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The Young Stranger (1957)

Approved | | Drama | 1 February 1957 (USA)
When a 16-year-old, neglected by his movie producer father, gets in trouble, his father doesn't believe his claim of self-defense.



(screenplay), (television play "Deal a Blow")

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Police Sgt. Shipley
Grubbs, Theater Manager
Jeffrey Silver ...
Jerry Doyle
Jack Mullaney ...
Confused Boy
Tom Pittman ...
Lynn Spears
Charles Davis ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Boy in Courtroom (scenes deleted)


Hal Ditmar is a clean-cut kid, the son of a wealthy movie producer. When an argument at a theatre turns into a fight between Hal and the theatre manager, Hal finds no one, not even his father, will believe his actions were justified as self-defense. The police are concerned that Hal is a juvenile delinquent in the making, but the real problem lies in Hal's father's inattention to his son. It's up to Hal's mother to try to bridge the gulf between father and son. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das nackte Gesicht  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First feature film directed by John Frankenheimer. He had worked in television prior to this. See more »


Teen: You know, they arrested me for car theft. My dad's car! Gee if I'd known I was gonna get caught, I'd have done pretty much better for myself. My dad's car---what a heap!
See more »


References Dragnet (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

The Young Stranger- Witnesses Anyone? **1/2
16 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A teenage James MacArthur stars in this film dealing with the age old theme of listen to your children as well as try to believe them.

From an affluent Beverly Hill home, MacArthur finds himself being harassed in a movie theater after a patron complained about his putting his legs on a chair. The problem is that there were plenty of people saw the harassment by the manager of the theater but no one was asked to say anything. This is a definite problem in the screen writing.

I had actually forgotten that James Daly was an actor. I remember him in television commercials. As his wife, Kim Hunter looks like she is annoyed with the whole plot. We suddenly find out that she has been contemplating leaving Daly for 5 years. What's stopping you lady, your life of luxury?

While John Frankenheimer always dealt with social problems, this one is cliché ridden.

Acting kudos goes to James Gregory as a hard-nosed police officer who adds to the problem by giving MacArthur a bad time. I think this picture was a cheap stunt to continue the theme of "Rebel Without A Cause." That Sal Mineo masterpiece also deals with wayward youth and a loss of interaction between parent and child. "Young Stranger" is adequate but certainly not in the league of "Rebel."

Whit Bissell is effective as the theater owner who is fed up with the behavior of all teenage movie-goers and wants to use MacArthur as an example. Usually a cowardly co-star in grade B films of the 1950s, Bissell shows his adeptness of really being a weakling.

With regard to Gregory, Frankenheimer would get a brilliant performance out of him in 1962's "The Manchurian Candidate." Remember him as the moronic senator married to Angela Lansbury?

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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