Too Young to Kiss

Too Young to Kiss (also All Too Young)[1] is a 1951, American[2] comedy film[3] from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer starring Van Johnson and June Allyson. The film, in which the 34-year-old Allyson's Cynthia Potter masquerades as a 14-year-old child prodigy, was directed by Robert Z. Leonard. The monaural, black-and-white film[1] clocks in at 91 minutes long.[4] The film, which earned 164% of its budget, received mixed critical reviews.

Too Young to Kiss
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Produced bySam Zimbalist
Screenplay by
Story byEverett Freeman
Music byJohnny Green
CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg
Edited byConrad A. Nervig
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
  • November 22, 1951 (1951-11-22)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.4 million
Box office$2.3 million


Cynthia Potter is a skilled pianist trying to catch the eye of concert promoter Eric Wainwright. Wainwright, however, is currently only looking for young talent. To meet his criteria, Potter (in her 20s), masquerades as her own fictional younger sister, a 14-year-old "Molly" Potter. Wainwright is captivated by Molly's skills, and as the two work together, Wainwright develops a paternal affectation towards the young performer, while Potter cultivates an incompatible romantic attraction to the promoter.[2]



Source: The New York Times[5]


Source: The New York Times[6]


At the box office, Too Young to Kiss earned US$2.3 million on a budget of $1.4M (equivalent to about $22.2M and $13.5M respectively in 2018).[7]

The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported that Too Young to Kiss was critically acclaimed.[3] Hal Erickson described the film as "fluff", and noted that despite retreading 1942's The Major and the Minor, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett's scriptwriting kept the material "fresh and funny throughout".[2] On a four-star scale, Leonard Maltin rated the film at 2.5 stars, calling Allyson's Potter "fetching".[4] The New York Times' Bosley Crowther however, was unimpressed with Allyson and Johnson's adolescent antics and the excessive suspension of disbelief required.[8]


Five people who worked on Too Young to Kiss were nominated for film awards, with only Allyson winning hers.[9]

Award ceremony Date Category Nominee Result
9th Golden Globe Awards February 21, 1952 Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical June Allyson Won
24th Academy Awards March 20, 1952 Best Black and White Art Direction Art direction: Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse;
Set decoration: Jack D. Moore, Edwin B. Willis


Too Young to Kiss premiered in New York on November 22, 1951, and was distributed by Loew's Inc.[1] As of 2015, the film was available on DVD.[4]


  1. "Too Young to Kiss (1951) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  2. Erickson, Hal. "Too Young to Kiss (1951) Overview". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  3. "'Let's Talk Shop' with Polly". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 2, 1951. p. C9.
  4. Maltin, Leonard (2015) [2005]. Green, Spencer; Edelman, Rob; Scheinfeld, Michael; Weaver, Tom (eds.). Classic Movie Guide (3rd ed.). Hudson Street: Plume. p. 725. ISBN 978-0-14-751682-4.
  5. "Too Young to Kiss (1951) Full Acting Credits". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  6. "Too Young to Kiss (1951) Full Production Credits". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  7. Mannix, Eddie, Eddie Mannix Ledger, Margaret Herrick Library
  8. Crowther, Bosley (November 23, 1951). "THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; 'Too Young to Kiss,' With Jane Allyson and Van Johnson, Opens at Music Hall". The New York Times. Arthur Hays Sulzberger. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522.
  9. "Too Young to Kiss (1951) Awards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
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