That Certain Age (1938)

That Certain AgeThat Certain Age Poster
Directed by Edward Ludwig
Written by Bruce Manning from an original story by F. Hugh Herbert
Universal Pictures

First viewing/ Warner Archives DVD


Just as Hollywood pin-ups represents sex to dissatisfied erotics, so I represented the ideal daughter millions of fathers and mothers wished they had. – Deanna Durbin, 1959

Enjoyable, if routine, Deanna Durbin fare.

Alice’s (Durbin) father is a rich newspaper publisher.  Young Ken (Jackie Cooper) has a crush on her and she is the inspiration and star of a show he is staging to raise money for the Boy Scouts.  Ace reporter Vincent Bullitt (Melvyn Douglas) has just returned from covering the Spanish Civil War.  Alice’s father has ordered him to spend a few weeks at the family manse to write articles about the European situation before setting off for China. This is ruining the teens’ rehearsal plans so they conspire to drive him out.  Before they can, Alice becomes infatuated with Vincent and wants him to stay forever.

That Certain Age 1

This is an OK light comedy with some OK musical numbers.  It’s fun to see Jackie Cooper at this age.  Not a bad watch for Deanna Durbin fans.

That Certain Age received Academy Award nominations in the categories Best Original Song (“My Own” by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson) and Best Sound Recording.

Clip – Durbin singing “My Own”


2 thoughts on “That Certain Age (1938)

  1. All Durbin films are pretty much the same but this one is nice. Jackie Cooper did make a good transition from little kid to young man, unlike many child stars

    • I was just looking at Cooper’s bio. He had quite the career. I vaguely remember him in “The People’s Choice” TV series — maybe in re-runs?. I had not realized he had such a distinguished Navy career.

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