Monday, March 05, 2007

Tonight's Movie: Those Endearing Young Charms (1945)

THOSE ENDEARING YOUNG CHARMS is a lightweight World War II romance which finds Laraine Day being romanced by two men: a love 'em and leave 'em flyer (Robert Young) and a steady boy (Bill Williams) who is the son of her mother's (Ann Harding) old flame.

The film is a good example of the entertaining "small" movie that Hollywood in that era turned out so often. In Leonard Maltin's CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE he describes THOSE ENDEARING YOUNG CHARMS as "surprisingly effective...nothing special but nicely played." That review is on the mark; it's not a great movie, but it's a pleasant way to spend 81 minutes.

The original 1945 New York Times review by Bosley Crowther can be read here.

This was one of Bill Williams' first films. The year after it was released he married Barbara Hale, best known as Della Street on PERRY MASON. Their son, William Katt, achieved TV stardom for a time in THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO; he also appeared with his mother in the 1980s PERRY MASON TV-movies, playing Paul Drake Jr.

THOSE ENDEARING YOUNG CHARMS was directed by Lewis Allen -- who funnily enough would one day direct some episodes of PERRY MASON. Allen's best-known film may be the first full-length movie he directed, the ghostly romance THE UNINVITED (1944). He had a long career in television, retiring in 1975.

Unfortunately this film isn't yet available on video or DVD, but it can be seen on cable as part of the Turner Classic Movies library.


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