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Young at Heart

(1954 c 117')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Based on the 1938 movie Four Daughters, three daughters in a musical family fall in love with a successful composer but then marry other men.

         Bob Neary (Alan Hale Jr.) brings Fran Tuttle (Dorothy Malone) home and kisses her goodnight. She tells her father Gregory Tuttle (Robert Keith) and Aunt Jessie (Ethel Barrymore) and her sisters Laurie (Doris Day) and Amy (Elisabeth Fraser) that she is engaged. Laurie and Amy hope for a double wedding.

         Laurie sings “Til My Love Comes Back to Me” accompanied by Fran on harp, Amy on violin, herself on piano, and conducted by their father. Ernie has fixed the garbage disposal, and Amy has him wash his hands upstairs. Laurie goes next door and is given a new-born puppy by Alex Burke (Gig Young), who expects to come for dinner.

         Alex arrives with Gregory and says he is composing a musical, and he hopes to board there. Bob arrives with flowers, and Alex gives them to Aunt Jessie.

         At the beach Laurie sings “Ready, Willing and Able” to the others. Amy sews an “A” on a sweater for Alex. Bob asks Fran for a wedding date, but she puts it off until fall. Alex gives a bracelet to Laurie. By a fire Laurie sings “Hold Me in Your Arms” as they roast marshmellows, and Alex puts his arm around her.

         Alex composes music, and his arranger Barney Sloan (Frank Sinatra) comes in. Alex tells him he got him a job singing and playing piano. Alex goes out, and Barney plays piano. Aunt Jessie meets Barney and offers him something to eat. Laurie brings in groceries. Barney tells Laurie he does not get the breaks, but she urges him to finish his song and learn how to laugh.

         Barney almost gets fired, but Laurie tells his boss they came to hear him. Barney plays piano and sings “Someone to Watch Over Me.” At home Barney complains that Laurie has been fixing up his room. He gives her a kiss and says he planned it.

         Alex carries presents for Laurie and says he loves her. He wants to get married soon, and she agrees. They celebrate Pop’s birthday, and he is given a sound system. Laurie gives Barney cuff links. Fran baked the cake, and Alex says he will elope with her. Alex gives Laurie a ring, and Laurie announces they are going to marry. Fran decides to marry Bob in June. Amy cries in the kitchen.

         At work Barney alone sings “Just One of Those Things.” Laurie appears and asks why he has not been around lately. He says he is going to New York. She has been trying to help him. He says she is getting married, but he loves her and feels rejected. He noticed how upset Amy was at Laurie’s announcement. Barney tells Laurie to go home.

         Amy prepares the wedding cake, and Alex asks her to tie his tie. Laurie sees them, and Amy cries. Everyone is waiting for Laurie, and Bob is nervous. A telegram comes for Amy from Laurie. Amy says that Laurie married Barney. Ernie announces it to the guests.

         Gregory and Amy play a duet, and Jessie says there will be more for Christmas. In an apartment Barney struggles with his song. He says they could go to South America if they had $300. Laurie admits she still loves him. He says they need eating money, and he suggests she hawk the bracelet Alex gave her. At work Barney sings “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” and Laurie comes in.

         Barney and Laurie drive up, and Ernie says he is going to marry Amy. Inside they all celebrate Christmas. Alex comes in and says his show will soon open in New York. After dinner Alex plays piano while Laurie sings “There’s a Rising Moon for Every Falling Star.” Jessie watches Fran. Privately Laurie gives Alex the bracelet back and says she is going to have a baby. Barney asks Bob to let him drive Alex to the station, and he apologizes for messing things up. Alex offers to loan him money; but Barney declines because he is a new man. Alex gets on the train and gives him money for Laurie. Barney drives in the rain and hears music. As it snows, he turns off the windshield wiper and accelerates.

         While Laurie and Amy wash dishes, Amy says she thought she was in love with Alex. Laurie says she loves Barney so much, but she cannot convince him she does. Gregory receives a phone call about an accident. Fran assumes it is Bob. At the hospital Gregory says it was not Bob, but Barney. Laurie goes in and talks to him. He implies he manufactured his accident. She cries and says they are going to have a baby. Barney is taken into surgery.

         In the spring Aunt Jessie holds the baby, and Barney plays piano and sings “You, My Love” with Laurie. He finally finished his song. Barney is heard singing “Young at Heart.”

         This musical drama explores the romantic difficulties in choosing a mate as sisters compete for the same man but end up with men they know and love more. A talented composer with a history of hard luck finds a woman who helps him to improve his attitude because of her confidence in him.

Copyright © 2009 by Sanderson Beck

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