When a gentleman (Monty Woolley) is forced to retire at age 65, he'll do just about anything to beat the system. Dying his hair black, he poses as the president of his former employer's holding company. Suddenly free to ai... more »r his views on everything from company policy to national economics, comic craziness ensues when he meets not only the firm's top executives, but someone equally impressive - a beautiful secretary, played by Marilyn Monroe, in one of her first and funniest roles.« less
A wonderful comedy featuring a young Marilyn Monroe
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 07/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As Young as You Feel is best known as one of Marilyn Monroe's most impressive early performances, but it is a great, entertaining, richly humorous, and thought-provoking movie in its own right. The entire cast is superb, boasting particularly impressive performances from the always acerbically funny Thelma Ritter, supporting actor extraordinaire David Wayne, the lovely Jean Peters, and the impeccably immaculate Monty Woolley. Woolley plays John Hodges, a man who loses his job working a hand press at a printing company when he turns sixty-five, as it is the policy of Consolidated Motors to force all of the workers at its subsidiaries to retire at that age. When he inquires about the parent company, no one seems to know anything about it, not even the president's name. Thus is born a brilliant scheme whereby Hodges dies his white hair and whiskers, assumes the identity of none other than CM president Harold P. Cleveland, and easily convinces the executives of Acme Printing to ignore the mandatory retirement clause in its operations. Things go a little farther than he planned, though, and he soon finds himself giving a speech at the Chamber of Commerce, dining at the country club, and causing a stir among both the public at large and the business world. His speech about the nobility of the worker, the wholly unquantifiable contribution of the aging yet skilled artisan who takes pride in his work, and his emphasis of the individual over the bureaucracy is published and spreads like wildfire, restoring a sense of pride and commitment in the public, sending the stock of Consolidated Motors through the roof, and rallying the entire national economy. This is where things get complicated, as the real president of Consolidated Motors finds out about the great speech "he" made, the truth of the matter begins to slowly work itself out, and a number of related personal issues between many of the prominent characters come to a head. Marilyn Monroe is absolutely wonderful in her small yet significant role as the secretary to the president of Acme Publishing, demonstrating the beauty, talent (both dramatic and comedic), and charm that would soon make her a superstar. Even though her screen time ranked far below that of several of her talented co-stars and her name appears sixth in the credits, Marilyn was actually featured most prominently in the publicity associated with the movie's release in 1951, which is a remarkable testament to her star potential at that time in Hollywood. Perhaps this role as much as any of her early movie appearances brought her to the attention of the public, the critics (who hailed her performance here), and the powers that be in Hollywood. No Marilyn Monroe fan should forego the privilege of watching her brilliant performance in this heart-warming comedy, and no fan of good movies in general should pass up the opportunity of enjoying a film that gives real meaning to the phrase, "They don't make them like this anymore.""
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 04/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Thelma Ritter, Monty Woolley and Constance Bennett star in AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL, a breezy comedy satire about an ageing worker in a printing firm who simply refuses to retire!
This has been issued (along with several other features) as supplements to the 'Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection' box sets. AS YOU AS YOU FEEL is one of her earliest features, though her role is really only slightly bigger than a cameo. It's pretty clear that Fox was unsure how to fully market Monroe and was leary as to her potential.
Twentieth Century-Fox placed Marilyn in supporting roles at the beginning of her contract. These were mostly B-comedies, where she more often than not played a secretary or the sexy girl neighbour. Perhaps her best 'bit role' came when she played Miss Caswell in ALL ABOUT EVE. Monroe really got her first big acting role as Nell in the eerie noir drama DON'T BOTHER TO KNOCK (and that same year she played opposite Barbara Stanwyck in CLASH BY NIGHT).
AS YOU AS YOU FEEL is a must-own for Marilyn completists, though the show rightly belongs to Ritter, Woolley and Co.
AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL, AS OLD AS IT LOOKS!
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 04/20/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""As Young As You Feel" is the quaint little comedy about a flutist (Monty Woolley) who is forced to retire at 65 but refuses to slip quietly into his golden years. Instead he dyes his hair and impersonates the president of his former employer, bent on changing the policies of the company for the better and in the process, flirting with the president's hot, young secretary. Yep, you guessed it - Marilyn Monroe. This is Monroe before she became Monroe and its a refreshing twist on her usual sultry "dumb blonde" image that we're all so used to. She provides a genuine scent of sophistication to this otherwise trite little piece of fluff and nonsense.
TRANSFER: Something of a disappointment. Contrast levels are considerably lower than they ought to be. The result is a dull looking transfer in which fine details melt away and blacks blend into one another. Also, there is a considerable amount of grit and film grain present, as well as age related artifacts, for a picture that is not smooth. The audio has been remixed for stereo with predictably limited results.
EXTRAS: This isn't the sort of film you'd expect extras from and you won't be disappointed.
BOTTOM LINE: "As Young As You Feel" was one of the stones that paved the way for Monroe's super-stardom. But it's not one I'd recommend if you're only a casual admirer of Marilyn's charms."
They Don't Get Any Cuter
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 01/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was Harmon Jones' first job as a director, after working as an ace editor for 20th Century Fox for some time (THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET, BOOMERANG, ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM were all edited by Jones). It's a good one, though not so much for Marilyn Monroe's brief appearance. She's good, but she's not "Marilyn" in this one, and in only one brief moment, when she sticks out her tongue pertly at her exasperating boss, will viewers recognize the comic Marilyn of the years to come. That said, she is already very beautiful, but this is a movie filled with beautiful women paired with homely or goofball guys.
The best reason to watch AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL is for the charming performance by veteran Constance Bennett. "Connie" plays Lucille McKinley, a discontented society wife whose husband (Albert Dekker, a creep) is only interested in money and social position (and in Marilyn, his secretary), leaving poor Connie to fritter around looking for love in all the wrong places. She is wonderful playing the part, her long years as a star allowing her to steal the show whenever she appears on screen. She has a wide range of facial expressions, pouts and moues, and you can read her thoughts through her eyes--a marvelous gift for an actress. Her interplay with her son, the teenage Russ Tamblyn, is priceless. He can see right through her to her inner insecurity, and he plays on it for all it's worth. The scenes where she responds to Monty Woolley's invitation to "rhumba" with him are beautifully played and should have garnered Constance Bennett an Oscar nomination.
Jean Peters, meanwhile, plays the daughter of Allyn Joslyn and Thelma Ritter. They're all sitting around the breakfast table acting very Brooklyn and ethnic (it's the same menage author Paddy Chayefsky used later, to better effect, in his screenplay for A CATERED AFFAIR), in rumpled bathrobes, and meanwhile Jean Peters is eating breakfast in a sleeveless skintight evening gown cut down to there. She's very alluring, you can see why David Wayne is so mad about her. On the other hand, Thelma Ritter plays Della as though the spirit of camp had pitched its last tent on her aging brow. I usually love her, but she is completely overboard in this one, playing a housewife who regrets the day when she used to be "on the stage" as some kind of nightclub singer. The soundtrack plays "Temptation" whenever she appears or reaches for her scrapbook of her show business past. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
The central gimmick is so implausible it's not even worth mentioning, but you get the picture, somehow everyone in America mistakes Monty Woolley for someone he's not, and he becomes famous for it. Watching this today, it's clear that Harmon Jones had the talent to be a new kind of Billy Wilder, but subsequent studio interference saw him switch his attention from social comedies like this one, to B Westerns, and then out of features entirely and into TV. It's a shame, isn't it, but his inspired direction of the sublime Constance Bennett will live as long as anything by, say, Ernst Lubitsch, it's that delightful.
William Maudlin | Magna, UT United States | 09/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The central theme of this movie (enforced retirement or, more widely, the perennial injustice of age-ism) is one we need, more than ever, to consider.
Today one is often "thrown on the scrap heap" long before one's 65th birthday. Many an experienced and/or highly intelligent worker then finds himself competing with high school dropouts, drug addicts, the psychosomatically and chronically sick, shirkers, and illegals for the most bovine and least-rewarding occupations.
A seasoned worker (a printing press operator) is forcibly retired at the height of his powers and while still in robust health. His cunning plan to get his old job back soon has him at his beloved press once more, while publicising the nation's need to retain and benefit from the most experienced and proven workers in the labour pool. The rest of the movie creatively and humorously sorts out the threatening legal problems and other consequences arising from the methods the film's hero has employed in reaching his goal.
With all the dubious causes and crusades that Hollywood collectively chooses to embark upon here, unusually, is a cause that all compassionate, fair-minded individuals can appreciate and support.
The humor is light and warm-hearted, the film's conclusion satisfactory. A refreshing and wholesome change of diet from the more typical fare of the film industry. A film well worth having and keeping."