Young Philadelphians

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Academy Awards
Best Cinematography
Academy Awards
Best Costume Design
Academy Awards
The story is given life and fire through an imposing array of performances.


The Young Philadelphians

60th Anniversary Screening
Q&A with Actress Barbara Rush
Wednesday, August 7, at 7 PM at the Royal Theatre

Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a rediscovery of a juicy melodrama from 1959: 'The Young Philadelphians,' which boasted a vibrant cast headed by Paul Newman and our special guest, Barbara Rush. As Leonard Maltin wrote in his review, “Newman and Rush have memorable roles as poor lawyer who schemes to the top and society girl he hopes to win.” Newman was rising to major stardom at the time he made this film. He was coming off acclaimed performances in 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' and 'The Long Hot Summer' and had just earned his first Oscar nomination for 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.' As the Motion Picture Herald observed in its review of 'The Young Philadelphians,' “Newman demonstrates once again that he stands in the forefront of the crop of young players who have come to the screen in recent years.”

The film was adapted by James Gunn from the best-selling novel by Richard Powell that many compared to the enormously successful 'Peyton Place' in exposing the sexual shenanigans and professional rivalries among a tight-knit community surrounding Philadelphia’s Main Line. Newman plays an ambitious young man with a shady past who is determined to rise to the top ranks of society. He becomes a lawyer who learns how to inveigle a number of wealthy clients but rediscovers his principles when he defends an old friend on a murder charge.

Robert Vaughn, in a breakthrough performance of his own, plays the murder suspect, and he earned an Oscar nomination for his compelling performance in the film. The entire cast, however, is strong. As Film Daily observed, “The story is given life and fire through an imposing array of performances.” Rush plays Newman’s love interest, though he also has a dalliance with a married socialite played by Alexis Smith. The supporting cast includes established actors Billie Burke, Otto Kruger, and John Williams, along with newer faces Brian Keith, Diane Brewster, and Adam West (later to play TV’s Batman) in his film debut.

Vincent Sherman ('All Through the Night,' 'Old Acquaintance,' 'Mr. Skeffington,' 'The Damned Don’t Cry') directed, and The Hollywood Reporter declared, “The direction by Vincent Sherman is the best in his long and able career.” The film received two additional Oscar nominations, for black-and-white cinematography by veteran Harry Stradling and black-and-white costume design by Howard Shoup.

Barbara Rush also co-starred with Newman in 'Hombre,' and her many other film credits include 'Magnificent Obsession' with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman, 'Bigger Than Life' with James Mason, 'Strangers When We Meet' with Kirk Douglas, 'Come Blow Your Horn' and 'Robin and the 7 Hoods' with Frank Sinatra, along with two early sci-fi classics, 'When Worlds Collide' and 'It Came from Outer Space.' Rush had a co-starring role on the 'Peyton Place' TV series of the 60s, and she later starred in the series Flamingo Road and 7th Heaven. Just in the last year, she was discovered by a whole new audience portraying a wealthy widow in a series of witty commercials for Wilshire Coin.
Not Rated
Drama, Anniversary Classics
Vincent Sherman
Paul Newman, Barbara Rush, Robert Vaughn, Alexis Smith, Billie Burke, Otto Kruger, John Williams, Brian Keith, Diane Brewster, Adam West
Nominee, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Academy Awards
Nominee, Best Cinematography, Academy Awards
Nominee, Best Costume Design, Academy Awards
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