Robert M. Young (director)

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Robert Milton Young
Born (1924-11-22) November 22, 1924 (age 94)
Other namesRobert M. Young
Alma materHarvard University (B.A., 1949)
OccupationScreenwriter, director, producer, cinematographer

Robert Milton Young, usually known as Robert M. Young (born November 22, 1924 in New York City, New York), is an American multi-award-winning screenwriter, director, cinematographer and producer.[1] In 1985 he was a member of the jury at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.[2] He has frequently cast Edward James Olmos in his movies, directing him in Alambrista! (1977), The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982), Saving Grace (1986), Triumph of the Spirit (1989), Talent for the Game (1991), Roosters (1993), Slave of Dreams (1995) and Caught (1996). He produced Olmos's directorial debut, American Me (1992).

Early life and education[edit]

Young was born in New York City in 1924. His father was a cameraman who later owned a film laboratory. Robert began college at MIT to become a chemical engineer. He left after two years to join the Navy in World War II and served in the Pacific in New Guinea and in the Philippines. Upon returning to America after the war he decided to study English Literature at Harvard University.[3]

He also developed an interest in filmmaking and graduated from Harvard University in 1949.[4]

Early career[edit]

After graduation, Young formed a cooperative partnership with two friends making educational films. In 1960, he worked for NBC making public affairs programs for NBC White Paper. In 1960, on behalf of NBC, he went to the American South to make the film Sit-In about the civil rights protests and sit-ins. The film won a Peabody Award.[3][5]

He later left NBC to pursue narrative film work.[3]


  • Venice's Primo San Georgio and The City of Venice Prize, at the Venice Film Festival, for Nothing But a Man
  • Camera d'Or for Best First Feature at the Cannes Film Festival for Alambrista!
  • Best Feature at the San Sebastian Film Festival, for Alambrista!
  • Indie Spirit nomination for Best Picture as well as Best Cinematographer, The Plot Against Harry.
  • Indie Spirit Nomination for Best Director, for Caught
  • Cuba's Golden Coral for Best Film
  • Emmy
  • 1960 Peabody Award
  • 1960; 1961 George Polk Award for Journalism
  • 1961 Hillman Prize
  • Academy Award Nomination for Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family
  • Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family
  • 2015 Satellite Auteur Award



  • Slave of Dreams Showtime filmed on location in Morocco
  • Solomon and Sheba, Showtime, on location in Morocco.
  • Nothing Sacred ABC directed
  • True to the Game, ITVS, directed, written by a young African-American woman about life in Harlem.
  • "La Estrella", American Family directed[7]
  • "Battlestar Galactica


  1. ^ "Robert M. Young – Movie and Film Biography, Credits and Filmography". AllMovie. November 22, 1924. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  2. ^ "14th Moscow International Film Festival (1985)". MIFF. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Alexander, Geoff, "Biography: Robert M. Young", Academic Film Archive of North America (AFANA).
  4. ^ Ireland, Corydon, "Nothing but a breakthrough: Landmark 1964 film about race by two Harvard grads launches Film Archive's season", The Harvard Gazette, January 11, 2013
  5. ^ "NBC WHITE PAPER: U.S. News Documentary", Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago, Illinois.
  6. ^ Wall, David C.; Martin, Michael T. (October 20, 2015). The Politics and Poetics of Black Film: Nothing But a Man. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253018502.
  7. ^ "Latino International Film Institute & festival, LALIFF |". Retrieved March 3, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lewis, Leon (editor). Robert M. Young : essays on the films, Jefferson, N.C. ; London : McFarland & Co., 2005. ISBN 0786420634

External links[edit]