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The Young Lions (1958)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  2 April 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,274 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 19 critic

The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Noah Ackerman
Michael Whiteacre
Hope Plowman
Margaret Freemantle
Gretchen Hardenberg
Capt. Hardenberg
Dora Doll ...
1st Sgt. Rickett
Liliane Montevecchi ...
Sgt. Brandt
Arthur Franz ...
Lt. Green
Hal Baylor ...
Pvt. Burnecker
Richard Gardner ...
Pvt. Crowley
Herbert Rudley ...
Capt. Colclough


The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and in the army while entertainer Michael Whiteacre transforms from playboy to hero. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Irwin Shaw's monumental best-seller See more »


Action | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

2 April 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die jungen Löwen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actress Liliane Montevecchi (Francoise in the film) starred alongside former comedy team partners Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in back to back movies immediately after the duo had parted - this one with Martin, and the year before that, "The Sad Sack" with Lewis. See more »


When Noah meets Hope at Michael's party she's wearing a low cut evening gown, but when they step out for a walk along the river, she's wearing a dress with a collar. See more »


Draft Board Physician: You know, for a man your age, you're in excellent health. How do you manage it?
Michael Whiteacre: Clean liquor.
See more »


References A Walk in the Sun (1945) See more »


Das Lied der Deutschen
aka "Deutschland Uber Alles" or "Das Deutschlandlied"
Music by Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
Sung at the party in Bavaria
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Peace in our time?
11 November 2002 | by (Moss Landing, CA) – See all my reviews

I have seen this movie several times and catch something different every time I see it. Today is the first time I've seen it from the beginning. In the context of the time it was made, it was a bold statement about the human factor in any war. Brando shines and plays a sympathetic character who sees first hand the evil that men do in the name of patriotism.

Made at a time when the Americans that liberated the concentration camps were in their prime and there weren't any idiots running around claiming it was a lie, we see how ordinary citizens respond to the unthinkable. Brando's character stands in for the citizens of the Reich who claimed they were clueless about the genocide while the ashes from the smokestacks fell like snow on their towns. We see the horror and the denial.

It briefly explores a major taboo--interracial/interfaith marriages. It looks at racism in the context of anti-Semitcism (unfortunately still alive and well in America) and one man's courage in opposing it. Ironic this brand of racism, as the founder of the prevelant religion in America was a Jewish rabbi.

This movie is worth the 3 hours of time; it would make a great set piece with "Judgement at Nuremberg" which also showcases the talents of many of the actors from this film.

Good acting from all players in this film. It presages Robert Altman with the interweaving of the characters' lives from the first shot where Barbara Rush and Brando debate the merits of the Fatherland to the last scene in the forest where the end comes full circle.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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