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Age Appropriate Films


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Haha...tricked you, as this is really about age appropriate actors and actresses in films.

 

This topic came to mind while I was watching Susan Hayward emote recently on TCM as Lillian Roth. In walked her supposed mama, played by Jo Van Fleet. I thought..."Wait a minute here, I can't believe that she is old enough to be Susan's mommy!' So I went checking in some of my old film encyclopedias and sure enough, Jo was born in 1914 and Susan in 1917, so this must be the earliest pregnancy on film ever!

 

I had thought that the most ridiculous mother/child scenario on film was Jessie Royce Landis to Cary Grant, since she was born in 1896 and Archie, I mean Cary in 1904, which means she conceived at 8 but now this landmark of humorous birthing has been eclipsed.

 

I learned my lesson though about consulting my old books, with the Shirley Booth age, and now think that many of these former stars lied for years about their original ages and only now are some of the real birth years being discovered and put online or on IMDB, what with the Find a Grave websites and all. I still defy them to come up with ages for the Gabor sisters, including Magda as Zsa Zsa lied so much even Hungary is probably flummoxed as to the real dates.

 

Anyone having any other silly tidbits about ridiculous age connections on film, feel free to submit for my enjoyment! Thanks in advance...

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This is a fun topic. I once used this theme in a programming challenge. Angela Lansbury wasn't much older than Laurence Harvey when she played his mother in *The Manchurian Candidate*. Lee J. Cobb played Gary Cooper's father in *Man of the West*, but Gary was older than Lee.

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Weren't Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft only a few years apart in real life, while in The Graduate, she was supposed to be old enough to be his mother?

 

And I think one of the worst age-inappropriate castings was Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard as Romeo and Juliet . Granted, they aged the rest of the cast up to match, but still...

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One of my favorites is the 24 year old Elizabeth Taylor playing Dennis Hopper's (20 yrs old) mother in GIANT(1956)

 

That's always been my favorite howler as well. Liz aged well before her time, but not THAT quickly. ;)

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Funny, I was talking about this subject to my wife just last night. I was watching THE BLOB (1958) and she asked me why Steve McQueen, who would have turned 28, that year was playing a teenager. Actually most of the principal "teenagers"in the film had to be in their 20's.

 

I told her that I didn't know about that film specifically, but the practice was nothing new. Teenagers were often played by actors in their 20's because that allowed the studios to skirt strict child-labor laws that would require the producers to have on-set teachers, social workers and put strict limitations on working hours of minors. Sure they did all that to use important child stars, but when they could save a few bucks using an adult they gladly did.

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I have always thought the casting of Robert Wagner as Spencer Tracy's younger brother in "The Mountain" was ludicrous. Spencer Tracy was 30 years older than Robert Wagner and looked every year of it, if not more.

 

Another case of unlikely siblings is Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple in "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer." Myrna was 23 years older than Shirley and seemed like she should be playing her mother instead. However, I have never let the age disparity between them lessen my enjoyment of what I have always found to be a very entertaining comedy.

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Good points and suggestions all in this thread, however I'd like to mention that my 59 y/o wife's oldest sister would have been 82 y/o this year if she hadn't passed awa...errr...died(that was for you here MissW ;) LOL ) from breast cancer over 20 years ago now.

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In *Take Care Of My Little Girl* Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, and other gals (all in their mid to late 20's ) are playing 18 year olds just starting college. In just about any war film we see actors in their 40's , 50's, even 60's playing roles that represent young guys who were in their late teens, early to mid 20's.

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>In just about any war film we see actors in their 40's , 50's, even 60's playing roles that represent young guys who were in their late teens, early to mid 20's.

 

I wonder why they did that? As a kid, I always thought older men fought our wars, such as in Battleground.

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> Another case of unlikely siblings is Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple in "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer."

 

Not totally unlikely. When one of my old friends turned 40, his Dad, a widower, remarried to a woman of 37. HE was 63. They had a daughter. My old buddy is 41 years older than his "kid" sister!

 

The sister is now 21, Dad is now 84. He has Grandchildren older than his daughter, and I have NO idea how she addresses them!

 

Sepiatone

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I thought of a couple of more recent vintage. In Franco Zeferelli's version of Hamlet, Glen Close plays Mel Gibson's mother; she's only nine years older than him.

 

And Sean Connery had a brief career revival doing this sort of thing. In short order, he played the father of Harrison Ford (only 12 years younger) and Dustin Hoffman (only seven years younger!).

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Yeah sewhite...like Hoffman only being 7 years younger than Connery makes the whole idea that the latter could POSSIBLY have been the former's father primarily makes THIS yet another case of "questionable casting", EH?! ;)

 

(...and so because it's been many years since I've watched "Family Business", tell me, how DID Connery explain that in this movie?...did he tell people when they asked about it somethin' like, "Well, I TOLD my boy that if he shhtarted shhmoking at age 8 that it would shhtunt his growth, but would the boy LISHHTEN? Nope!")

 

LOL

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That's a good and obvious one, Sepiatone. Surprised I didn't think of that. I recall there's some dialogue about Raymond being much older (a near scalding incident of the Cruise character when he's an infant results in Raymond being sent to an institution; Cruise grows up remembering him only as what he thinks was an imaginary friend he mispronounces as "Rain Man"), but I don't think we're supposed to believe he's a quarter century older.

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MOVIES has been showing Family Business often so I saw parts of it a few night back.

 

To me the casting of the 3 family members is fine. i.e. the oldest looks like he is in his 60s, the second one looks like he is in his 40s and the youngest looks like he is in his 20s.

 

Connery having little hair and Hoffman having a full head of hair, made them look like farther and son to me.

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What was the name of that awful Joan Crawford movie from the 60's....hmmm, was it "Berzerk" and they had her paired up with I think it was Tab Hunter? Anyway Ms. Crawford had to have been at least 60 years old and was flopping around with this young man in his 20's......that's just nasty dude.

 

Edited by: te712 on Nov 29, 2013 4:17 PM

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