What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2018) with… The Young In Heart (1938)

Here’s a fun little movie: the 1938 comedy The Young In Heart, starring Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Paulette Goddard, Roland Young and Billie Burke.

In this movie, we follow the Carletons, a family of con artists. They are caught as the son, Richard (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) prepares to marry into a rich family, and are forced to leave on a train. On the train, they meet Miss Ellen Fortune, a lonely old lady. When the train crashes, they save her, and she offers them her home as long as they are willing to stay. Hoping that she will include them in her will, they decide to act like the people she believes them to be, so Richard and his father, Col. Carleton (Roland Young) both reluctantly get jobs. Of course, the question becomes, whether it is all an act, or have they really changed, becoming better people?

To be fair, calling this movie a comedy isn’t quite accurate. It does have elements of comedy, yes, but it rarely focuses in on them enough that you’re constantly laughing (not necessarily a bad thing). The movie does have its sadder moments as well, allowing for some balance. The movie really does focus in on this family, and allows us to see that they are not completely bad, and are indeed capable of changing, especially when given a chance.

When this movie was originally announced for release on Blu-ray and DVD, it was one I had never heard of. And, quite frankly, I had little to no interest in it. However, I then came off of seeing actress Paulette Goddard in both Modern Times and The Great Dictator, along with a few of her other movies I had seen over the years, so I decided to try this movie because of her. Much to my surprise, in spite of being third-billed and fairly prominent in the posters I have seen, she actually doesn’t have that much of a part, not really appearing until about halfway through the movie, and even then, she doesn’t really do much outside of her scenes with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Honestly, I hadn’t even realized at first that she was only just becoming a bigger star, as a result of being in Modern Times. Still, I did enjoy her performance in this movie (and everyone else’s, too, including Billie Burke as the ever daffy Marmy). So, I do recommend this movie. Maybe it’s only worth renting for most, but it is one I enjoy just the same, so I would at least suggest trying this movie if you get the chance!

The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber and is one hour, thirty-one minutes.

My Rating: 7/10

Audience Rating:


What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2018) with… Merrily We Live (1938)

Time to jump in again with the recent release of the 1938 screwball comedy Merrily We Live, starring Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, and Billie Burke.

Our story starts in the Kilbourne household, where their chauffeur has disappeared with the family silver. Emily Kilbourne (Billie Burke), the family matriarch, has had a history of hiring tramps, but after this betrayal, she decides to stop, to the happiness of the rest of the family. However, Wade Rawlins (Brian Aherne) comes to the door after the car he was driving goes off a cliff while he is trying to get some water. The butler tries to make him leave, but Emily sees him, and decides to hire him. His reception from the other members of the family is a little cool at first, but slowly, everyone warms up to him, with all the female members of the house (except for Emily) developing a crush on him, as he falls for eldest daughter Geraldine (Constance Bennett).

My thoughts on this movie? I highly recommend it! As a screwball comedy, it does its job, as I spent most of the movie laughing at everything going on (and while I may have had silent moments, I made up for them whenever I thought of the movie)! The family is definitely very screwy. Billie Burke, in her only Oscar nomination, delights as the absent-minded and completely nutty Emily Kilbourne. Bonita Granville creates a lot of mischief as youngest sister Marion Kilbourne, usually accompanied by her two Great Danes, affectionately named “Get Off The Rug” and “You Too.” Alan Mowbray is the butler Grosvenor, who is constantly threatening to leave, with his bag usually ready in a closet in the kitchen. Clarence Kolb as Henry Kilbourne is the “head of the house” (although who can tell, considering the respect his children have for him at times), and is given a wonderfully gleeful moment when he comes home at night drunk, and Brian Aherne’s Wade Rawlins has to help him into the house quietly. I can name many more moments, but too many more would spoil the fun. I think this movie is definitely worth a shot, if you get the chance!

The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Classicflix, and is about an hour, thirty-five minutes in length.

My Rating: 10/10

Audience Rating:

*ranked #3 on Top 10 Disc Releases of 2018