All the Young Men

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All the Young Men
All the Young Men 1960 poster.jpg
1960 theatrical poster
Directed by Hall Bartlett
Produced by Hall Bartlett
Alan Ladd
Written by Hall Bartlett
Starring Alan Ladd
Sidney Poitier
Music by George Duning
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
Running time
90 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,000,000 (US/ Canada)[1]
Italian Theatrical Poster

All the Young Men is a 1960 Korean War feature film starring Alan Ladd and Sidney Poitier dealing with desegregation in the United States Marine Corps.


Poitier plays a Korean War sergeant commanding a small, isolated and decimated platoon of American Marines. The film explores the racial integration of the American military, centering on the African-American sergeant's struggle to win the trust and respect of the men in his unit.[2]

When the platoon commander is mortally wounded in an ambush, he passes the role of platoon leader to the next highest ranking man, Sergeant Towler (Poitier). Towler initially feels the role should be taken by the combat experienced former Sergeant now Private Kincaid (Ladd) who has eleven years of service as a Marine. However, Kincaid lost his former rank through misconduct and doing things his own way. Kincaid's prowess as a hero is demonstrated in the opening battle scene where he picks up a M1919 Browning machine gun and fires it from the hip into charging North Korean soldiers.

Before he dies, the Lieutenant reminds Towler that he is next in line for command, not Kincaid. One of the platoon, Pvt Bracken (Paul Richards), openly questions Towler's authority in favour of Kincaid.

With their radio destroyed in the ambush, Sgt Towler leads the ten survivors of the platoon to a house strategically located at a pass that the men can hold until the rest of the battalion arrives.



Hall Bartlett designed a film for Sidney Poitier that he signed on a contract and a percentage of the profits. Bartlett based the idea of the film on the integration of the military in the Korean War. However, only Columbia Pictures would finance his film with Columbia insisting that Bartlett rewrite the film for a white co-star. Bartlett found the only major star willing to do the film was Alan Ladd who co-produced the film.[3]

The film features an unusual cast who works well together. In addition to Alan Ladd and Sidney Poitier the cast includes Mort Sahl who does a comedy routine, James Darren who sings the title song, Glenn Corbett and boxer Ingemar Johansson in his American film debut. Bartlett cast his Argentine wife Ana María Lynch/Ana St. Clair as a Korean, Mario Alcalde as an American Indian, Hollywood born Paul Richards as a bigoted Southerner, and cast local Blackfoot Indians as North Koreans.[3] All the Young Men was filmed in Glacier National Park (U.S.) and Mt. Hood Oregon.[4]

Columbia planned two separate advertising campaigns for the film to white and black audiences.[5] Columbia also used Quentin Reynolds to promote the film in advertising campaigns. A paperback novelisation of the film was written by Marvin Albert.[6]

The Marine Corps provided Lieutenant Colonel Clement J. Stadler who had been awarded the Navy Cross[7] in World War II as a technical advisor; a function he also performed in Hell to Eternity, The Outsider, Ambush Bay and The Lieutenant television series. The United States Marine Corps had disbanded separate black Marine units and bases since 18 November 1949.[8]


  1. ^ "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
  2. ^,9171,939200,00.html
  3. ^ a b pp.180-181 Goudsouzian, Aram Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor and Icon 2004 UNC Press
  4. ^
  5. ^ p.166 Gormery, Douglas Shared Pleasures: A History of Movie Presentation in the United States University of Wisconsin Press
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ p.483 Sutherland, Jonathan African-Americans at War:An Encyclopedia 2004 ABC-CLIO

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