right now, Janet's target is Scottish millionaire Richard Carlson (making his screen debut) to fill the family's coffers. The whole family teams up to fleece a wealthy old lady called Miss Fortune,played with showstopping relish by Broadway veteran Minnie Dupree. Through Miss Fortune's sweet, unassuming example, everyone in the family begins to reform. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. makes the supreme sacrifice of taking a job-which has the salutary effect of winning him the affections of poor-but-honest Paulette Goddard. Young in Heart originally ended with Miss Fortune passing away while surrounded by the repentant family; preview audiences hated this denouement, obliging Selznick to film a new ending, with Minnie Dupree joyously tooling about on a motorcyle! Our favorite scene: Roland Young and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. at a construction site, comparing the workers to insects.


Janet Gaynor
as George-Anne Carleton
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
as Richard Carleton
Paulette Goddard
as Leslie Saunders
Roland Young
as Col. Anthony "Sahib" Carleton
Billie Burke
as Marmy Carleton
Richard Carlson
as Duncan McCrea
Minnie Dupree
as Miss Ellen Fortune
Henry Stephenson
as Felix Amstruther
Eily Malyon
as Sarah, Servant
Tom Ricketts
as Andrew, Servant
Irvin S. Cobb
as Mr. Jennings
Margaret Early
as Adela Jennings
Lucile Watson
as Mrs. Jennings
Billy Bevan
as Kennel man
Lawrence Grant
as Mr. Hutchins
Walter Kingsford
as Prefect of Police
Lionel Pape
as Customer
Lya Lys
as Lucille
George Sorel
as Detective
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Critic Reviews for The Young in Heart

All Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for The Young in Heart

  • Sep 18, 2014
    I'm thinking that O. Selznick must've thought Americans soft on the Brits as here is yet another production of his wherein Brits succeeding in America is a major plot point. A family of con artists set their greasy sights on one kindly but lonely old woman ... this cannot turn out well. Or can it? Given the transparency of the cookie-cut plot still all do okay in their assigned tasks. Fairbanks Jr., I realise for the first time, got along as sort of a second class Ronald Colman, and you can see him crudely working that here. Goddard and Burke, w/o much to work with, merely sorta glide along using their established stage personas, as does Stephenson, too (as entertaining as those personas are). All in all not a lot of work done. The story of the redemptive power of trust does the job all on its own.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 05, 2010
    This movie has good actors, good story, humor, and drama. It's really enjoyable, and you learn a lot about life too. This movie is sweet, and sorta predictable, but it doesn't over do it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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