Starring Sal Mineo, James Whitmore, J. Carrol Naish, Gene Lyons, Paul
Directed by Alfred L. Werker
Runtime: 89 min.
Print Quality: B
17-year-old Sal Mineo was one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood
when The Young Don't Cry was specially tailored for his talents. Filmed on
location at the Brockton Orphanage for Boys in Savannah, Georgia, the
film stars Mineo as Leslie Henderson, a lonely older orphan who
befriends escaped convict Rudy Krist (James Whitmore). Like Leslie,
Rudy has spent his entire life feeling alone and unloved, but in his case
he is totally irredeemable, using Leslie to further his own getaway plans.
At long last, Leslie figures out that Rudy is a no-good—and also finds his
own true niche in life. Worth noting is the film's sympathetic treatment of
its two principal black characters, played by Leigh Whipper and Ruth
Attaway; in 1957, it was still chancy to show any sort of equanimity
between black and white people on screen.