Thursday, May 9, 2013

We Who Are Young (1940)

We Who Are Young was made as during the Depression. It gets too preachy at times about working hard and American morals and values but a lot of the story rings true today. I guess the story fits in today because America and pretty much most of the world is in a recession… eh who the hell is kidding the whole world is in a depression let’s not sugar coat things. We Who Are Young is very dated but if you can get past the preachy-ness and good American morals it is relevant to today.
            Margy (Lana Turner) and William get married at the Justice of the Peace. As they walk out they talk about all the things they want and want to do as the years go by. Unfortunately they both work together at a place where co-worker relationships are frowned upon. One of the guys in the office notices William looking at Margy and says something about her. William gets angry at the guy and lets it slip that she is his wife. The boss is a mean old man and lets Margy go because they broke a rule and also because men need jobs and married women should be home while their husband works.
            While William is working Margy sets up their apartment. She has her name out to all the job agencies in the city. William tells her he should be getting a raise in a few weeks which should make up for her salary. Soon Margy figures out that she is going to have a baby. She is nervous about it. She does not want to tell William until he gets a raise. He does get a raise even though his plan for the company is not chosen, the boss saw he put a lot of work and effort into it. Margy meets William as he leaves work. She takes him to the hospital to look at the babies. She almost tells them why they are there but does not get the chance to. William figures out why they went there when they get home. He very excited but also very nervous.
            William is struggling to pay things off. He has attachments on his loans to take money out to pay his bills. His boss is mad at him for the attachment and being in debt. The boss lets William go. Margy talks him into studying for his CPA certification. She sells her ring for money. He passes his test and hopes jobs will come pouring in. Unfortunately no accounting firms are hiring. Eventually all their furniture is repossessed. Williams begs the movers to let them keep the chaise lounge since Margy liked it and it was comfortable for her to sit on it. The man at the store says he will try to hold it for them.
            One day Margy suggests applying for relief. William refuses he says he would rather steal. He runs out of the house and almost mugs a man but he cannot go through with it. William gives in and goes on relief. He walks around a construction site. He just starts working after everyone tells him to get away. He gets thrown in jail. The man who is the owner of the building being built hears about the incident and goes to see William. The man says he went through the same thing years ago. He understands what William is going through and gives him a job at the site. William goes back to his old job looking for his plans he had made. He gives the boss a piece of his mind. The boss is left feeling terrible after William leaves.
            When he gets home he finds Margy needs to get to the hospital. Desperate he steals a car. The owner of the car sees William steal it and calls the police. The police catch up to the car. They see Margy in the back and escort the car to the hospital. The man he took the car from lets him off the hook because it got him out of going to a boring party with his wife. Meanwhile, the old boss was so shaken up about what William said to him he goes to William and Margy’s apartment looking for his former employee. The neighbor tells the boss the couple is at the hospital. At the hospital William gets a letter from his old boss asking for his return to the company.
            The ending is happy and optimistic. Margy and William wind up having twins a boy and a girl…just in case you were interested… I think I smacked my forehead at the corniness.
            I could gush about how adorable Lana Turner was in this film all day. Her voiceovers were so ridiculously cute. Turner was nineteen years old when she made this. John Shelton played William. I liked him he looked really good with Lana Turner. Apparently he failed to make an impression though and he was let go from MGM after this film. Too bad I would have liked to have seen him in more films.

            We Who Are Young was a good film. I enjoyed sitting through most of it. I always like a film where the characters are down and out on their luck thinking nothing could get worse than what they are going through and then a light of luck shines on them and things improve for the best. I guess I like these stories because I am going through something like that now. My life seems to just be a mess that has been going from one terrible thing to another but I know things will get better eventually and I am working very hard on making my surroundings better. The only things I did not like about the film was how preachy it got. It screams America and what it means to be an American. It preached how working hard and saving and living above our means was a noble duty and a whole bunch of other crap. I guess it was good for the time but today I would not want to be sitting through something that screams America to me it is too much (“I am such a patriotic American citizen I swear” said the blogger sarcastically). I wish We Who Are Young was more widely available to view I definitely suggest seeing it at least once. Keep an eye out on TCM in case the channel airs it again.  

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