The Young Savages is a 1961 crime film directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Burt Lancaster, and 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. Danny Di Pace (Stanley Kristien), Arthur Reardon (John Davis Chandler) and Anthony "Batman" Aposto (Neil Nephew) 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 (José Pérez), 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 (Burt Lancaster) discovers one of the boys is the son of Mary diPace (Shelley Winters), an ex-girlfriend.