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Directed by John Frankenheimer
USA 19
61

 

Based on the novel A Matter of Conviction by Evan Hunter, The Young Savages (1961) was the first collaboration between director John Frankenheimer and actor Burt Lancaster (they would go on to make four more films together including Birdman of Alcatraz, 1962). Like other powerful social dramas of the late fifties/early sixties (12 Angry Men (1957), the TV series, East Side, West Side), The Young Savages addressed issues which undoubtedly appealed to the liberal Democrat in Frankenheimer and Lancaster yet the film was not a labor of love. "What had happened," according to the director (in Frankenheimer: A Conversation), "was that the production company of Hecht-Hill-Lancaster had got itself deeply into debt they'd had to agree to do four very inexpensive pictures, with Burt Lancaster getting $150,000 instead of his usual price of $750,000. He'd just come off Elmer Gantry [1960], and the last thing on earth he wanted to do was this movie."

[...]

Seen today, The Young Savages is still relevant though Pauline Kael's assessment of it in 5001 Nights at the Movies nails the film's main weakness: "You're awfully conscious that the picture means to be hard-hitting; it sometimes succeeds, but a lot of it is just worthy." Still, many things from the movie continue to linger after it's over - the startling opening sequence, the gritty urban setting, the music score by David Amram and John Davis Chandler's chilling screen presence (he plays gang leader Arthur Reardon). He may have been a victim of typecasting but his gallery of psychotic villains have enlivened many films from his scene-chewing role as Mad Dog Coll (1961) to Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962) to his homicidal drug dealer in The Hooked Generation (1968).

Excerpt from Turner Classic Movies located HERE

 

Three teenage Italian gang members murder a blind Puerto Rican boy on the tense streets of East Harlem - and the district attorney who must prosecute them (Lancaster) is from the same tough background. Frankenheimer's ghetto drama is a little too keen to use gang violence to set pulses racing in the audience to remain as decent and earnest as it wants to be. But Frankenheimer is good at brutality, especially in black and white - and as this kind of material had already been turned into a smash-hit Broadway musical, he wasn't going to offend anybody if he slyly encouraged punters to enjoy the violence.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: May 24th, 1961

Reviews                                                                         More Reviews                                                                     DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

  

At present The Young Savages is only available in The John Frankenheimer Collection along with The Manchurian Candidate / The Train / and Ronin.  
Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber
Region
'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:42:32  1:42:44.158 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,739,318,121 bytes

Feature: 21,704,361,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) , DUBs: French and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio English 1673 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1673 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
1.85:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: January 22nd, 2008

Slim Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino Lorber

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1
 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,739,318,121 bytes

Feature: 21,704,361,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
None
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray - December 2014: A notable improvement over the single-layered DVD - I won't go so far as the to say video over film, but the contrast layering on the 1080P really makes the DVD look boosted and less natural. I wouldn't say the Blu-ray is flawless but it does advance over the SD. The audio is lossess via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1673 kbps, mostly notable in the score by David Amram (The Manchurian Candidate, The Arrangement). No subs, no extras - a bona-fide bare-bones disc but a solid film and worthy enough to own, IMO. 

***

ON THE DVD: Single-layered but competent transfer from MGM. The aggravating part is that at present The Young Savages is only available in The John Frankenheimer Collection along with The Manchurian Candidate / The Train / and Ronin. Fans of Frankenhemier will probably have 2 or 3 of those titles already. MGM is terrible for this type of customer manipulation. It probably won't become available individually anytime soon.

The anamorphic and progressive DVD image looks fairly strong - acceptable detail and contrast with no untoward manipulations. The print used was clean and only some minor speckles infest the healthy image. Audio is clean and clear with two DUBs option and subtitles if desired.

There are no extras at all and the film is only good... but not great. Interesting to see Lancaster and Winters with Frankenheimer showing some unique camera angles and artsy touches. Worth a spin but only if you want the other titles in the package too (all very good films, by the way). 

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920 X 1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample (only subs on the DVD)

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

  

At present The Young Savages is only available in The John Frankenheimer Collection along with The Manchurian Candidate / The Train / and Ronin.  
Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber
Region
'A' - Blu-ray




 

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