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The Young Philadelphians (1959)

Approved | | Drama | 30 May 1959 (USA)
0:38 | Trailer
A promising lawyer tries to handle his social and professional problems while climbing the ranks in Philadelphia.


Vincent Sherman


James Gunn (screenplay), Richard P. Powell (novel) (as Richard Powell)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Anthony Judson Lawrence
Barbara Rush ... Joan Dickinson
Alexis Smith ... Carol Wharton
Brian Keith ... Mike Flanagan
Diane Brewster ... Kate Judson Lawrence
Billie Burke ... Mrs. J. Arthur Allen
John Williams ... Gilbert Dickinson
Robert Vaughn ... Chester A. Gwynn
Otto Kruger ... John Marshall Wharton
Paul Picerni ... Louis Donetti
Robert Douglas ... Uncle Morton Stearnes
Frank Conroy ... Doctor Shippen Stearnes
Adam West ... Bill Lawrence
Anthony Eisley ... Carter Henry (as Fred Eisley)
Richard Deacon ... George Archibald


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.




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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


When Tony is trying to talk Carol into going back to her own bedroom as he leaves his bed to hold her, he calls her Joan. See more »


Anthony Judson Lawrence: This isn't very conducive to sensible thinking. I better go back before...
Joan Dickinson: I don't want sensible thinking!
Anthony Judson Lawrence: Neither do I.
See more »


Referenced in What's My Line?: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (1959) See more »


Too Marvelous for Words
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
See more »

User Reviews

" I guess I'm not as good or as bad as I thought I was "
21 May 2009 | by thinker1691See 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

30 May 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Philadelphian See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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