The Young Philadelphians (1959)

Approved   |    |  Drama

The Young Philadelphians (1959) Poster

A promising lawyer tries to handle his social and professional problems while climbing the ranks in Philadelphia.




  • The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  • Paul Newman and Barbara Rush in The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  • Adam West and Barbara Rush in The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  • Paul Newman in The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  • Robert Vaughn in The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  • Paul Newman and Robert Vaughn in The Young Philadelphians (1959)

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Cast & Crew

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Vincent Sherman


James Gunn (screenplay), Richard P. Powell (novel)

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User Reviews

6 February 2008 | robb_772
| Luminous drama; vastly underrated
It has commonly been said that full-fledged soap opera can never be a real work of art, but this excellent film proves to be a glorious exception to that rule. Director Vincent Sherman's luminous film adaptation of author Richard Powell's best-seller THE PHILADELPHIANS manages to tell the story of at least two generations in a single picture without ever feeling cramped, forced, or haphazard. The film's story line that begins as a romance, evolves into an underdog business story, and ends as a courtroom drama, and Sherman impressively manages to take all of these various story threads and create a completely coherent motion picture that never feels disjointed or episodic. Sherman also keeps things movie at a remarkably brisk pace – the film never feels even half as long as it's 136-minute runtime.

The entire cast turns in superlative work, with Newman being particular well-suited to his role as a good-natured-but-flawed lawyer (he would return to this type of role with even better results in the 1982 classic THE VERDICT). Barbara Rush, Brian Keith, Dianne Brewster, Billie Burke, and Robert Vaughn are all excellent, and Alexis Smith is particularly memorable as sexy socialite. Speaking of sex, the film retains a surprisingly sensual aura throughout, which helps to keep it from aging for modern audiences. Inexplicably forgotten by many classic film fans, THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS is a moving, compelling motion picture that holds up remarkably well nearly fifty years after it's original release.

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