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Movie Parents who clearly aren't old enough to be parents.


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Here's an idea for a thread, movie parents who clearly aren't old enough to be the parents of the actors in the movie. Everyone knows that Angela Lansbury was only a couple of years older than Laurence Harvey, notwithstanding The Manchurian Candidate. According to wikipedia, Jesse Royce Landis actually lowered her age so she is in fact seven to eight years older than Cary Grant in North by Northwest. But Beulah Bondit was actually only three years older than her screen son Thomas Mitchell in Make Way for Tomorrow. Put further examples in this thread.

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William Daniels would have been a precocious 10 year old to be Dusitn Hoffman's Dad in *The Graduate* . And although considered "old hat" these days, Burl Ives' "Big Daddy" would have had to sire Paul Newman's "Brick" as a hormone driven 17 year old.

 

 

This can also go the other way..."Movie parents who waited until their mid-40's to have children"

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Lee J. Cobb, still in his 20s as William Holden's father in GOLDEN BOY was a sign of things to come. Cobb would go on to play Gary Cooper's Uncle, Frank Sinatra's father and Glenn Ford's grandfather.

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> {quote:title=Terrence1 wrote:}{quote}One that comes to mind for me is Lorne Green playing Ava Gardner's father in "Earthquake". I believe there were only a couple of years difference in their ages.

>

> Terrence.

7 years, to be exact.

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Lionel Barrymore in *You Can't Take It With You* (1938) was 3 years YOUNGER than son-in-law Samuel S. Hinds and only 8 years old than his daughter Spring Byington. To me, Barrymore always seemed more of a peer to Hinds and Byington than someone who was supposed to be a generation older.

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Another example is Jo Van Fleet playing Susan Hayward's mother in I'LL CRY TOMORROW. She was only half the age of the old woman she played in WILD RIVER, not nearly old enough to be the grandmother of Lee Remick's late husband.

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> {quote:title=Wayne wrote:}{quote}

> Lionel Barrymore in *You Can't Take It With You* (1938) was 3 years YOUNGER than son-in-law Samuel S. Hinds and only 8 years old than his daughter Spring Byington.

 

I loved Lillian Gish's comment about Lionel Barrymore:

 

Lionel Barrymore first played my grandfather, later my father, and finally, he played my husband. If he'd lived, I'm sure I'd have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older.

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In Back To The Future, 1985, Crispin Glover played father to Michael J. Fox and Fox was 3 years older than Glover.

Lea Thompson, who played Fox's mother was the same age as Fox.

Of course that worked well in the flashback sequences.

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Eeh! I KNOW the REAL reason why ya wanna "leave out" YANKEE DOODLE DANDY here, skim baby!

 

Uh huh, 'cause ya don't want me to win the "grand prize" here, HUH?!

 

(...and here I already had that money spent!)

 

LOL

 

;)

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What about Greer Garson playing the mother to Richard Ney in "Mrs.Miniver"

 

She was born in 1904 and he was born in 1916. 12 years difference. I guess she could of been a mother at 12, but it would be kind of weird don't you all think?

 

 

 

Thanks

Lori

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I like how they chose the younger charactors for "Back To The Future" because its easier to add years than to take them off.

 

We saw Mrs McFly as a teenager, adult and an old woman. LOL with Jennifer, MOM!! she screamed after seeing *her* older self. :^0

 

Marty made me wonder is there age progression software linked to an app where anyone can scan in their picture and see how one looks 20, 40, 60 years down the line. If that don't make (your) universe come unraveled, nothing will.

 

They did nicely with the age progression makeup. Whats ironic is that Michael J. Fox is aging much mildly, gracfeully and better than the sci-fi writers thought he would.

 

 

Old Marty in "Back To The Future" II

back-to-the-future-part-ii-michael-j-fox

 

Fox today :) Only 3 years till 2015.

244foxmichael092806-thumb-244x327.jpg

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{font:Times New Roman}From all the examples you’ve cited, isn’t it about how convincing the actors are as parent and child rather than their actual years?{font}

 

 

{font:Times New Roman}In some films the characters age a generation or more. A young actor starting out the story might, by the time they’ve reached its end, be younger in real life than the person who is playing their offspring or even grandchildren. Yes, I’m thinking of Paul Newman and Diane Brewster-he being three years older than she was- in *The Young Philadelphians.* I was disappointed that the film was not in color until I realized that b&w was how they made her playing a middle-aged mother work by just putting her in a dark wig at first then gray streaks in her natural hair. {font}

 

 

{font:Times New Roman}Some actors seem mature even in youth and pull this off well with the help of expert makeup. Today it’s hard to imagine Johnny Depp or Tom Cruise ever looking old enough to make us think they’re 75 years old even when they are. It took Mickey Rooney a long time to do it. In most cases young into old seem to work better than old into young. For some, there’s no focus soft enough. {font}

 

 

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> {quote:title=Lori3 wrote:}{quote}What about Greer Garson playing the mother to Richard Ney in "Mrs.Miniver"

> She was born in 1904 and he was born in 1916. 12 years difference. I guess she could of been a mother at 12, but it would be kind of weird don't you all think?

What's even weirder -- or, at least, "interesting" -- is that Greer Garson married her movie son, Richard Ney, the year after MRS. MINNIVER. By the time the sequel, THE MINIVER STORY, was made in 1950, Garson and Ney had divorced, and as you might guess, not only was Ney not in the later movie, but his character, the older Miniver son, wasn't even mentioned.

 

Someone else noted that Lionel Barrymore played Spring Byington's father in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, even though he was only slightly older than her. I think they do a great job in their roles, but I agree that they seem more like members of the same generation -- which they were in the great AH, WILDERNESS! and A FAMILY AFFAIR (the first Hardy family movie), where they played married couples.

 

It seems like Spring Byington was often paired with characters older than herself, or, at least, who looked older than her (even in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, where her "husband," Samuel S. Hinds, was actually older than her, and really looked it). In the very entertaining THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES, she plays the love interest of Charles Coburn (b. 1877), who was nine years older than Ms. Byington (b. 1886), who looked even younger in my opinion. And when she played the love interest of SZ Sakall in IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, she seems (to me) a bit young for him, but in real life, she was actually only 3 years younger than Cuddles. I guess Spring always looked younger than she was to me. In her last movie, she finally seems to be about the age of her character -- at 75, she played Doris Day's mother in PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES -- but even there, I would have guessed that she was about 10 years younger in real life.

 

Good old Spring Byington -- another great character actor I'd love to see TCM devote more attention to, maybe during a month where these great supporting players (also including Coburn, Frank McHugh, Allen Jenkins, Frank Morgan, Alan Hale, James Gleason, Eric Blore, Guy Kibbee, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell et al.) could collectively be the Stars of the Month.

 

Edited by: BingFan on Jul 12, 2012 4:46 PM

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I don't understand why 33 year old Steve Cochran would be interested in 45 year old Joan Crawford in The Damned Don't Cry.

 

PS: Joan was always a good actress, right up until the end. But with so many older guys dating younger women in films in those days, she seemed out of place in this film.

 

The only thing I can figure is that older people still went to see her movies, who had been seeing her movies ever since silent days. But I was 8 years old in 1950, and she was about as old as my my grandmother at that time.

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Jul 12, 2012 12:34 PM

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I can't believe nobody's mentioned that Elizabeth Taylor played a *GRANDMOTHER* in Giant when she was all of *24*, and barely four years older than her "son" Dennis Hopper. I realize that Liz didn't exactly age as well as Audrey Hepburn or Loretta Young, and that she always looked older than her chronological age, but that was just ridiculous.

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FredCDobbs wrote: I don't understand why 33 year old Steve Cochran would be interested in 45 year old Joan Crawford in The Damned Don't Cry

 

How about Morris Ankrum as her father? I checked imdb afterwards and found he was born in 1897 while she came along in 1905-eight years! He did look a lot older than she did so the casting worked but there it was again.

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{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}I can't believe nobody's mentioned that Elizabeth Taylor played a {font}*GRANDMOTHER*{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif} in {font}Giant{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}when she was all of {font}*24*{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}, and barely four years older than her "son" Dennis Hopper. I realize that Liz didn't exactly age as well as Audrey Hepburn or Loretta Young, and that she always looked older than her chronological age, but that was just ridiculous.{font}

 

I did think this, but chose not to mention it because the circumstances are a little unusual. This movie covered quite a span of years, and Elizabeth Taylor played her character from a young woman to a grandmother. The only other option they would have had would be to use an older actress for the later years. I actually think that the makeup jobs done on her and Rock Hudson were much more realistic than others I've seen in movies (where they tend to make people look older than the characters), and I also felt their acting was spot on. Had the movie just taken place in the later years with that casting (Tayor was actually one year younger than Carroll Baker, who played her daughter), then I agree it would be "ridiculous." But since it did not, I think it's perfectly acceptable...because it's usually more easier for a young actor to play an older character than it is for an older actor to play a young character.

 

What I did find "ridiculous" was the casting of three blond actors to play the children of Taylor and Hudson, but I digress...

 

Another film in which this was very well handled was Stella Dallas (1937). Barbara Stanwyck was only 30 years old when she played this part, and she needed to be young in the first part of the picture. But there was excellent makeup and wardrobe (with a little padding to suggest passing years) in which she seemed to age naturally. Note that Anne Shirley was just 19 (a mere 11 years Stanwyck's junior) when she played this role and convincingly looked like an adolescent in the beginning of the film (at least to me) and like a lovely young woman and finally an adult bride at the end.

 

 

 

BLU

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{font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}I don't understand why 33 year old Steve Cochran would be interested in 45 year old Joan Crawford in The Damned Don't Cry.{font}

 

Joan was always a trailblazer...besides, I thought it was rather refreshing, given all the old guys romancing girls young enough to be their daughters in the 1950s as the male stars got older. Many of Joan's leading men during this time were younger than she.

 

BLU

 

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