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Film / Young at Heart (1955)

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Young at Heart is a 1955 musical film directed by Gordon Douglas, starring Doris Day and Frank Sinatra, and featuring a supporting cast including Gig Young, Ethel Barrymore, and Dorothy Malone. The film a remake of the 1938 film Four Daughters.

When songwriter Alex Burke (Young) enters the lives of the musical Tuttle family, each one of their three daughters — Laurie (Day), Fran (Malone) and Amy (Elisabeth Fraser) — falls for him. Alex's charming personality is a particular match for Laurie, and the two of them are seemingly made for each other. But when Alex's music arranger friend Barney Sloan (Sinatra) drops by the Tuttle home, complications arise. Barney's cynical outlook on life couldn't be any more contradictory to Alex's, so Laurie endeavors to change his negative attitude... which leads Barney to start falling in love with her.

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This film features examples of:

  • Driven to Suicide: Feeling that Laurie would be better off with Alex, as he would be a better provider, Barney drives into oncoming traffic during a snowstorm, with his windshield wipers off. However, Barney lives.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Let's see. Alex is in love with Laurie. The two other Tuttle sisters also fall for him. Barney is also in love with Laurie. Alex proposes to Laurie, and she accepts, which causes Fran to finally marry Bob, and devastates Amy, as Amy loves Alex, but then Laurie leaves Alex at the altar, and elopes with Barney. So, yes, it counts.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In Four Daughters, the Barney analogue, Mickey, was actually successful in his attempt at killing himself, but here, Barney lives.
  • Titled After the Song: "Young at Heart" had already been a huge hit for Sinatra in 1953, so it was decided to give the film that name and include the song in the soundtrack.
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