Too Young to Kiss – Robert Leonard (1951)

June Allyson and Van Johnson in Too Young to Kiss

June Allyson and Van Johnson in Too Young to Kiss

Leonard’s 1951 comedy Too Young to Kiss is perfectly silly, but I needed a break from serious European cinema and North American political musings on theology. The film is entirely American, with its obsession with wealth, influence, and fame. At that time, 1951, it was still possible to build a film that is pleasant in its way, if entirely artificial, around classical piano concertos, and to use the Grieg at length in its conclusion.

Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) making a point to her guardian (Francisco Rey)

Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) making a point to her guardian (Francisco Rey)

I was amused, if sardonically, that the first consequential interaction between pianist and impresario uses Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude, as that same music is employed two decades later by Luis Buñuel, in his Tristana, in the first scene after the title character’s right leg has been amputated and she rejects the consolations of her predatory guardian.

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