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The Young One (1960)

A jazz musician seeks refuge from a lynch mob on a remote island, where he meets a hostile game warden and the young object of his attentions.


Luis Buñuel


Peter Matthiessen (story "Travellin' Man"), Hugo Butler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Zachary Scott ... Miller
Bernie Hamilton ... Traver
Key Meersman Key Meersman ... Evalyn
Crahan Denton ... Jackson
Claudio Brook ... Rev. Fleetwood


Game warden Miller lives on an isolated island off the Carolina coast. The only other inhabitant is Evvie, an naive young girl to whom Miller is attracted. Traver, a black musician on the run from a lynch mob after falsely being accused of rape, lands on the island. Miller wants to turn him in and remove him from the tryst, but Evvie likes Traver and protects him. A preacher arrives from the mainland to rescue Evvie from her situation, and Traver's presence is discovered. Miller is now forced to decide whether to turn him over to the mob and lose standing in the girl's eyes. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"He said I'm no longer a child...and told me not to tell anyone." See more »




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Mexico | USA



Release Date:

18 January 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Young One See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Producciones Olmeca See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based on a short story Travelin' Man by American author Peter Matthiessen. See more »


Referenced in Polyester (1981) See more »


Sinner Man
Sung by Leon Bibb
Arrangement . Milton Okun
See more »

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User Reviews

An incredible achievement foreshadowing the gateway to To Kill a Mockingbird
1 January 2003 | by FilmTxSee all my reviews

I have been looking for this film for some time, and it's everything I've waited for. For 1960, this film has some rather advanced themes. A black jazz musician named Traver winds up on an island used by a hunting resort. He has run away from a town after being accused of rape. The resort is kept by a middle-aged man named Miller and an older man who has just died leaving his granddaughter Evalyn (no older than 14). Traver finds the Miller's shack and takes some items. Miller wants to kill him, we assume for racial reasons. Miller is also in love with Evalyn, now in his care, and wants to make her a woman. This subplot is used through the eyes of two other characters who learn about Miller's relationship with Evalyn. You will notice quickly that one man, Jackson, wants to shoot and kill Traver for what others say he's done, and jokes with Miller about what he knows Miller's done. Statutory Rape is worse than rape, but to these people, black crimes are worse than white ones. Other reviewers seem not to pick up that Miller knows what he has done is wrong. He knows he is a worser man than Traver. After he finds out Traver left money for the stuff he stole, Miller no longer wants to kill him. Miller is not a racist man, any hatred for Traver that Miller has is spawned only from the fact that he's a stranger.

This film is the ultimate drifter film (under Tokyo Drifter)...like a Spaghetti Western or a Samaurai movie, it starts as the man drifts into this new environment and follows him till he leaves this environment. The film is book-ended with a great exterior scene with a compelling song playing about running away. Traver's name is short for Traveling Man, what better for a drifter?

As one of Bunuel's two English films, I wish Anchor Bay would pick this up and put it on DVD, or whoever distributed it if they still exist. Bunuel's attention to detail helps mix in some hidden undertones of prejudices. A clarinet called a 'Licorice Stick'. A priest offered a bed slept in by Traver asks how long Traver slept in it. "Only one night" the girl tells him. "It's okay, I'll just turn the mattress over." I'm frightened to even think what the character would have asked if Traver has stayed a week. Knowing Bunuel, the priest would probably say he'd just sleep on the floor after running to wash his hands.

Bunuel is no stranger to prejudices, see Exterminating Angel. As a window breaks, the host shrugs it off and says "probably a passing Jew". Generally he is so much harder on Catholics than anyone else, yet in this film, the priest is the only character that wasn't flawed. Obviously, I love this film, if you can find it, you must see it. The scenes between Traver and Miller have such style in their words, you'll like them both. Every exchange they have is so smooth, I can't believe that Bunuel didn't make more films in English.


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