Marilyn Monroe, Constance Bennett, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, David Wayne, and Monty Woolley in As Young as You Feel (1951)


(director: Harmon Jones; screenwriters: Lamar Trotti/based on a story by Paddy Chayefsky; cinematographer: Joe MacDonald; editor: Robert Simpson; music: Cyril Mockridge; cast: Monty Woolley (John R. Hodges), Thelma Ritter (Della Hodges), David Wayne (Joe Elliott), Marilyn Monroe (Harriet), Constance Bennett (Lucille McKinley), Jean Peters (Alice Hodges), Allyn Joseph (George Hodges), Albert Dekker (Louis McKinley), Clinton Sundberg (Frank Erickson), Wally Brown (Gallagher), Minor Watson (Harold P. Cleveland); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Lamar Trotti; 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment; 1951)

“Worth checking out if you care to catch Marilyn Monroe in the beginning.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A gentle but feeble satire helmed by Harmon Jones (“Bullwhip”/”Pride of St. Louis”/”Gorilla at Large”). It’s based on a story by Paddy Chayefsky, and is written by Lamar Trotti without developing most of his characters and without getting a good handle on the comical potential. The film is noteworthy today because Marilyn Monroe has a bit part as a dumb secretary.

It’s a star vehicle for Monty Woolley, who plays John Hodges, a 65-year-old print press worker who refuses to retire when his Acme Printing plant, part of a large conglomerate owned by Consolidated Motors, orders him to follow company policy and retire because he reached 65. In response, the irrepressible Woolley takes to imitating Consolidated’s unrecognizable in public president, Harold P. Cleveland, and shows up at the Acme plant talking about tabling the company’s discriminatory age clause in its retirement policy. Woolley calls too much attention to himself, and he receives national coverage. He’s even forced to give a speech to the Chamber of Commerce. The unaware president of Acme, Louis McKinley (Albert Dekker), takes Hodges to dinner. And the boss’s frustrated wife, Lucille (Constance Bennett), falls in love with the well-groomed bearded poser. Lucille’s hubby, we learn, has been having an affair with his blonde sexpot secretary (Marilyn Monroe).

Worth checking out if you care to catch Marilyn Monroe in the beginning. But be warned its stage-bound, and fine actors such as Thelma Ritter, Jean Peters and David Wayne have parts that are never promoted.