The Yacht Club
Independent producer David O. Selznick borrowed Franz Waxman from MGM to score his warm comedy-drama The Young in Heart (1938) based on I.A.R. Wylie’s Saturday Evening Post serial The City Banditti. The film was made during the period when Selznick was heavily involved in his production of Gone With the Wind (1939). The fact that Selznick shortly afterward awarded Waxman the scoring job on his forthcoming Rebecca (1940) indicated that he was certainly pleased with the results of the composer’s first film for the producer.
The Young in Heart tells the story of the Carletons, a family of fascinating con artists who live by their charm and on anyone’s money and have been kicked out of the best places from the Riviera to London. They’re out to “take” what they can from whomever, but finally their hearts get in the way.
The Carletons were played by popular players of the time: Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young, and Billie Burke. Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, and Minnie Dupree also had prominent roles.
Waxman began with the “Main Title” followed by “The Riviera”, both of which immediately set the tone of lighthearted sophistication, and then a scene at “The Yacht Basin” which sets up the Carleton ploys, a later sequence where the Fairbanks character is seeking employment at an engineering firm managed by the character portrayed by Paulette Goddard (sparking an immediate romantic interest), and then the concluding sequence.
Waxman received his first and second (score and song) of his twelve Academy Award nominations for his music.
This piece is dedicated to the memory of the noted British musicologist, arranger, orchestrator Christopher Palmer.
— Rudy Behlmer