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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Darling, I Am Growing Younger . Before and after the film's above-title cast credits, there is a shot of Cary Grant coming out of a house, and an offscreen voice tells him "Not yet, Cary." Grant then goes back inside the house. According to a modern source, the voice is that of director Howard Hawks. According to a 30 Jun 1951 LAEx news item, Danny Kaye was originally set to star in the picture, and a modern source reports that Hawks considered Ava Gardner for the female lead. Although HR news items include the following actors in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Charlotte Austin, Pauline Garon, Pat Combs, Perk Lazelle, Lorelei Vitek, Rita Leonard and Virgil Johansen, who served as Charles Coburn's stand-in. HR news items also include Mary Field and Frank Ferguson in the cast, but they do not appear in the finished film.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA file at the AMPAS Library, the Breen Office rejected a 6 Feb 1952 version of the screenplay, stating: "the reason for this unacceptability lies in the fact that the story of Dr. Fulton's youth formula amounts to a story of the invention of an aphrodisiac, which mainly exploits the lurid, or what might be called 'sexsational' aspects of such a drug." After meeting with Hawks and producer Sol C. Siegel, the PCA decreed that the script would be acceptable if the nature of the youth formula was changed, including changing its name from "Cupidone" to a "pseudo-scientific type of vitamin," and if "Oliver Oxly's" ... More Less

The working title of this film was Darling, I Am Growing Younger . Before and after the film's above-title cast credits, there is a shot of Cary Grant coming out of a house, and an offscreen voice tells him "Not yet, Cary." Grant then goes back inside the house. According to a modern source, the voice is that of director Howard Hawks. According to a 30 Jun 1951 LAEx news item, Danny Kaye was originally set to star in the picture, and a modern source reports that Hawks considered Ava Gardner for the female lead. Although HR news items include the following actors in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Charlotte Austin, Pauline Garon, Pat Combs, Perk Lazelle, Lorelei Vitek, Rita Leonard and Virgil Johansen, who served as Charles Coburn's stand-in. HR news items also include Mary Field and Frank Ferguson in the cast, but they do not appear in the finished film.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA file at the AMPAS Library, the Breen Office rejected a 6 Feb 1952 version of the screenplay, stating: "the reason for this unacceptability lies in the fact that the story of Dr. Fulton's youth formula amounts to a story of the invention of an aphrodisiac, which mainly exploits the lurid, or what might be called 'sexsational' aspects of such a drug." After meeting with Hawks and producer Sol C. Siegel, the PCA decreed that the script would be acceptable if the nature of the youth formula was changed, including changing its name from "Cupidone" to a "pseudo-scientific type of vitamin," and if "Oliver Oxly's" sexual interest in "Lois Laurel" was made less overt. The revised screenplay was approved in mid-Mar 1952.
       Although numerous contemporary sources refer to Henri Letondal's character as "Siegfried Kitzel," he is called "Dr. Jerome Lenton" in the film. Hugh Marlowe's character is listed as "Harvey Entwhistle" by contemporary sources, but he is called "Hank" in the picture. According to a modern source, Grant sued Twentieth Century-Fox in the early 1970s after the studio used clips from Monkey Business in a documentary about Marilyn Monroe. Grant won the case and was awarded ten dollars in damages. Monkey Business marked the fifth and final collaboration between Grant and Hawks. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Sep 1952.
---
Daily Variety
2 Sep 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Sep 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 52
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
30 Jun 1951.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Oct 1952.
---
Motion Picture Daily
2 Sep 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Sep 52
p. 1517.
New York Times
5 Sep 52
p. 19.
New York Times
6 Sep 52
p. 12.
Newsweek
15 Sep 1952.
---
Variety
10 Sep 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props
Props
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prog mgr
Tech adv
Tech adv
Scr supv
STAND INS
Charles Coburn's stand-in
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Darling, I Am Growing Younger
Release Date:
September 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 September 1952
Production Date:
5 March--late April 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 September 1952
Copyright Number:
LP2142
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97
Length(in feet):
8,715
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15862
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Absentminded scientist Barnaby Fulton is discouraged when his formula, which he hopes will reverse the ill effects of aging, proves ineffective on his test chimpanzees, Rudolph and Esther. Barnaby is encouraged by his wife Edwina, who loves her brilliant husband despite his eccentric behavior. One morning, when Barnaby arrives at the Oxly Chemical Factory, where he works as a free-lance scientist, he is summoned to president Oliver Oxly's office. The elderly Oxly hopes that Barnaby's formula will be financially successful, and will enable him to pursue his curvaceous secretary, Lois Laurel. Oxly shows Barnaby the ad campaign he has devised for the formula, which he has named B-4, but Barnaby urges him to be patient. Oxly's hopes are raised when it appears that the aged Rudolph is bounding around like a youngster, but it is revealed that Rudolph's numbered uniform was inadvertently switched with that of the younger, mischevious Esther. Barnaby begins work, but when he leaves the laboratory, Esther frees herself, and copying Barnaby, mixes a batch of the ingredients for his formula. Just before Barnaby returns, Esther pours her chemicals into the water cooler, after which Barnaby mixes his own batch. Against the wishes of his assistant, Dr. Jerome Lenton, Barnaby swallows the formula, and its bitter taste forces him to get some water from the cooler. Soon Barnaby notices that his bursitis no longer hurts, and that he can see without his thick glasses. Overcome by a feeling of euphoria, Barnaby leaves the laboratory and has his mature haircut changed to a more youthful crewcut, then buys a loud, checked sportscoat. Next, at the car dealership, ... +


Absentminded scientist Barnaby Fulton is discouraged when his formula, which he hopes will reverse the ill effects of aging, proves ineffective on his test chimpanzees, Rudolph and Esther. Barnaby is encouraged by his wife Edwina, who loves her brilliant husband despite his eccentric behavior. One morning, when Barnaby arrives at the Oxly Chemical Factory, where he works as a free-lance scientist, he is summoned to president Oliver Oxly's office. The elderly Oxly hopes that Barnaby's formula will be financially successful, and will enable him to pursue his curvaceous secretary, Lois Laurel. Oxly shows Barnaby the ad campaign he has devised for the formula, which he has named B-4, but Barnaby urges him to be patient. Oxly's hopes are raised when it appears that the aged Rudolph is bounding around like a youngster, but it is revealed that Rudolph's numbered uniform was inadvertently switched with that of the younger, mischevious Esther. Barnaby begins work, but when he leaves the laboratory, Esther frees herself, and copying Barnaby, mixes a batch of the ingredients for his formula. Just before Barnaby returns, Esther pours her chemicals into the water cooler, after which Barnaby mixes his own batch. Against the wishes of his assistant, Dr. Jerome Lenton, Barnaby swallows the formula, and its bitter taste forces him to get some water from the cooler. Soon Barnaby notices that his bursitis no longer hurts, and that he can see without his thick glasses. Overcome by a feeling of euphoria, Barnaby leaves the laboratory and has his mature haircut changed to a more youthful crewcut, then buys a loud, checked sportscoat. Next, at the car dealership, Barnaby purchases a sports car, and asks Miss Laurel, who has been sent to find him, to go for a ride. Barnaby flirts with Miss Laurel as they race, then roller skate and swim, and she rewards him with a kiss on the cheek. She pouts upon discovering that Barnaby is married, however, and after his return to the lab, Barnaby falls asleep. When he awakens, the effects of the formula have worn off, although the just-arrived Edwina is nonplussed by the tale of his antics, as well as the lipstick on his cheek. Barnaby, who states that the formula made him act like a twenty year old, assures Edwina that the kiss meant nothing, but in order to keep her husband from experimenting on himself again, Edwina takes the next batch of formula he concocts. Edwina drinks a cup of water and soon she, too, is acting like a twenty year old. Edwina and Barnaby elude the inquiring Oxly, after which Edwina demands that they go to the hotel where they honeymooned. At the hotel, Edwina's energy exhausts Barnaby, and when they finally prepare for bed, Edwina, acting like a new bride, begins to cry for her mother. The couple are soon quarreling, and when Barnaby gently pushes Edwina away from his fallen glasses, she throws him out of their room and calls their lawyer, Hank Entwhistle, to tell him that Barnaby has brutalized her and that she wants a divorce. Blind without his glasses, Barnaby winds up in the laundry room, where he spends the night. In the morning, the fully recovered Edwina takes Barnaby home and tells Hank, who is in love with her, that she wishes to call off the divorce. Disheartened by Edwina's brief wish to leave him, and her revelation that Hank had once kissed her, Barnaby decides that his formula causes only chaos and should be destroyed. At the lab, Edwina uses the cooler water to brew a pot of coffee, and after several cups, she and Barnaby begin to act like ten year olds. Oxly, who has heard about the success of the formula, calls in the board of directors and urges them to offer Barnaby anything he wants for the rights. Barnaby and Edwina are then brought to the meeting, where Barnaby asks for a "zillion" dollars for his formula. Barnaby and Edwina escape the confines of the lab, but as they walk home, Edwina's attempts to play annoy the now girl-hating Barnaby. Barnaby then runs off to join some youngsters who are playing "Indian," while Edwina returns home and calls Hank to complain about Barnaby, then takes a nap. As Edwina sleeps, Barnaby dresses like an Indian and talks his little cohorts into scalping Hank, of whom he is still jealous. When a recovered Edwina awakens, she discovers that a neighbor's baby, Johnny, has crawled into her bed, and mistakenly assumes that Barnaby has taken an overdose of the formula and reverted to infancy. While Edwina dashes to the laboratory with Johnny in her arms, Barnaby and his pals succeed in capturing Hank and cutting his hair into a mohawk style. At the laboratory, Oxly, Lenton and the other astonished scientists gather around Johnny, whom they, too, believe to be Barnaby. Edwina lays the baby down on Barnaby's office couch, hoping that if he sleeps, he will return to normal. While the men pace outside, they drink water from the cooler, and Oxly orders that the bitter-tasting water be thrown out. Barnaby then climbs through the window to his office, and Edwina soon finds him. Realizing her mistake, Edwina laughingly greets her recovered husband, then goes with him to the outer laboratory. There, they are amazed to see Oxly, the board members and the scientists acting like children, until Lenton deduces what Esther had done. Content to leave Oxly chasing Miss Laurel with a seltzer bottle, the Fultons leave. Three days later, with a new Oxly contract ensuring his future, a romantic-minded Barnaby tells Edwina that a person is old only when he forgets that he is young. +

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.