Funny things begin to happen at the Church of John Home for the Aged when an author with unconventional ideas about rejuvenation tries to put some pep into the inmates.
The author, 46-year-old Mr Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb), cuts short a tour of lectures on “How To Be Young Though 80” to take up residence in the home – run by a stuffy young rector (Hugh Marlowe) and a pretty young nurse (Joanne Dru).
Posing as 77-year-old Oliver Erwenter, he fires the imagination of his fellow inmates – including a bitter, tart-tongued old lady (Doro Merande); a decrepit but still amorous widow who has buried three husbands (Kathleen Comegys); a woman who nips at a hidden bottle of liquor and grows tipsy (Frances Brandt), and a couple of old men who want to grow young and fall in love all over again (Billy Lynn and Harry Hines) – with dreams of regained youth, new-found passion and spirit.
The film was based on a 1948 play called The Silver Whistle by Robert E McEnroe. The whistle was changed to a bell for the film version.
Clifton Webb had previously appeared as Lynn Belvedere in Sitting Pretty (1948), and Mr Belvedere Goes to College (1949).
Lynn Belvedere/Oliver Erwenter
Miss Harriet Tripp
Rev. Charles Watson
Thomas Browne Henry
J. Farrell MacDonald