7.3/10
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68 user 21 critic

The Young Lions (1958)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 2 April 1958 (USA)
WW2 drama that follows the lives of three young men, one German and two Americans, during wartime.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Edward Anhalt (screenplay), Irwin Shaw (novel)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Lt. Christian Diestl
Montgomery Clift ... Noah Ackerman
Dean Martin ... Michael Whiteacre
Hope Lange ... Hope Plowman
Barbara Rush ... Margaret Freemantle
May Britt ... Gretchen Hardenberg
Maximilian Schell ... Capt. Hardenberg
Dora Doll ... Simone
Lee Van Cleef ... 1st Sgt. Rickett
Liliane Montevecchi ... Françoise
Parley Baer ... Sgt. Brandt
Arthur Franz ... Lt. Green
Hal Baylor ... Pvt. Burnecker
Richard Gardner Richard Gardner ... Pvt. Crowley
Herbert Rudley ... Capt. Colclough
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Storyline

The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and in the army while entertainer Michael Whiteacre transforms from playboy to hero. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Irwin Shaw's monumental best-seller See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

2 April 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Young Lions See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,550,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,960,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fred Zinnemann was interested in purchasing the film rights as a vehicle for Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift but was beaten to the punch by producers Jacques Braustein and Robert Lord who paid $100,000 for the rights. See more »

Goofs

At the end, when Noah Ackerman is walking across the street to meet his wife who is coming toward him, he has his uniform trousers "bloused" at the tops of his combat boots. This was only done by Airborne troops but Ackerman was in the infantry so this would have been improper. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Hardenberg: The German army is invincible because it is an army that obeys orders. Any order. No matter how distasteful. It has no sentimentalists, no moralists, no individualists. You will have no future in it if you don't understand that. You may have no future at all if you oppose it. I trouble to tell you this because you have a fine record. You will be a creative soldier, once you get all this "thinking" knocked out of you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Listen to Me Marlon (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Horst Wessel Lied
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Horst Wessel
Sung at the party in Bavaria
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Tale of Four Soldiers
9 May 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I've always liked The Young Lions because it has the best explanation for the phenomenon that was Nazism in Germany. Always the question is asked how did they come to power? At the beginning with Marlon Brando romancing vacationing Barbara Rush in Bavaria on New Year's Eve, he provides one of the most lucid explanations of why people would choose to follow Adolph Hitler. It is one of Brando's finest moments on screen.

At the time of course he didn't know he was romancing the main squeeze of Dean Martin who with Montgomery Clift play the two American soldiers who's stories and growth as human beings is told. Martin is a Broadway musical comedy entertainer and Clift is just a department store clerk at Macy's who meet by chance at the draft board. Martin is trying to dodge the draft, Clift is fatalistically accepting what comes. Martin proves to be a man of far more character than we first think. Clift is a Jew and a man who with enough reason to be going to war against Hitler, has to deal with anti-Semitism here in America.

Clift and Martin's stories are told alternately with that of Brando and also Maximilian Schell. This was Schell's first appearance in an American production and he scores well as a proud Nazi officer. Let us just say that he gets quite a comeuppance all around during the course of this war he was so proud to be part of.

The two male actors who are always cited as the rebel heroes of post World War II America are Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. Too bad in their one film together they didn't exchange any dialog. Still I can't praise a film like The Young Lions too highly.


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