For Reel

The Youngest Profession (1943)
May 25, 2016, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Edward Buzzell
2 Stars
The Youngest ProfessionThis dramatization of teenage fan culture in the 1940s is benefited by the appeal of seeing MGM stars play versions of themselves, but a dead in the water subplot involving an affair drags down the level of fun considerably. Virginia Weidler plays the president of a movie fan club who will get the opportunity to meet Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, and other MGM notables of the time. Whereas films like Hollywood Canteen had the stars play more down to earth images of themselves, the cameos in The Youngest Profession involve the actors essentially playing their star persona, with all the glamour and sophistication that it entails. While MGM might have not been keen to present their roster as anything else, the end result is that none of the celebrities actually seem radically different than they would be in any other film. Still, they are the highlight, and the film does a fairly good job at being impressed by each of their appearances—when Robert Taylor appears at the door, the picture just about stops to savor in his image. Weidler is fine in the role, but watching her attempt to save her parents’ marriage is depressing at best. Jean Porter has a great energy in her performance (her reactions sell the surprise of seeing each of the stars), but otherwise the picture is largely a bore.

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