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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

Diane Brewster, who plays Paul Newman's mother, is actually six years younger than Newman. See more »

Goofs

At 1:29:12, the way that Tony holds the phone changes. 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

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 »

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User Reviews

 
A fine 1950's movie
15 December 2002 | by claudelalandeSee all my reviews

The Young Philadelphians had all the ingredients to become the most horrid American melodrama, in the worst 1950's style. Instead, it was cooked up to be one of the fine 1950's movies.

William Lawrence III (Adam West) was not, indeed could not be, the father of young Tony (Paul Newman). After William kills himself in a horrible car crash (suicide?), his Mother wants Kate (Diane Brewster) to give up the family name for her and her baby boy. Because she could reveal the reason for this horrid condition (Gasp! Is it possible that the marriage was not consummated because William the third could only "do it" with boys?), Kate secures the Lawrence name, if not the Lawrence money, to give Anthony a chance in Philadelphia society. Can you see the most awful melodrama developing?

Well, it turns out that further developments provide us with a balanced mix of humor, cynicism, drama, real emotions. This movie shows first rate acting and directing, and superb black and white photography. It gives us a glimpse of what appeared to be a pretty gruesome society scene. Apart from the unlikely happy end (I'm not giving too much away by saying this about an American movie of the 1950's), this is an interesting incursion in the period, with a healthy dose of social realism. As a bonus, we get to see Paul Newman out of his shirt in a steamy scene with a frustrated woman married with Newman's much older boss, a delightful Billy Burke in one of her last screen appearances, a tortured Adam West trying to deal with... (Oh! no, I can't say it), and a whole cast of believable, if not overly subtle, characters. We even get a bit of courtroom drama, à la Perry Mason.

This is an excellent way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon...


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