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Those Endearing Young Charms

Those Endearing Young Charms(1945)

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Those Endearing Young Charms (1945)

This tale of a womanizing flyer (Robert Young) tamed by virtuous young Laraine Day just before he returns to battle was typical of the ways Hollywood could use even romantic comedy to support the war effort. Edward Chodorov's play had only lasted two months on Broadway, but the top female role seemed a perfect showcase for the right young actress. Samuel Goldwyn paid $75,000 for the screen rights so it would serve as a vehicle for Teresa Wright. When that fell through, he signed Joan Fontaine to star, but then abruptly sold it to RKO, where it became Day's first film. She had left MGM angry over unfulfilled promises of better roles if she would make one more picture she didn't want to. RKO offered her more diverse roles, even if she was back with one of MGM's leading men when they borrowed Young for the male lead. The rest of the cast drew on the studio's contract ranks, with Bill Williams almost stealing the film as Day's more innocent suitor and Anne Jeffreys in a telling bit as an air base waitress objectified by the men. The studio even re-hired one of its first stars, Ann Harding, to play Day's mother.

By Frank Miller

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