Rocky starts can sort themselves out in Young People by writer Edwin Blum and Don Ettlinger; producer Harry Joe Brown; and director Allan Dwan. Arthur C. Miller and Edward Cronjager; James B. Clark; and Mack Gordon and Harry Warren handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California’s Movietone City.
The film lasts 70 minutes. Its distributor was 20th Century-Fox. Its NYC-premiere and USA-release dates were August 23 and 30, 1940.
The movie begins with vaudevillians Joe and Kitty Ballantine (Jack Oakie, Charlotte Greenwood) exiting from a performance. An old lady (Mary Gordon) delivers a basket and a note. The note indicates that widower Barney O’Hara is dying. Barney leaves his infant daughter (Shirley Temple) in the basket for his friends’ care.
Joe, Kitty, and Wendy express their loving camaraderie in dancing and singing “Fifth Avenue” and “Tra-La-La-La” and in Wendy’s singing “I Wouldn’t Take a Million”. Joe and Kitty feel that the time is ripe to retire to traditional New England farming in Vermont. They look forward to 10-year-old Wendy:
Stonefield’s townspeople (Irving Bacon, Sarah Edwards, Almeda Fowler, Darryl Hickman, Olin Howland, Mae Marsh, Frank Sully, Frank Swann) are not welcoming. Town matron/schoolteacher Hester Appleby (Kathleen Howard) incites everyone to be unfriendly and shun the Ballantine family. She has no problems carrying her actions and attitude into the classroom against Wendy.
Mike Shea (George Montgomery) dates Judith (Arleen Whelan), Hester’s niece. He owner-operates Stonefield’s newspaper. He serves as editor, reporter, and typesetter. He welcomes the Ballantine trio.
Joe attends town meetings because he cares about Stonefield and knows that Mike will be friendly. Mike’s interest in tourist activities impresses him. It surprises Joe when townspeople appoint him Chamber of Commerce head.
Hester likewise does not stop Wendy’s involvement in the school’s talent show. Wendy gets to:
Hester lets Wendy proceed in order to be humiliated when rehearsals end:
Joe and Kitty are disheartened and exhausted with all their attempts to get along. Joe cannot fathom why:
They decide to leave Stonefield.
The movie ends with:
A hurricane devastating Stonefield the day of the Ballantine’s departure;
Joe getting lost children sheltered at Hester’s;
Joe rescuing Jerry Dakin (Robert J. Anderson);
The three Ballantines staying in Stonefield.