The Young Warriors (film)

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The Young Warriors
The Young Warriors (movie poster).jpg
Original film poster
Directed by John Peyser
Produced by Gordon Kay
Written by Richard Matheson
Starring James Drury
Steve Carlson
Jonathan Daly
Norman Fell
Music by Milton Rosen
Cinematography Loyal Griggs
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • January 1967 (1967-01)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Young Warriors is a war film filmed in 1966 by Universal Pictures based on Richard Matheson's 1960 novel The Beardless Warriors that was the working title of the film. The novel was inspired by Matheson's own experiences as an 18-year-old infantryman with the 87th Infantry Division in Germany in World War II. The film was directed by John Peyser who had directed 27 episodes of Combat! and would later direct 10 episodes of The Rat Patrol.[1]

It was filmed cheaply by Universal on their backlot using many of its contract players, with Matheson asked to do a rewrite of his screenplay in order to utilise the battle sequences from Universal's To Hell and Back.[2] When Universal wished to "lighten" Matheson's screenplay, they had Jonathan Daly write a comedy relief scene of chasing a duck through a minefield.[2] The film was released as a double feature with Rosalind Russell's Rosie!.[3]


Europe: 1944. A group of replacements are assigned to Sgt Cooley's squad and sent into battle. Initially frightened, Hacker grows to love killing but loses that feeling as well. He is promoted to Corporal and later given his own squad.


Matheson recalled that following the release of his novel he had offers from Richard Zanuck (who dropped his plans to film it when his father Darryl F. Zanuck was making The Longest Day) and Fred Zinnemann. Zinnemann told Matheson that he wanted to make the film but had several other projects at the time; Matheson refused to wait and turned him down.[4]



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b pp. 129-130 Bradle, Matthew R. and Matheson, Richard Richard Matheson on Screen: A History of the Filmed Works McFarland
  3. ^
  4. ^ p.130 Bradley & Matheson

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