The Young Savages

1961, Mystery & thriller/Drama, 1h 50m

10 Reviews 100+ Ratings

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Movie Info

After a Puerto Rican teen is murdered by three white adolescents, the case comes to Assistant District Attorney Hank Bell (Burt Lancaster). Realizing that he used to date the mother (Shelley Winters) of one of the suspects, he wonders if the boy is his son. Despite Bell's personal involvement, the district attorney (Edward Andrews) keeps him on the case. However, as Bell discovers street gang involvement in the case, he and his wife (Dina Merrill) begin to face physical threats.

Cast & Crew

Dina Merrill
Karin Bell
Shelley Winters
Mary di Pace
Edward Andrews
R. Daniel 'Dan' Cole
Vivian Nathan
Mrs. Escalante
Telly Savalas
Police Lt. Gunderson
Pilar Seurat
Louisa Escalante
Jody Fair
Angela Rugiello
Stanley Kristien
Danny Di Pace
Neil Nephew
Anthony 'Batman' Aposto
Luis Arroyo
Zorro
José Pérez
Roberto Escalante
William Sargent
Soames (uncredited)
J.P. Miller
Screenwriter
Edward Anhalt
Screenwriter
Pat Duggan
Executive Producer
David Amram
Original Music
Lionel Lindon
Cinematographer
Eda Warren
Film Editor
Burr Smidt
Art Direction
James Crowe
Set Decoration
Jack Angel
Costume Designer
Roselle Novello
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The Young Savages

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for The Young Savages

  • Jan 16, 2016
    A murder in Harlem sets off the action here in this introspective about life in the urban setting, circa 1960. Often badly compared to West Side Story (w/o the music and dancing) I believe that this one is actually superior. In point of fact I resisted this for about 45 minutes, taking it to be yet another propaganda piece from those times about how society is "handling" the youths problem. There are certainly elements of that type of propaganda included, but good writing, directing, acting, the whole kit and kaboodle, overcome genre stereotypes to produce lively commentary worthy of your time.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2013
    Frankenhiemers' early film, The Young Savages, is a film I found underrated. The film opens with a gang, that look like they're straight out of West Side Story, attacking a young blind boy. A conservative prosecutor is assigned to the case, who has a closer connection than what meets the eye. What I found fascinating about this film, which was released in 1961, is how out dated it was. How is this a good thing? The film brought me back into the world of the 1960s, the traditionalism, the things that would be brushed off now were scandals in this town. I'm not a golden age person, but I did feel that I went into a time machine. The film doesn't only focus on the case, but the racial tensions surrounding it. Burt Lancaster stars in this film, and had a solid performances. The savages depicted weren't great actors, but they passed. The film did have scenes that I felt were dispensable , like the train and elevator scenes, which don't contribute to the story. I was hooked on the story line though, and despite the cheesiness, I was paying full attention to the faith of the boys.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 25, 2011
    Solid drama of racial tension and prejudice well directed by Frankenheimer and acted with feeling by the cast. Lancaster is earnest but he is put somewhat in the shade by Shelley Winters in a strong supporting performance full of sad resignation and vulnerablity, when she was on her game as she is here and reigned in her inner ham they were very few actresses as good at presenting the human condition. Edward Andrews is very good as usual in a small part as an ambitious politico, another underrated and unfortunately obscure actor who was always good whether in drama or comedy. As a study on the effects of poverty on people it is sadly still a timely story.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2009
    Hollywood depiction of juvenile delinquency in the tradition of <i>Blackboard Jungle</i> and <i>West Side Story</i>. Dramatic and entertaining but decidedly unrealistic.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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