Watch The Young Savages
- 1 hr 43 min
The Young Savages is a crime drama film released in 1961, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, and Edward Andrews. The story centers around a team of prosecutors attempting to bring three young boys to justice for the brutal murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy in New York City's Spanish Harlem. The movie opens with an explosion in Spanish Harlem, which sets the stage for the tension-filled story that follows. Harvey Freeman (Burt Lancaster) is a hard-nosed prosecutor who has made it his life's work to rid the streets of criminals, particularly those who prey on the city's youth. When a young Puerto Rican boy is murdered in a playground, Freeman sees an opportunity to take down the local gang responsible for the crime.
The three suspects, all members of a local gang called the Thunderbirds, are brought into custody and are quickly identified as the probable murderers. The three boys, all of whom come from broken homes and difficult circumstances, are portrayed as troubled but not beyond redemption. The film takes a close look at the boys' backgrounds, examining their relationships with their families and how they came to live such troubled lives.
As the case unfolds, the prosecutor comes up against a number of difficulties. For one, the boys' families are uncooperative, which makes it difficult to gather evidence. Additionally, the case is complicated by the fact that the victim was blind, which means that the prosecution must rely heavily on eyewitness testimony.
Despite these obstacles, Freeman is determined to see justice done. He works tirelessly, building a strong case against the boys, and trying to win over their families in the process. The trial plays out in a tense and suspenseful manner, with the boys' fates hanging in the balance.
The film includes some strong performances, particularly from Burt Lancaster in the lead role. He is convincing as the tough prosecutor, torn between his desire for justice and his empathy for the boys he is trying to put away. The young actors who play the accused boys also deliver moving performances, humanizing their characters and showing how they came to be sucked into a life of gang violence.
The film's themes are complex and somewhat controversial, particularly for a movie from the early sixties. It examines issues of race and class, and asks important questions about the juvenile justice system. At its core, however, The Young Savages is a compelling crime drama that holds up well more than half a century after its release.
One of the most striking aspects of the film is its portrayal of New York City's Spanish Harlem in the early sixties. The movie was filmed on location in the neighborhood, and offers a unique and authentic look at the area at the time. This adds to the film's realism and gives us a genuine sense of the challenges faced by the young people who lived there.
In conclusion, The Young Savages is a powerful and thought-provoking film that still has relevance today. Its exploration of complex ethical and moral issues makes it a must-see for fans of crime dramas and socially conscious films. The movie's stellar performances, tight direction, and topical subject matter all combine to create an enduring cinematic classic.
The Young Savages is a 1961 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.