Frank Sinatra – Young At Heart


It was a song, and the title of not one, but two movies, both Sinatra-related.  First came the song, in 1953, and Frank Sinatra was the first to record it.  It was so popular that it became the title of a film starring Frank and Doris Day, and the song was featured in the film’s opening and closing credits.

youngposterIn 1955’s Young At Heart, Frank plays a troubled musician thrown into the mix of several romantic entanglements.  Others in the cast included Gig Young, Ethel Barrymore and Dorothy Malone.  And the script was co-written by Lenore J. Coffee and Julius Epstein, Julius being the brilliant screenwriter who co-wrote Casablanca with his twin brother Phillip as reported by the Tribute Performers website.

In Young At Heart, Frank’s character Barney Sloan was supposed to kill himself, but because Frank’s characters died in his two previous films (From Here to Eternity and Suddenly) Frank preferred that his character live on this time, and the studio complied with his wishes.  As a result, there’s still a suicide attempt but it’s unsuccessful.

Fast forward forty years to 1995 when CBS presented a TV movie also called Young At Heart.  It starred Olympia Dukakis as Rose Garaventi, an Italian grandmother residing in Frank’s hometown of Hoboken New Jersey.  Like many women, as a teenager, Rose had a crush on F.S., and the crush continued on through her life to the point that when her husband Joe dies, she hears Sinatra’s voice in a dream, telling her to get on with her life, despite serious financial difficulties to overcome, left for her by Joe.

Finally, a financial crisis is averted, and Rose and family are gathered together as Young At Heart by Frank plays in the background.  Then, to everyone’s amazement, they discover that Frank is there in the flesh, at the age of 80.  Dressed in his signature tux, he presents Rose with, what else but a beautiful red rose.  And when she asks what he’s doing there, he replies with his only line, “Joe sent me”.  The movie also features other Sinatra recordings including Dream, and Someone to Watch Over Me.

As for the song Young at Heart, it was recorded over the years by many artists including Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, Bobby Vinton, and Rosemary Clooney, along with more contemporary performers like Barry Manilow, Gloria Estefan, Michael Buble, and even Bob Dylan.  But as a song, and a part of pop culture, Young at Heart will always be most associated with. . .Frank Sinatra.

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Published in: on December 3, 2016 at 12:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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