The Impossible Years

  • 1968
  • Movie
  • G
  • Comedy

A charming adaptation of the play by Bob Fisher and Arthur Marx (Groucho's son) that ran in 1965 on Broadway. The title refers to those years when a child goes from puberty to adulthood, and, although we've seen this generation gap story before, it is well-handled by the moviemakers and provides a large chunk of wit, peppered by insights. Niven is a psychiatrist...read more

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A charming adaptation of the play by Bob Fisher and Arthur Marx (Groucho's son) that ran in 1965 on Broadway. The title refers to those years when a child goes from puberty to adulthood, and, although we've seen this generation gap story before, it is well-handled by the moviemakers and

provides a large chunk of wit, peppered by insights. Niven is a psychiatrist working at a university. His speciality is teenage problems, and he is stunned to learn that his teenage daughter, Ferrare, has been arrested for protesting on campus. This is anathema, so Niven attempts to straighten

Ferrare out. The first thing he does is suggest that she make some new friends. She does this, and soon the house is chock-full of kids, all making so much noise that his beloved peace and quiet is gone and he can't work on his latest research. He needs some time for himself, so he lets Ferrare

sail to Catalina Island with a group of her friends. Niven and wife Albright are somewhat surprised by the return of Ferrare, who seems to have matured quite a bit over a weekend. Ferrare now admits that she married a man on Catalina. She won't tell them the name of her husband because they are

threatening to have it annulled. Niven begins questioning all of her young male friends, but they deny being the husband. Ferrare is so embarrassed by this that she runs away, with Niven racing after her on a motorcycle. The chase ends on campus where Niven is thrown from the bike and lands at the

feet of the members of the school board, who have just finished appointing him as the chief of the new psychiatric facility. Niven is relieved to learn that Ferrare has not married one of the slack-jawed youths but his colleague, Everett. All seems to be working itself out when the youngest

daughter, Carr, enters and announces that she has a new boy friend. Niven and Albright realize then that the impossible years are not over.

The film is somewhat dated (hippies and protests, etc.), but the woes of raising teenage daughters are timeless, and this is as good a depiction of those problems as any film you may see. Ferrare left movies to become the wife of auto magnate John De Lorean, by whom she had two children before

they divorced. The excellent music was by Don Costa, one of Sinatra's favorite arrangers. The title song was written by the singing group the Tokens, and sung by another group, the Cowsills. The Tokens named themselves thus because they were one of the early black groups in the business.

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  • Review: A charming adaptation of the play by Bob Fisher and Arthur Marx (Groucho's son) that ran in 1965 on Broadway. The title refers to those years when a child goes from puberty to adulthood, and, although we've seen this generation gap story before, it is well… (more)

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