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The Young Philadelphians (1959)

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

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When the police call Tony the desk sergeant says he is from the "42nd precinct." The Philadelphia Police Department has districts, not precincts. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mästarnas match - Ingo vs. Floyd (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

The Kiss Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph A. Burke
Played on piano at the Dickinson party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Luminous drama; vastly underrated
6 February 2008 | by robb_772See all my reviews

It has commonly been said that full-fledged soap opera can never be a real work of art, but this excellent film proves to be a glorious exception to that rule. Director Vincent Sherman's luminous film adaptation of author Richard Powell's best-seller THE PHILADELPHIANS manages to tell the story of at least two generations in a single picture without ever feeling cramped, forced, or haphazard. The film's story line that begins as a romance, evolves into an underdog business story, and ends as a courtroom drama, and Sherman impressively manages to take all of these various story threads and create a completely coherent motion picture that never feels disjointed or episodic. Sherman also keeps things movie at a remarkably brisk pace – the film never feels even half as long as it's 136-minute runtime.

The entire cast turns in superlative work, with Newman being particular well-suited to his role as a good-natured-but-flawed lawyer (he would return to this type of role with even better results in the 1982 classic THE VERDICT). Barbara Rush, Brian Keith, Dianne Brewster, Billie Burke, and Robert Vaughn are all excellent, and Alexis Smith is particularly memorable as sexy socialite. Speaking of sex, the film retains a surprisingly sensual aura throughout, which helps to keep it from aging for modern audiences. Inexplicably forgotten by many classic film fans, THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS is a moving, compelling motion picture that holds up remarkably well nearly fifty years after it's original release.


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