6.9/10
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33 user 14 critic

The Young Savages (1961)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 24 May 1961 (USA)
A D.A. investigates 3 white teenagers accused of murdering a blind Puerto Rican kid.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Edward Anhalt (screenplay), J.P. Miller (screenplay) (as JP Miller) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Hank Bell
Dina Merrill ... Karin Bell
Edward Andrews ... R. Daniel Cole
Vivian Nathan Vivian Nathan ... Mrs. Escalante
Shelley Winters ... Mary diPace
Larry Gates ... Randolph
Telly Savalas ... Detective Lt. Gunderson
Pilar Seurat Pilar Seurat ... Louisa Escalante
Jody Fair Jody Fair ... Angela Rugiello
Roberta Shore ... Jenny Bell
Milton Selzer ... Dr. Walsh
Robert Burton ... Judge
David J. Stewart David J. Stewart ... Barton
Stanley Kristien Stanley Kristien ... Danny diPace
John Davis Chandler ... Arthur Reardon
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Storyline

A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy. He begins to discover that the facts in the case aren't exactly as they seem to be. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BURT LANCASTER invades the world of...HAROLD HECHT'S the YOUNG SAVAGES See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

24 May 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Matter of Conviction See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster was forced by United Artists to make four films for $150,000 a picture in the 1960s: The Young Savages (1961), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Train (1964) and The Hallelujah Trail (1965) rather than his normal fee of $750,000, because of cost overruns at his production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, for which he was personally responsible. See more »

Goofs

When Hank Bell goes to Zorro's apartment and walks down the narrow hallway, the shadow of a hand-held camera is visible on his torso. See more »

Connections

Referenced in To Tell the Truth: Episode dated 15 May 1961 (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A prosecutor stunningly played by Burt Lancaster investigates a murder case but he learns that it's all far more twisted than it first appeared
29 December 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an original classic picture , being very worthy in its intention and including faith in American justice . It is set in N.Y. C. where gang leaders lead his groupies on a reign of terror through the streets and slums . These dangerous gangs are called the Horsemen and the Thunderbirds . After three adolescents hoods stab a blind Puerto Rican boy , upright assistant DA Hank Bell (Burt Lancaster) is tasked with prosecuting the criminal case . He's looking for evidences for first degree killing for all three of the teenagers , even 15 year-old Danny DiPace , son of his old sweetheart , Mary DiPace (Shelley Winters who played his former lover , she was actually former lover in real life) . Bell grew up in the neighborhood and investigates the convictions along with Lt. Gunderson (Telly Savalas) . He learns that Escalante may have pulled a knife and was really one of the chiefs of the Puerto Rican gang that fought usually with their Italian opponents . Bell's spouse is upset at the prospect that he's seeking the death penalty for teens and he thinks she's just a liberal living in her own little perfect world . Meanwhile , Hank attempts to find out motivation for killing on the three misfit boys . As he gathers more proofs against his superior , the General prosecutor Daniel Cole (Edward Andrews) . However , he starts to see that it is all far more complicated than it first suggested . Ring leader results to be a young psychopath Arthur Reardon (John Davis Chandler) , a baddie who doesn't seem human . The attorney starts investigating with no results and the bands pull off his owns objectives , leading to an ever higher tension at the justice court .

It is a violent and strong movie by its time about gangs of cruel teens who terrorize the neighborhood , executing a terrible murder and a prosecutor assistant who is determined to do his job and starts to discover that the facts in the case aren't exactly as they seem to be , despite resistance from his superiors . Tough as well as thoughtful entertainment , set in the thunderous sixties . Well-remembered violent drama from the early 60s in which teenager gangs terrorize the entire streets and surroundings executing crimes and violence at random . Interesting script , screen-written by Edward Anhalt , based on the novel "A Matter of Conviction¨ by Evan Hunter . This entertaining as well as thought-provoking film contains thrills , intense drama , upsetting scenes , and with quite convincing , studious atmosphere . In fact , due to the film violent content had great notoriety and important impression as well as some problems with censorship . Very good acting , as always , by Burt Lancaster as a district attorney who pursues justice , investigating the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of a killing . Lancaster had never before worked with a director as Frankenheimer who used such innovative camera angles . He grew to trust John Frankenheimer, and they made four more films together . In fact , Lancaster was forced by United Artists to make four films for low salaries in the 1960s , all of them directed by Frankenheimer : The Young savages (1961 ), The birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Train (1964) and Seven Days in May (1964) rather than his normal fee , because of cost overruns at his production company , Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, for which he was personally responsible . Acceptable acting by Dina Merrill ; however , Dina said that the treatment she received from director John Frankenheimer on this picture nearly drove her out of the business , as he literally told her at the end of a days' filming that she was the worst actress he'd ever worked with . It displays a very nice as well as memorable support cast , such as Edward Andrews , Shelley Winters , Larry Gates , Telly Savalas , Stanley Adams , Leonardo Cimino , Milton Selzer and unforgettable John Davis Chandler as nasty teen.

Evocative cinematography in Black and White by Lionel Lindon . The picture was well directed by John Frankenheimer and achieved great success . John used strange camera movements , aiming upward and camera on the floor . Lancaster had never before worked with a filmmaker who utilized such innovative camera angles . In fact , Lancaster was startled and dismayed to see these rare work means . At the beginning John worked for TV and turned to the cinema industry with The Young Stranger (1957) . Disappointed his with first feature film experience he came back to his successful television career directing a total of 152 live television shows in the 50s . He took another opportunity to change to the big screen , collaborating with Burt Lancaster in The Young Savages (1961) and Birdman of Alcatraz (62) ending up becoming a successful director well-known by his skills with actors and expressing on movies his views on important social deeds and philosophical events and film-making some classics as ¨The Manchurian candidate¨, ¨Seven days of May¨ and ¨The Train¨ and ; in addition , including some great car races as ¨Grand Prix¨ and ¨Ronin¨ . Rating : Better and average and well worth seeing . The flick will appeal to Burt Lancaster fans . Above average for its thrilling premise as well as hard-hitting entertainment and had the youthful ripping up the seats on its first release .


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