The Truth About Youth (1930)

Film Review


Release Date: 3 November, 1930

Studio: First National

Director: William A. Seiter

Starring: Loretta Young, David Manners, Conway Tearle, Myrna Loy


Richard Dane (David Manners), alias The Imp, a handsome young man, has been raised by three guardians, including Richard Carewe (Conway Tearle), the best friend of Imp's deceased father. Sweet young Phyllis (Loretta Young), although engaged to The Imp, obviously prefers Dick. Imp comes under the influence of exotic and greedy Kara (Myrna Loy) and secretly marries her. On the wedding day, Kara learns that Imp is poor and throws him out. Unaware of the marriage and attempting to separate The Imp from the temptress, Dick attracts Kara's interest to himself. Phyllis is distressed and jealous. In the end, the feckless Imp has learned a lesson (maybe), Kara plans to sail to Paris with a rich boyfriend, and Phyllis is united with her true love, the deserving and appreciative Dick.


The plot is old fashioned and unexciting, however the film is interesting because it features early performances by major 30s stars Loretta Young (then 17 years old) and Myrna Loy (25 years old). Young, already a star, glows in a typical role as a beautiful, loving, sweet girl. Loy's role is also typical of her film characters at the time, an amoral temptress. The two had had similar parts in the earlier, cruder film, The Squall (1929). Loy's acting had noticeably improved between the two films. Since the film is precode, greedy, unrepentant, adulterous Kara does not pay a penalty for leaving her husband for another man.