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The Young Savages (1961) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot 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 Anonymous
  • After three teenage hoods stab blind Puerto Rican Roberto Escalante, assistant DA Hank Bell is tasked with prosecuting the case. He's looking for convictions for first degree murder for all three of the boys, even 15 year-old Danny DiPace, son of his old girlfriend, Mary DiPace. He grew up in the neighborhood and investigates the case with Lt. Gunderson. He learns that Escalante may have pulled a knife and was actually one of the leaders of the Puerto Rican gang that fought regularly with their Italian opponents. Bell's wife is upset at the prospect that he's seeking the death penalty for kids and he thinks she's just a liberal living in her own little perfect world. As he gathers more evidence however, he begins to see that it's all far more complex than it first appeared. He pursues justice in the case.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • In an area of Spanish Harlem controlled by the Puerto Rican-American gang the Horsemen, fifteen year old Roberto Escalante, a blind boy, is stabbed to death in broad daylight by three other youth in front of on-lookers. The three are apprehended and are supposed members of the rival Italian-American gang, the Thunderbirds: seventeen year old Arthur Reardon, sixteen year old Anthony 'Batman' Aposto, and fifteen year old Danny di Pace. The district attorney's office, led by Dan Cole, appoints Hank Bell to prosecute. Dan's choice is partly because Hank suggested first degree murder charges, which if achieved would help Dan's gubernatorial bid, but also because Hank knows the racially charged Harlem turf wars well since he grew up there. The one person who openly disagrees with Hank on prosecuting on first degree murder is his privileged wife, Karin Bell, who feels such charges especially against a fifteen year old are inhumane. Knowing the neighborhood and its people well, Hank investigates on his own, which places his and his family's life in danger as both sides try to use whatever methods of persuasion on Hank, including violence, implied or real, to get what they want. But Hank also tries to find out motivation for killing a seemingly non-gang related boy, who the three claim wielded a knife on them first and thus who they killed in self-defense. Arthur and Anthony's motivations become clear, but Danny is the big question mark, he who is deemed a good, bright boy by most around him, despite his solidarity in the killing with Arthur and Anthony. That investigation may be helped or hindered by the fact that Hank once seriously dated Danny's mother, Mary di Pace, who stands by her son's innocence.

    - Written by Huggo

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