Young at Heart (1954)

Genres - Musical, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Musical Romance  |   Release Date - Dec 1, 1954 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Young at Heart is a bit of an oddball musical, one in which the songs seem to have been shoehorned in merely to take advantage of the talents of stars Doris Day and Frank Sinatra rather than to add emotional heft to the proceedings or to expand upon the inner workings of the characters. Yes, the creators have seen to it that the numbers being sung -- "One for My Baby" or "Just One of Those Things," for example -- fit in with the mood of the scene at the moment, but they don't really contribute to our understanding of the characters or their relationship. As a result, there's a bit of a hole in the middle of the film, for one never really buys that Day would fall for Sinatra in the way that she does. It just seems that they get together because the script says that they should. That flaw aside, however, Heart is good entertainment, with solid performances (both musical and dramatic). Gig Young is especially good, combining arrogance and charm in equal amounts. Even better is Ethel Barrymore, who somehow adds weight and strength to Aunt Jessie with nothing more than a quiet, but penetrating, gaze.