The Young in Heart (1938)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Screwball Comedy  |   Release Date - Nov 3, 1938 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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According to Hollywood lore, theater legend Maud Adams was to have made The Young in Heart her triumphant comeback after 20 years in retirement but the original Peter Pan got cold feet at the last minute. Producer David O. Selznick instead cast the lesser known Minnie Dupree, a most fortuitous replacement, it seems. Dupree, in her screen debut, is startlingly effective both as a comedienne and in the film's more heartbreaking moments and it is easy to understand why preview audiences bemoaned her passing in the final reel. But Dupree isn't the only bright member of the cast, which also includes such Selznick contract stars as Paulette Goddard, whom the producer was grooming to play Scarlet O'Hara, Janet Gaynor and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The combined talent, in fact, made billing a problem, which Selznick solved by listing Dupree first, followed by Goddard in capital letters, and introductory billing for young Richard Carlson. Gaynor and Fairbanks Jr. bring up the rear, their names, like Goddard's, in capital letters. Composer-arranger Franz Waxman was deservedly nominated for an Oscar, his often humorous score a running comment on the story.