As Young as You Feel

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As Young as You Feel
As Young as You Feel.jpg
Directed byHarmon Jones
Written byPaddy Chayefsky (story)
Screenplay byLamar Trotti
Produced byLamar Trotti
StarringMonty Woolley
Thelma Ritter
David Wayne
CinematographyJoseph MacDonald
Edited byRobert L. Simpson
Music byCyril J. Mockridge
Color processBlack and white
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 15, 1951 (1951-06-15)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States

As Young as You Feel is a 1951 American comedy film starring Monty Woolley, Thelma Ritter, and David Wayne, with Marilyn Monroe in a small role. It was directed by Harmon Jones.


When printer John R. Hodges is forced to retire at age 65 because of a company policy, he decides to do something about it. Dyeing his hair black, he poses as Harold P. Cleveland, the president of his former employer's parent company, and goes on an inspection tour of his old workplace, with the firm's nervous, mystified executives in tow. While walking around the plant, Hodges runs into Joe Elliott, the boyfriend of his granddaughter Alice, and winks at him to let him in on the joke. Afterward, Hodges complains about the lack of experienced, older employees, causing company president Louis McKinley to promise to rescind the retirement policy and rehire all those affected by it within the past year.

However, before he can depart, Hodges finds that McKinley has arranged for him to address the local chamber of commerce. Hodges is up to the challenge, delivering a rousing speech about the virtues of the older worker. He receives a standing ovation, the newspapers praise him, and even the stock market rises on the optimism generated.

Hodges is taken to dinner by McKinley and his neglected wife Lucille. McKinley, it turns out, is more interested in his curvaceous private secretary Harriet. Hodges has a wonderful time, dancing the night away with Lucille. Swept away by his compliments and attention, she fancies herself in love with him. Later that night, she tells her dumbfounded husband that she wants a divorce.

Meanwhile, Joe is unable to convince anybody that Cleveland is actually an impostor. Frank Erickson, his rival for a promotion, and the entire Hodges family – son George, daughter-in-law Della, and Alice – all think Joe is crazy. However, when Hodges returns home with his dyed hair, Joe is vindicated. Because Hodges will be exposed anyway, Della proposes that Joe turn him in so that he can get the promotion, but Joe refuses to do it. The next day, Erickson finally believes Joe and tries to warn their mutual boss Horace Gallagher, but Gallagher thinks Erickson is mentally unstable and gives the promotion to Joe. This enables Joe to finally propose to Alice.

Meanwhile, the real Harold Cleveland is in an awkward position. The speech has done wonders for his and his company's image and even raised the price of the company's stock, but he is unsure of his impostor's motives. When McKinley discovers Hodges' identity and informs Cleveland, he decides to pay him a visit.

Lucille gets there first, but Hodges tells her that he will not come between a man and his wife and that he suspects she is still in love with her husband. McKinley barges in and apologizes to his wife, and the happy couple reconciles and kisses. As McKinley is leaving he fires Hodges, unbeknown to him that the real Cleveland is in the house with Hodges.

When Cleveland meets Hodges, he is reassured that the old man has no sinister intentions. Cleveland is so impressed that he offers Hodges a job advising him on public relations but gets turned down. Before Cleveland leaves, he tells Hodges that a memo will be sent to McKinley the next morning informing him that Hodges is to have his job back.


Critical response[edit]

A review in the New York Post stated:

"It is an uncommonly pleasing picture if no critical solvents are applied to it. Being short on probability and long on popular laugh devices of plot and character, it can be recommended highly to most of the people most of the time."

The New York Times stated:

"The unpretentious little picture, which Lamar Trotti has written and produced and which Harmon Jones has directed in a deliciously nimble comic style, is a vastly superior entertainment so far as ingenuity and taste are concerned, and it certainly confronts its audience on a much more appropriately adult plane...Albert Dekker is mighty amusing as a fatheaded small-business boss, Marilyn Monroe is superb as his secretary..."

Musical numbers[edit]


Title[1] Performer(s) Note(s)
"You Make Me Feel So Young" Sung by a chorus during the opening credits and played occasionally in the score Music by Josef Myrow
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
"Born to Be Kissed" Sung by Thelma Ritter Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Written for The Girl from Missouri (1934)
"Consolidated March" Music by Alfred Newman and Cyril J. Mockridge
"Mama Inez" Played as dance music at the country club Music by Eliseo Grenet
"Russian Dance" Played by the orchestra at the beginning Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
From The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
"The Waltz of the Flowers" Played by the orchestra at the beginning Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
From The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
"The Cedars Waltz" Played as dance music at the country club Music by Alfred Newman
"Maria, My Own (Maria La O)" Played as dance music at the country club after McKinley leaves and occasionally in the score Music by Ernesto Lecuona


The story was later filmed for TV as "The Great American Hoax" (1957).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "As Young as You Feel (1951): Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved September 5, 2014.

External links[edit]