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The Young Savages 1961
Description: A district attorney investigates the racially charged situation of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy.
Released: 24 May 1961 Director: John Frankenheimer Writers: Edward Anhalt (screenplay), J.P. Miller (screenplay), Evan Hunter (novel) Actors: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews, Vivian Nathan Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
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The Young Savages Reviews:

Overall the movie is not an 8 but the cool parts just won't let me to give it a lower score.When it was first released I was in junior high school and there existed a non-conformist society within a society.These non-conformists wore long dark coats(trench coats ?) and tiny brimmed dress hats.My older brother used this type of dress,I thought it looked so cool.The greatest I should do was a hand-me-down off white coat that had been balled up in the closet.My large head size ruled out using a hat,instead of looking like a teenage gangster I probably resembled a juvenile Colombo.In the movie the gang named the Horsemen dress in the coat and hat style,I really should relate to this cool look.Real gang members are used for some parts of the movie.The viewer sees a style of dress that really existed at the time,for me it's history preserved.The slang and look of the young folks are what I like about this movie.Among them are Zorro,Pretty Boy,Gargantua and Batman.The outstanding one and for me the stage stealer of the film is Arthur Reardon one of the accused murders played by John Chandler.Although only involved in violence twice in the film he goes about it gleefully as it escalates.A complex person he grins saying how he wanted to live on a farm but his parents place him out on the roads to enjoy with terrible boys.Most of the time he is sneering giving indication many things in the globe annoy him.His hero would have no problem fitting into a actual movie. Soundtrack is very nice and in one stage sets the viewer up for seeing Diavolo for the first time.The back of his jacket is something else,be ready for it they only present it for a second. The large finale court trial is unbelievable,a fairytale.About the most realistic stage involving Burt Lancaster is when he is at home talking to his wife and reflects on changing his name from Bellini to Bell.Probably especially after one of the Italian gang members yells..What's the matter you ashamed of being a W--?.This is not a Burt Lancaster movie/story,changes were made to fit his image.When asked by a gang member..Do you know why I stomped him? Lancaster gives the correct respond to present his so named tough up bringing.In the ebook Lancaster's hero can't give the respond and is more meek.The hero in the film still has to take a backseat to the young persons maybe all the method to the trunk.Look for the emphasis on poverty,one gang leader lives in a crowded apartment with folks laying around. It looks like a combination flop house/sweat store where sleeping is done in shifts.My favourite touch is a rooster pecking around on the stairwell INSIDE the apartment building(a housebroken slum rooster?)


For The Young Savages Burt Lancaster went back to his roots. The actor was born and raised in the East Harlem section of Manhattan. At that time it had not become a Latino neighborhood, it was predominantly Italian where he grew up. To this day there are still a several Italian families in the zone in and around Pleasant Avenue and neighboring streets. His had to be the only WASP family in the zone at the time.In 1961 just as you see in West Side Storyline the neighborhood was divided with racial and ethnic tensions. But these children don't sing and dance between rumbles. They are a difficult bitten bunch of punks on both sides.In fact that's where our storyline starts as three Italian children leave their turf and go and stab a blind Hispanic youth. It's a crime that shocks the city. Ambitious District Attorney Edward Andrews sees this as a situation when successfully prosecuted should create him governor. He relies on one of his greatest men, ADA Burt Lancaster to bring home a win and a trip to old Sparky as they named the electric chair in Sing Sing.Of course there's a lot more to the situation than meets the eye both in the crime and in Lancaster's conflicted loyalties. He's happily married to cute Dina Merrill from the suburbs. She's what you call a limousine liberal, one who's concepts are shaped by ebooks instead of living the poverty she's studied in school about. I've met many like that and it really is real many conservatives are liberals who've been mugged. When one of the gangs gives her a terrible experience, she sings a various tune.But where The Young Savages falls apart for me is the fact that Lancaster was once involved with Shelley Winters, the mother of one of the three defendants. I'm sorry, but right then and there Lancaster in true life would have recused himself from this case. Of course Winters appeals to him for old time's sake and Lancaster begins doing his own investigation and prods the police to do more on their end. In the movie also Lancaster is from that neighborhood. His character's family name of Bell was once Bellini. Many families with ethnic names of all types anglicized them or had them anglicized by immigration officials. The movie which according to a newest biography of Burt Lancaster was shot in 35 days on zone in Fresh York City. It was a project Lancaster did while waiting to do Birdman of Alcatraz. The Young Savages is notable for being Telly Savalas's large screen debut and for Lancaster using TV director John Frankenheimer on his first large assignment. Purportedly Lancaster was cute rough on Frankenheimer, but in the end he impressed the star so that he did four more movies with him including Birdman of Alcatraz. And Telly Savalas was in that one too.Though the movie is based on one horribly terrible premise, the acting and directing are not bad. I had the same criticism of 12 Mad Boys in which other young talented director, Sidney Lumet got his first break. The Young Savages remains a graphic look at a seamier side of Fresh York Town during the Kennedy years.


***SPOILERS*** 1961 motion picture loosely based on the notorious August 30,1959 Salvador Agron "Capeman killings" in Fresh York City's Hells Kitchen. The film has the racial backgrounds of victim and assassin reversed which made the movie a bit disingenuous to the film going public back then in 1961, just two years after that poor event. The assassin Salvador Agron was Hispanic and his two teenage victims, Anthony Krezsinski and Robert Young, were white. Three members of the white Manhattan road gang The Thunderbirds cross into Spanish Harlem on the turf of the local Puerto Rican gang The Horsemen and zero in on young and sensitive harmonica testing Roberto Escalante, Jose Perez,knifing him to death. Caught mins after the killing are the three gang members Reardon Di Pace & Aposto, John David Chandler Stanley Kristien & Neil Nephew. With the town D.A Daniel Cole, Edward Andrews, wanting a first degree murder conviction of the three teenage assailants, to give him a boost in the upcoming gubernatorial elections, he put's his greatest prosecutor on the situation Asst. D.A Hank Bell, Burt Lancaster. With the three defendants claiming that they killed Roberto in self-defense their excuse falls apart like a house of cards when it's shown that he was fully blind and a threat to no one, much less themselves. It actually begins to look like D.A Cole would receive the first degree murder conviction that can send the three youths, all under 18, to the electric chair. Bell who at first had no concept who the three defendants were later realized that one of the accused killers, Danny Di Pace, is the son of a girl Mrs. Mary Di Pace ,Shelly Winters,that he was in love with years before he got married to his show wife Karin, Dina Merrill. This made prosecuting Danny very hard and painful for him.Slowly getting all the evidence in order and at the same time being attacked,far worse the his wife was earlier in the film, by gang members for doing his job Asst. D.A Bell finally gets to the bottom of the case. Bell finds out the true reason for Roberto's killing and it fully throws him off to what he's supposed to do in the case; receive a verdict that would strap the three into the electric chair, regardless of their guilt or innocence, in order to further his boss' D.A Cole political career. A bit ahead of it's time "The Young Savages" goes into the mental mindset of the three accused assassins of blind Roberto Escalante and comes up with some startling conclusions; all three were not in full control of themselves or in what they did so a first degree murder conviction was unable to be reached by the jury. Not that they got off Scot-free for their actions and Roborto himself was anything but the innocent bystander that he was made out to be by his mates family and the liberal newspapers.A cowardly bully with a deep inferiority complex who was the leader of the package Arthur Reardon is given 20 to life. A mentally retarded and delusional Anthony "Batman" Aposto, who thinks that he's the Batman of comic ebook fame, ends up in an institution for the criminally insane until he's seen fit, by a battery of psychiatrists, to again become a member of society. It was Danny Di Pace who got off from getting massive jail time, Danny got a year in Juvenile Hall, for just wanting to be a member of a road gang to have the family that he never knew but that involvement lead to Roberto Escalante losing his life.Hank Bell threw away whatever future he had in the Fresh York State D.A's office by looking at the facts and perusing Justice instead of letting the three gang member fry for the sake of his, and D.A Cole's, future in state or national politics.



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