The Young Savages

The Young Savages is a 1961 American crime drama film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Burt Lancaster. It was written by Edward Anhalt from a novel by Evan Hunter. The supporting cast includes Dina Merrill, Shelley Winters, and Edward Andrews, and The Young Savages was the first film featuring Telly Savalas, who plays a police detective, foreshadowing his later role as Kojak. Often categorized as a "thinking man's movie", it has received mixed reviews. Aspects of the film are inspired by the real-life Salvador Agron case.


Two Italian-American greasers, Danny diPace and Anthony "Batman" Aposto (Neil Nephew), and the Irish-American Arthur Reardon are members of a street gang named the Thunderbirds in New York City in East Harlem. They have an ongoing turf war with a Puerto Rican gang called the Horsemen. The three Thunderbirds unleash a knife attack on Roberto Escalante, a blind member of the Horsemen and stab him to death. They are caught and arrested, and during questioning by the police, assistant district attorney Hank Bell discovers one of the boys is the son of Mary diPace, an ex-girlfriend.