A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy. He begins to discover that the facts in the case aren't ... See full summary »
A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy. He begins to discover that the facts in the case aren't exactly as they seem to be. Written by
During the commentary she did for the DVD of Sunday Showcase: What Makes Sammy Run?: Part 1 (1959) Dina Merrill said that the treatment she received from director John Frankenheimer on this picture nearly drove her out of the business. He literally told her at the end of a days' filming that she was the worst actress he'd ever worked with. She said she went home in tears. It got so bad that her co-star Burt Lancaster came to her defense one morning by ridiculing the directors' "good mood" as evidenced by the fact that he hadn't insulted Dina yet. See more »
After Hank Bell is attacked by the gang in the subway car, the next shot opens with the doctor in the emergency room examining a chest x-ray that is obviously reversed. See more »
The sixties were John Frankenheimer's heyday:he directed three classics "birdman from Alcatraz" "the Manchurian candidate " and "seconds" ,all unqualified musts for any cinebuff.
"Young savages " is at first sight ,a more realist "West Side Story" (the Thunderbirds and the Horsemen replacing the Jets and the Sharks),but hindsight shows that ,in the end ,Frankenheimer's work is not more convincing than Wise's -which has other assets anyway- ,as far as social depiction is concerned.The script promised great things.Which counts in favor of Frankenheimer is his impartiality:he never really sides with one of the groups.Some scenes are impressive :the first meeting Lancaster/victim's mother-but the second one gets in the way-,the murder seen thru glasses -which borrows from Hitchcock's "strangers on a train" though,the pack assaulting a young boy at the pool...The magpie syndrome comes back in the scene when Lancaster's wife is assaulted in the elevator :the same thing happened to Glenn Ford's wife in "blackboard Jungle" .
Some ideas or theories are dubious indeed:because Di Pace (what a name!) has a very high IQ -which is not obvious at all,considering his behavior and his conversation-,he might possibly be less guilty than the others.Ah ... and he is also Lancaster's former sweetheart's offspring !The last confrontation Lancaster/Di Pace is supposed to be an almighty fuss:but anybody past infancy has understood the "knife trick" long before the dialog ends.
"Young savages " is not a bad movie ;it's simply politically correct to the core,which the three works I mention above are not.That said ,there are enough surprises,unexpected twist ,and good performances (of course Shelley Winters outshadows Lancaster's bland wife)to sustain interest till the end.
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