30 user 9 critic

The Young Philadelphians (1959)

Approved | | Drama | 30 May 1959 (USA)
0:38 | Trailer

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A promising lawyer tries to handle his social and professional problems while climbing the ranks in Philadelphia.



(screenplay), (novel)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Carol Wharton
Mike Flanagan
Kate Judson Lawrence
Gilbert Dickinson
John Marshall Wharton
Louis Donetti
Uncle Morton Stearnes
Doctor Shippen Stearnes
Bill Lawrence
Carter Henry (as Fred Eisley)


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


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




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Release Date:

30 May 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Philadelphian  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The First Presbyterian Church, Glendale, California, shown in the opening scene was destroyed in the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. See more »


Tony asks Mike to give him access to "county records" and the reports on Mrs. Allen's county personal property tax liability. Mrs. Allen had earlier described taking the train into town, which would make her a resident of a suburban county - not Philadelphia County. Philadelphia County would not have her county tax records. See more »


[Mrs. Allen welcomes Anthony Lawrence to a society cocktail party]
Mrs. J. Arthur Allen: Well, here you are at last. Everyone's here to meet you, including some I thought were dead.
See more »


Featured in Hanging with Batman (2014) See more »


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

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User Reviews

" I guess I'm not as good or as bad as I thought I was "
21 May 2009 | by See all my reviews

Building a Hollywood resume as outstanding as he did, actor Paul Newman selected roles which in one way or another tapped his enormous talent. This movie is a prime example of that legendary persona. The Film is called " The Young Philadelphians " and is the story of Anthony Judson Lawrence (Paul Newman) who is born into an upper social class family. Although raised as an up and coming Laurence, his mother Kate (Diane Brewster) and father (Brian Keith) keep from him a dark family secret which involved his biological father (Adam West). Having graduated from a prestigious Ivy league school, believes he can contribute to his family name. However ambitious he is, there are several outside influences which seek to bar his success. There is a young lady (Joan Dickinson) whom he wishes to marry, but who's father (John Williams) is against it. Then there are the In-laws who believe Lawrence's mother is a disgrace by fathering an illegitimate child. In addition, there are faltering friends like Chester Gwynn (Robert Vaughn) who calls on him when charged with murder. Then there are influential millionaire friends like Mrs. J. Arthur Allen (Billie Burke) who is impressed with Lawrence's ability to succeed when put in real jeopardy. This happens when he is chosen as defense counsel for his friend Chester in a real life drama which endangers his family, his friends and himself if he should fail. All in all, this is one film not to be missed by fans of Paul Newman. The end result is another milestone and a definite Classic for his career. ****

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