6.6/10
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8 user 2 critic

The Young Animals (1968)

Approved | | Drama | October 1968 (USA)
A Mexican-American student organization pushing for dismissal of a bigoted coach finds itself at war with the wealthy white students.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Nardini ...
...
...
Raquel
...
Bruce
Zooey Hall ...
Paco
Russ Bender ...
Coach Simms
...
Principal Wilson
Keith Taylor ...
Din-Din
Sammy Vaughn ...
Emmet
Michael Wood ...
Jerry
...
Johnny (as Adolph Martinez)
Alberto Isaac ...
Ramon
...
Rudy
Johnny Leon ...
Pepe
Raúl Morales ...
Luis
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Storyline

A Mexican-American student organization pushing for dismissal of a bigoted coach finds itself at war with the wealthy white students.

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Plot Keywords:

teenager | independent film | See All (2) »

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The wildest! of the young ones See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blow-Off  »

Filming Locations:

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Color:

(Perfect)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American Revolution receives an "introducing" credit. See more »

Goofs

When Paco is trimming the hedges on campus, his trimmers don't even come close to the bushes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Drive-in Movie Memories (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

In Big Letters
Written and Performed by Orphan Egg
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User Reviews

 
Serious Social Issue with Interesting Directing
20 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

This 1968 film stands out from other low-budget 1960s teen flicks for its seriousness and unusual direction. Despite their sometimes "gee whiz" innocence typical of other 1960s films, high school students here deal with racism, activism, violence and rape. As dissatisfaction with unequal treatment of Mexican-American students increases, violence escalates. Students find themselves facing property destruction, graphic violence and a unique torture.

Most notable is the standout direction by Maury Dexter. Dolly, tracking and crane shots add visual interest when a stationary camera would have sufficed; plus, violence is filmed with active camera placements. For example, inside and in front of vehicles during chase sequences and inside a salvage airplane along with the actors (or stunt doubles) as a piece of wrecking equipment slices through it - an especially unusual sequence. Further visual interest is added by excellent editing that keeps a realistic timeline through quick cutting among multiple cameras at the climaxes of action but is not so excessive as to be confusing as is too common in today's action movies. At times, the editing is "psychedelic" quick, for example during a rock band's performance and might remind the viewer of filmmaker Russ Meyer's unusual editing.

I was surprised to see a very young A Martinez (billed as Adolph Martinez) in what is apparently his first movie and, though his role is small, is very good. Also exceptional is the lively score by the great Les Baxter. Fans of his "tropical lounge" music will appreciate hints of it here among congas, timbales and prominent brass. Listen for it! In all, a movie most compelling for its unusual direction and serious tone, though the acting sometimes turns "Sharks vs Jets" melodramatic.


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