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The Young Philadelphians (1959)

 -  Drama  -  30 May 1959 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,928 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 8 critic

Up and coming, young lawyer Anthony Lawrence faces several ethical and emotional dilemmas as he climbs the Philadelphia social ladder. His personal and professional skills are tested as he ... See full summary »

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Title: The Young Philadelphians (1959)

The Young Philadelphians (1959) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Anthony Judson Lawrence
...
Joan Dickinson
...
Carol Wharton
...
Mike Flanagan
Diane Brewster ...
Kate Judson Lawrence
...
Mrs. J. Arthur Allen
...
Gilbert Dickinson
...
Chester A. Gwynn
...
John Marshall Wharton
...
Louis Donetti
Robert Douglas ...
Uncle Morton Stearnes
Frank Conroy ...
Doctor Shippen Stearnes
...
Bill Lawrence
Anthony Eisley ...
Carter Henry (as Fred Eisley)
...
George Archibald
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Storyline

Up and coming, young lawyer Anthony Lawrence faces several ethical and emotional dilemmas as he climbs the Philadelphia social ladder. His personal and professional skills are tested as he tries to balance the needs of his fiance Joan, the expectations of his colleagues and his own obligation to defend his friend Chester on a murder count. Written by Mike Welsch <mike.welsch@bull.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | lawyer | irish | trial | law | See All (49) »

Taglines:

Guilty secrets. Shocking scandals. All in a day's work for on Philadelphian lawyer.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Philadelphian  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?


Goofs

No butler would ever invite ridicule by dressing in his butler uniform while testifying in court. See more »

Quotes

Chester A. 'Chet' Gwynn: Did you ever see a babe with two heads?
Anthony Judson Lawrence: No. Come on, call her!
Chester A. 'Chet' Gwynn: No.
Anthony Judson Lawrence: Come on, Chet.
Chester A. 'Chet' Gwynn: Tony.
Anthony Judson Lawrence: Two heads... then we can both talk to her! And she doesn't have to bring a friend!
See more »

Soundtracks

When Irish I eyes Are Smiling
(uncredited)
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and 'George Graff (I)'
sung by Brian Keith and unidentified actress
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Look past the poorly constructed beginning--this is one fine film.
1 June 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Young Philadelphians" begins on an odd note. A lady marries--only to have her new hubby say that he CAN'T consummate the marriage! I THINK this was implying he was a homosexual--but it was so vague you wonder if the man just didn't have a penis. All I know is that she stormed out--and later that night he killed himself. In the time between, she met with her old boyfriend (Brian Keith) and I THINK they implied they had sex. And, if we are to believe this odd build up, she became pregnant that night. The lady's brand-new mother-in-law wants to take the child and raise him herself--but the mother vows to do it without her dead husband's family's money. Years pass and the child is now a good looking college student (Paul Newman) who works for Keith (who you assume is his biological father). All this vagueness thanks to 1950s standards--which, in the case of this film, tended to weaken the narrative. I just wish they'd been a lot more explicit and this is by far the worst aspect of the film.

As for the rest of the film, it's very, very good. It's all about Newman and his rise as a lawyer in Philadelphia--and his dealings with the city's elite families. Much of the film simply chronicles his life events--his first love, his attending law school, military service and his rise through the ranks in the legal field. Despite this sounding rather pedestrian, it isn't--Newman did a great job and the script is very well written and with excellent dialog.

Later in the film, Newman has finally worked his way to being a very well-respected and successful lawyer. He has a chance to go into politics, marry a gorgeous women from the best of families and he has every reason to be happy. However, out of the blue, a new case comes along--one that could upset all of his plans. What's he to do? Overall, it's a film that is very, very good but with a small re-write it could have been a lot better. Either making the first portion tighter would have helped or simply eliminating this soap opera-like plot would have made the film stronger. But, looking past this, the film is still a very good and often overlooked Newman vehicle.

By the way, a few final points. My daughter saw this film with me and said that the small portion that takes place at the University of Pennsylvania looks like it was filmed at the school--as she recognized some of the buildings. Although IMDb doesn't say it was filmed there, it does say that the filmmakers did a good job making it look right. Also, to my knowledge, it's the only film I've ever seen about a tax attorney--and I'll have to tell my friend, Terri (a tax lawyer) about it! Finally, although I sometimes have disliked Billie Burke in films as she sometimes dominated the film too much with her ditsy act, here her bit part was fantastic--and used very effectively. I loved her in the film.


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