As Young As You Feel (1951)

70 or 77 mins | Comedy | June 1951

Director:

Harmon Jones

Writer:

Lamar Trotti

Producer:

Lamar Trotti

Cinematographer:

Joseph MacDonald

Editor:

Robert Simpson

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Great American Hoax and Will You Love Me in December? Paddy Chayefsky's unpublished short story was also entitled "The Great American Hoax." Although contemporary sources indicate that Chayefsky's story was due to be published in Cosmopolitan sometime after Nov 1949, modern sources state that the story was sold to Good Housekeeping but was never published. According to an Oct 1950 LAEx news item, Twentieth Century-Fox hoped to cast Myrna Loy in the picture. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, a printing press firm in Vernon, CA was used for the "Acme Printing Services" factory, and Pacific Palisades, CA was the location of the home used for "McKinley's" house.
       As Young As You Feel was the first film directed by former Twentieth Century-Fox editor Harmon Jones, and also marked the first screen adaptation of a story by Chayefsky. Chayefsky's story was also used by the studio as the basis for a one-hour television show, entitled The Great American Hoax , which was broadcast in May 1957 on the 20th Century-Fox Hour . The remake was directed by Don Weis and starred Ed Wynn and Walter ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Great American Hoax and Will You Love Me in December? Paddy Chayefsky's unpublished short story was also entitled "The Great American Hoax." Although contemporary sources indicate that Chayefsky's story was due to be published in Cosmopolitan sometime after Nov 1949, modern sources state that the story was sold to Good Housekeeping but was never published. According to an Oct 1950 LAEx news item, Twentieth Century-Fox hoped to cast Myrna Loy in the picture. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, a printing press firm in Vernon, CA was used for the "Acme Printing Services" factory, and Pacific Palisades, CA was the location of the home used for "McKinley's" house.
       As Young As You Feel was the first film directed by former Twentieth Century-Fox editor Harmon Jones, and also marked the first screen adaptation of a story by Chayefsky. Chayefsky's story was also used by the studio as the basis for a one-hour television show, entitled The Great American Hoax , which was broadcast in May 1957 on the 20th Century-Fox Hour . The remake was directed by Don Weis and starred Ed Wynn and Walter Abel. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Jun 1951.
---
Daily Variety
5 Jun 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Jun 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 51
p. 5.
Los Angeles Examiner
27 Oct 1950.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
16 Jun 1951.
---
Motion Picture Daily
5 Jun 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jun 51
p. 878.
New York Times
3 Aug 51
p. 10.
Variety
6 Jun 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial dir
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Waltz of the Flowers" from The Nutcracker Suite by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
"The Cedars Waltz" by Alfred Newman
"Maria, My Own (Maria La-O)" by Ernesto Lecuona.
SONGS
"You Make Me Feel So Young," music by Josef Myrow, lyrics by Mack Gordon.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Great American Hoax
Will You Love Me in December?
Release Date:
June 1951
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 15 June 1951
Production Date:
15 December 1950--late January 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 June 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1102
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70 or 77
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15083
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Strong-willed printing press operator John Hodges is distraught when his firm, Acme Printing Services, forces him to retire after he turns sixty-five years old. John returns from his last day of work to the home he shares with his gabby son George, scatterbrained daughter-in-law Della and beloved granddaughter Alice, but none of them are interested in his predicament. The next day, John examines his retirement notice closely, and upon learning that Acme is a subsidiary of Consolidated Motors, goes to question Joe Elliot, Alice's fiance and Acme's assistant head of personnel. Neither Joe, his co-worker, Frank Erickson, nor their boss, Horace Gallagher, knows who the head of Consolidated is, but John finally learns from a librarian that tycoon Harold P. Cleveland leads the company. Realizing that no one at Acme has met Cleveland, John decides that a bit of subterfuge may make them change their retirement policy. John sends Acme's president, Louis McKinley, a letter announcing the imminent arrival of Cleveland for an inspection of the factory, which throws McKinley, Gallagher and the other executives into a panic. On the day of "Cleveland's" arrival, John dyes his white hair and beard black, dresses in a suit and meets McKinley at the train station, where, because McKinley has never even seen a photo of Cleveland, he accepts John as the tycoon. While touring the factory, John runs into Joe and alerts him to his imposture with a wink, but Erickson refuses to believe Joe's claim that "Cleveland" is his sweetheart's grandfather. At the end of the tour, John expresses his disappointment that Acme has fired the older workers, who are the artisans of the printing ... +


Strong-willed printing press operator John Hodges is distraught when his firm, Acme Printing Services, forces him to retire after he turns sixty-five years old. John returns from his last day of work to the home he shares with his gabby son George, scatterbrained daughter-in-law Della and beloved granddaughter Alice, but none of them are interested in his predicament. The next day, John examines his retirement notice closely, and upon learning that Acme is a subsidiary of Consolidated Motors, goes to question Joe Elliot, Alice's fiance and Acme's assistant head of personnel. Neither Joe, his co-worker, Frank Erickson, nor their boss, Horace Gallagher, knows who the head of Consolidated is, but John finally learns from a librarian that tycoon Harold P. Cleveland leads the company. Realizing that no one at Acme has met Cleveland, John decides that a bit of subterfuge may make them change their retirement policy. John sends Acme's president, Louis McKinley, a letter announcing the imminent arrival of Cleveland for an inspection of the factory, which throws McKinley, Gallagher and the other executives into a panic. On the day of "Cleveland's" arrival, John dyes his white hair and beard black, dresses in a suit and meets McKinley at the train station, where, because McKinley has never even seen a photo of Cleveland, he accepts John as the tycoon. While touring the factory, John runs into Joe and alerts him to his imposture with a wink, but Erickson refuses to believe Joe's claim that "Cleveland" is his sweetheart's grandfather. At the end of the tour, John expresses his disappointment that Acme has fired the older workers, who are the artisans of the printing craft, and his eloquence convinces McKinley to dictate a memo to his curvaceous secretary Harriet, ordering the re-hiring of the retirees. Assuming that his mission is accomplished, John tries to leave, but McKinley whisks him off to a luncheon with the Chamber of Commerce, where "Cleveland" gives a moving speech about the contributions older workers can make to the stability of the country. That night, Joe visits the Hodges and shows them a newspaper story about "Cleveland's" speech, including a photograph, but they refuse to believe that it is really John. Meanwhile, McKinley takes John to his home for dinner, and there, John meets McKinley's lonely wife Lucille and their teenage son Willie. After dinner, John accompanies the McKinleys to the country club, where he spends an intoxicating evening dancing with Lucille while McKinley stews upon noticing Harriet on a date with Gallagher. Unused to admiration, Lucille becomes infatuated with John, and upon her return home, informs McKinley that she wants a divorce. On the other side of town, John also returns home, and his family is stunned to see his dyed hair and realize that Joe was telling the truth. George and Della are afraid that John will be arrested, but Alice is thrilled by his brave actions, and Joe promises not to turn him in, although he worries that Erickson might. The next day, in New York City, the real Cleveland is swamped with telegrams, newspaper stories and radio broadcasts congratulating him on his inspiring speech. While Cleveland's executives bemoan the sticky situation, Cleveland decides that he admires the imposter's ideas and wants to find him. Two special investigators for Consolidated then inform McKinley that he has been taken in by a fraud, and McKinley bitterly anticipates telling Lucille that she has fallen in love with a confidence man. Meanwhile, Erickson also pursues the matter and tells McKinley that John is the imposter, although McKinley orders him to keep the matter a secret. Consolidated stock rises so sharply, however, that Cleveland's executives realize that John's subterfuge cannot be revealed or they will be accused of tampering with the stock market. While Cleveland makes plans to meet John, McKinley tells Lucille the truth about her "dream man," although he does apologize for ignoring her. Lucille rushes off, while at the Hodges home, Joe announces that he has received a promotion, as Gallagher thinks Erickson is a "nut case" for insisting that John is Cleveland. Lucille then arrives, but when she informs John that she has left McKinley, he gently tells her that she is being too impulsive and advises her to admit that she really does love her husband. The next unexpected arrival is Cleveland, who is delighted to meet his charming imposter, and assures him that he will not be arrested. McKinley then bursts in, begs Lucille to return home with him, and fires John. After McKinley and Lucille leave, Cleveland asks John to work with him in New York, but John refuses, stating that he could never leave his family. Cleveland then assures John that he will get his printing job back, and asks him to send along any further ideas for speeches. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.