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290 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Get ready to rock out with the most entertaining "golden oldies" you will ever meet, a fun-loving senior citizen’s choir called Young@Heart. To prepare for a show in their hometown that is only weeks away, the lovable seniors must learn a slate of new songs, ranging from James Brown to Coldplay. The chorus’ tireless musical director leads the group through a series of hilariously chaotic rehearsals, proving that hard rock can be hard work — especially when you’re hard of hearing! Climaxing in a triumphant performance that will leave you cheering, their inspiring story celebrates the unbreakable bonds of friendship and the life-affirming power of music!

The questions start as soon as you know that Young@Heart is about a group of singing senior citizens as they prepare for and then perform a concert with a repertoire consisting of songs by the likes of Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and James Brown. Can this premise, basically a novelty, sustain itself for nearly two hours? Will the director give in to the temptation to make it schmaltzy and sentimental? Will we be laughing at these oldsters, or with them? The answers: yes, no, and a little of both. Directed by British filmmaker Stephen Walker, the 2007 film takes place primarily in Northampton, MA, home to the Young@Heart chorus, whose average age is 80. Most readily admit to preferring classical and musicals to the pop and rock given to them by music director Bob Cilman, and some of the tunes--Sonic Youth’s "Schizophrenia," Allen Toussaint’s "Yes We Can Can" (once a hit for the Pointer Sisters), and Brown’s "I Got You (I Feel Good)"--prove especially vexing. But the singers’ good natures and determination to master the material over some six weeks of rehearsals carry the day. Most of all, while they thoroughly enjoy themselves, it’s no joke to them, and thus not to us, either. Of course, folks this age are bound to have health issues; indeed, the specter of death hangs over the scene like a banshee, occasionally making itself right at home. But the chorus members’ insistence on carrying on in the wake of tragedy makes for a climactic concert that’s moving and powerful--Fred Knittle, who had withdrawn from the group due to heart issues but whose beautiful bass voice remains intact, returns for this one show to deliver a version of Coldplay’s "Fix You" that will bring a tear to the eye of the most flint-hearted cynic. Mixed in along the way are the group’s "videos" of songs like the Ramones’ "I Wanna Be Sedated" and David Bowie’s "Golden Years"; bonus features include deleted scenes and a brief featurette about Young@Heart’s gig in Los Angeles. --Sam Graham

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Stills from Young @ Heart (Click for larger image)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Benoit, Helen Boston, Louise Canady, Elaine Fligman, Jean Florio
  • Directors: Sally George, Stephen Walker
  • Producers: Sally George, Hannah Beckerman, Jane Villiers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,700 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Young@Heart" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on June 12, 2008
Young@heart is a mixed chorus composed of singers and band members 70 and above. If you think that means show tunes and old standards, you're wrong. Some of the songs you'll hear covered:

"I feel Good," James Brown
"Purple Haze," Jimi Hendrix
"Schizophrenic," Sonic Younth
"Fix You," Coldplay
"Yes we Can Can," Allen Toussaint
"Forever Young," Joan Baez

This is an amazing group of people. Joe, who at 86 can remember a song in one afternoon, had enough chemo to kill a person, but he was still up on stage. Fred, who has congestive heart failure must sing sitting down with oxygen at his side, is still up performing. Bob, who had a heart attack, was performing his songs from his hospital bed when he had a heart attack.

Their music is in large print. In order to learn their songs, many of them are using a compact disk player for the first time and literally didn't know which side of the disk was up.

They're consummate performers. They dance even if it hurts and they smile for the audience. Even after they'd learned a troop member died an hour before, they gave an amazing free performance at a local prison.

They've discovered the joy of music and they're passing it along to audiences everywhere. I promise you will both laugh and cry in this film. You may also be moved to try some new things. Music brings joy to many lives and it's clearly never too late to get out there and try something new.

Rebecca Kyle, June 2008
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on May 26, 2008
It would be a shame if potential viewers of this wonderful movie were fooled by the cheery trailer. This is not just a cute movie about old people incongruously trying to sing rock songs. It is about people stretching beyond their own boundaries, and the boundaries imposed on them by the rest of us, to achieve results that are stirring and soulful. The "Young at Heart" Chorus is a Western Massachusetts musical phenemenon. Twenty some-odd singers, in their 70s, 80s and 90s, meet weekly or more to learn difficult and sometimes aurally painful new music. Led by young (only 53 year old) director Bob Cilman, the group has performed around the world, and also in its Northhampton home. This film follows the group in the 8 weeks prior to an Easter concert.

The film is hilarious and full of heart. There are plenty of shots of oldsters being playful and even flirtatious. But the second half of the film achieves its depth by following former members who battle illness and self-doubt as they prepare for one more shot on stage. The film includes plenty of on-the-scene shots of the chorus practicing, and a few hilarious music videos of their best songs. The "Saturday Night Fever" takeoff, shot in a bowling alley, is both a great musical achievement by these often-ailing singers, and a terrific send-up of the original.

"Young at Heart" is funny, full of genuine pathos and a crowd pleaser. How many concert movies have the audience cheering and applauding a successful performance? Bring the whole family for a great time.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luallen on May 29, 2008
"Young At Heart" is a choir based in Massachusetts that has become so popular they now do tours of Europe. What sets them apart is that the group is made up of senior citizens, ranging in age from 73 to 92, who perform rock songs.

The choir's director is a 53 year old "young man" named Brian who introduces them to songs by the Ramones, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth and others. Much of the doc is focused on the group's rehearsals that are taking place prior to a big upcoming show. Many of the choir members are also interviewed and some even invite the cameras into their home. What comes through is the extraordinary charm, sense of humor and vitality of these wonderful old folks. If I am able to retain the same energy and joy for living in my elderly years I will consider myself fortunate indeed.

The doc climaxes with the group's successful performance at a local concert. Their rendition of Allen Touissant's "Yes We Can" is especially uplifting. Really the entire film was funny, entertaining and inspirational. Go see it!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Schnirring on May 10, 2008
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This was one of the best movies I have ever seen. My father is 81 and has given up on life since my mother died last year. He is getting this DVD for Christmas. The characters are adorable, full of life and talented. My favorite scenes are when they performed for the prisoners and tears were running down the tough guy's faces. And then one of the elderly performing "Fix You" by Coldplay is a classic. Please go see this movie,rent it or buy it for everyone you love. Fantastic!!!!!!!!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dean A. Anderson on November 29, 2008
Format: DVD
Often when people explain why they don't like musicals they say, "I just can't believe people would just be talking one minute and then break out into song the next." These same people might not be bothered by loud explosions in space in a science fiction film or a man shooting a six shooter accurately a couple of hundred yards away in a western or a miracle amphibious vehicle that allows its passengers to survive not one but three falls over large waterfalls. But spontaneous song is going just too far.
Maybe it's because we live in a society that spends much money for concerts and downloads to enjoy the music of others while fewer people are making music of their own.
That's not a problem for the members of Young@Heart, a chorus depicted in the documentary movie of the same name. In 1982 this chorus group, whose members are all 70 years old or older, was founded. Initially they performed vaudeville songs like "Yes, We Have No Bananas," but their director, Bob Cilman, pushed the chorus to try something different: rock and roll.
Many of the chorus members had a preference for classical music, opera or the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein. But they were willing to take on the challenge of music by the Talking Heads, David Bowie and the Clash (or as the 92 year old member Ellie refers to them, "The Crash".)
The new songs are not always greeted with good cheer. When Cilman is asked how he thinks the members will react to Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia" he cheerfully says "They'll hate it." But when interviewed, the members insist that the challenge of new music keeps their minds and voices active and alive.
At times, though, I wondered how really new some to the music was to the members. The film was made in 2006.
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