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The Young Philadelphians (1959)

Approved | | Drama | 30 May 1959 (USA)
Trailer
0:38 | Trailer
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

Pennsylvania's personal property tax on corporations not doing business in Pennsylvania, the basis for Tony Lawrence "stealing" Mrs. Arthur Allen as a client, was ruled unconstitutional in 1998 (Annenberg v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania). See more »

Goofs

39 minutes into the movie, Tony is walking down the street and passes a Salvation Army Santa Claus who is ringing a bell by his kettle. On top of the kettle stand is a sign with the Salvation Army crest on it. In the next shot, the sign atop the kettle stand is missing. See more »

Quotes

Chester A. 'Chet' Gwynn: Did you ever see a babe with two heads?
Anthony Judson Lawrence: No. Come on, call her!
Chester A. 'Chet' Gwynn: No.
Anthony Judson Lawrence: Come on, Chet.
Chester A. 'Chet' Gwynn: Tony.
Anthony Judson Lawrence: Two heads... then we can both talk to her! And she doesn't have to bring a friend!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

When Irish I eyes Are Smiling
(uncredited)
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff
sung by Brian Keith and unidentified actress
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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