|Rebel Without a Cause
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- Rebel Without a Cause
One of the most iconic films of the 1950s, Nicholas Ray's "Rebel" was the movie that cemented James Dean's reputation as the embodiment of the restless, disillusioned teen. Hyped as a story of juvenile delinquency, "Rebel" questions the suffocating complacency and conservatism of mid-century American society with raw force. Fresh from his debut in "East of Eden," Dean is explosive as the brooding, misunderstood Jim, his performance equalling Brando for its moody intensity, while Wood, Mineo, and Jim Backus (as Dean's spineless father) make stellar additions to a superb cast....more info
- "Don't call me chicken!"
James Dean is terrific as Jim Stark (star, get it?) the new kid in town. On his first day in school, Jim runs afoul of the local gang of toughs. Jim is forced to defend himself, first in a knife fight with the gang leader Buzz, then in a "chickie run". When Buzz is accidentally killed, the gang blames Jim. On the run from both the gang and the law, Jim forms a family of sorts with Buzz's girl Judy, and a sensitive introverted boy named Plato (what a name!).
"Rebel Without a Cause" was quite popular during the fifties and for decades after that. It was a youth oriented film that delt with kids on their own terms when most films were still marketed at adults. It addressed the growing youthful unrest in the Eisenhower era, superficially a happy decade. It also had James Dean in his signature role. This, combined with Dean's death in a car accident one month before this film's release would transform him into a teenage icon.
Good though it is, I have a few complaints. For one thing, why does the film assume that if a kid falls into gangs or crime that the parents are responsible? That doesn't seem right to me. For that matter, the "bad parenting" shown seems pretty mild to me. Judy falls into a gang because her father doesn't show her as much affection as he should. Jim gets drunk simply because he is annoyed by his father's unmanly habbit of wearing an apron and making his wife dinner in bed. Couldn't the filmmakers have thought up anything better than that? Why not have some of the kids come from a broken or abusive home?
Probably the weakest part of the film is at the beginning where the three main characters find themselves at juvenile hall. Surely police officers have better things to do than pick up teens on minor offences. And three teens in one night? Jim's offence is being drunk, Judy's is walking outside after curfew (a curfew?!?).
Fortunately, the good outways the bad. Nicholas Ray gets great performances from his youthful cast. Ray's direction is superb. He makes striking use of colour and widescreen, so be sure to see this film on a widescreen DVD. Don't make the mistake of seeing it on a pan & scan VHS like I originally did....more info
- True Classic.
This movie is one of the best however one reviewer had a lot of negativity about this movie do not listen to him this movie is not crap. For one James dean is not wearing a Leather Jacket on the Cover is happens to be his Red... Jacket in black and white.Anyhow the story line was very authentic Natalie Wood is just great in this Movie Sal Mineo Is Great and James Dean As always Is Exceptional.I recommend this movie trust me you will not be Disapointed....more info
- Defines James and him alone
James's acting was supperb in this film. I think that James really didn't have to act because most of this character WAS him. The plot of this story also defines what life was like in the 1950's....more info
- A True Classic
I barely knew who James Dean was until a friend of mine recommended "Rebel Without A Cause." Now, i believe that James Dean is not only an icon that people (esp. teens) should recognize for his outstanding role as a confused and volatile teen in Rebel, but quite simply a raw human being. He pretty much exemplified the outcry of most teenagers everywhere with this classic line from the film: "You are tearing me apart!" Who can't relate to that type of emotion that one feels for their parents or friends, at times? I was surprised in how i could relate to the characters in the movie, even though they are nothing like me. That's why Rebel Without A Cause is timeless: it speaks for every young generation just as much as it did during Jame Dean's era. Also, everything else about this movie, the way it was made, the plot, the music, etc., just complements every aspect of the film. Of course, James Dean made this film what it is; it's amazing to see his character transform before our eyes, which is a very rare event to witness in a film.
Unfortunately, the three primary characters--- Natalie Wood, James Dean, and Sal Mineo--- all experienced tragic ends. Ironically, just like in the movie, Sal Mineo was murdered, Natalie Wood drowned, and James Dean died in a car crash. All of these people were truly talented actors that i hope will be recognized in this film as well as the others that they were in. ...more info
- Teenage Exploitation Movie
The opening scene shows a man dressed in a suit and tie who lays on the ground to look at a toy monkey! [Symbolism?] Jim Stark is arrested for "plain drunkenness". Judy is at the police station, she was wandering around in the early morning (she has a problem with her father). [Jim has a problem in growing up.] John is brought in for shooting some puppies! [A sign of a bad future?] Jim's parents have conflicts, his striking the desk shows his troubled personality. Jim's inability to make friends suggests his peers recognize his troubled psyche. Jim quickly sobers up after his talk with the Juvenile Bureau officer. Jim's father offers good advice about picking friends.
The field trip at the Planetarium predicts the end of the world [symbolism for this movie?] Is this some type of conditioning to confuse students? Jim Stark meets a local gang and undergoes an initiation rite. Back home his dad wears an apron over his business suit! [Unbelievable?] Unlike other teenagers, Jim does not have a good appetite. Judy also has a problem with her home life. [Does the script show cartoon characters?] Then we see the strange game of "chicken" that sets a bad example for kids foolish enough to identify with these characters (who seem to have little parental supervision). One driver bails out, the other has an unintended consequence. Jim gets to drive Judy home. John tags along, like a lost puppy. John also drives a motor scooter, a symbol of an odd choice. At home Jim drinks milk out of a glass bottle [more symbolism?].
Back home Jim delights in scandalizing his parents with his confession of wrongdoing. His parents try to talk sense to him but Jim seems to be self-destructive. [No wonder he has trouble making friends, they sense his troubled psyche.] The script calls for Jim and Judy to go up the hill to an old deserted mansion (in the middle of Griffith Park?). John is attacked by Buzz's friends, they take an address book to find Jim. John figures out where they went. [There seems to be some symbolism in meeting in an empty and desolate house.] Their talk and laughter seems out of character for these teenagers. The fantasies of John show his psychological problems. Jim and Judy talk about what they want. [Can teenager really know what they want?] Buzz's three friends find where Jim is hiding. Now there is more trouble, and the police show up. Jim's parents show up for more drama and ironic comments. The teenagers flee to the Planetarium. Will the end of their world come soon? Jim seems to develop a new personality. The ending seems long and drawn out for no apparent reason, unless it is to lull the viewers for the surprise ending. [I found this to be quite amusing.] There was little news coverage of this police action, that would not happen in real life.
After 50 years the only reason to watch this film is for historical reasons. What made this so popular in its day? Pandering to teenagers? It has a clunky script and story, like some drive-in movie of that time.
- REBELS WITH A CAUSE
This film's title has always bugged me for any number of reasons.First, the title is a total misfit. Every adolescent star here has a cause for rebellion. Dean's father (Backus) is a real piece of work, his mother is Napoleonic,and Granny does nothing but help reinforce Mommy.Woods'father belongs in ICU AT Bellevue, or behind bars for abuse.Mineo is the proverbial misit whose psychiatric treatments have been cut off.Secondly,even though director Nicholas Ray gave Dean plenty of room to improvise, we are left with 2 dead, 1 wounded, one knife attack, multiple arrests, with the elder Backuses smiling at day's end, all within 18 hours in suburbia 1955. Realism? Next, we have a superb acting job by the 3 protagonists, but silly, often unprofessional acting by all that surround them. Who's running the zoo? Finally, I'll go to my grave believing that "East of Eden" was Dean's best effort, with this film a mere symbol of what might have been....more info
- A Great American Movie
Is it really fifty years old? REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE seems to me as shocking, graphic and vivid as if it were released last week. This is a story about the new kid in town (James Dean) who finds common cause with a local good-girl-going-bad (Natalie Wood) and befriends a chronic misfit (Sal Mineo). After a particularly gruesome accident which isn't really our hero's fault, the local gang is out to get him.
The sociology never interferes with the drama but enhances it. These are "nice" crewcut middle-class kids with money and leisure but some violent ways of using them. Most of all I was reminded of a near-cliche that is often applied to gangs from the wrong side of the track--that they sense an absence of father and are trying to make up for that with any substitute that will work.
The Dean character's father (played with dithering brilliance by Jim Backus) is not the kind of man who inspires manly virtue in his son. Indeed, his main concern seems to be to placate his nagging wife and his second concern, a lust to "go along and get along" and principle be damned.
In an extended sequence when Dean is hiding from the gang, he forms an impromptu alternate family with "spouse" Wood and "sonny" Sal Mineo. So well is this film cast and the characters so well portrayed that we well understand how this alternative take on family life is much more psychically fulfilling than the misunderstood and misunderstanding real thing.
Along with powerful direction and dialog so good it circumvented this critic's ear and went straight to his feelings, look for then-newcomers Dennis Hopper and Nick Adams as part of the gang. Ed Platt -- he who became "Maxwell Smart's" boss in Sixties TV -- plays the part of the police officer concerned with youth with caring, vigor and intelligence. He makes all the "crusty but lovable" authority types in so many other films and TV look quaint and awkward. The commentary is one of the best I have ever witnessed; it's narrated by an expert on Dean and really gets into his and the other principal actors' motives and desires to be in this film. That and anecdotal material on the second disc make this well worth the extra six dollars the dual-disc REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE has over the single.
Since this movie was filmed during the heyday of censorship, the worst word you're apt to hear is "slut." So much the better, I would recommend this for teen groups or church groups of any age over puberty. Sure, the jalopies are now beaters and Main Street is the mall, but the struggle of young people to become adults and act out various versions of it along the way is just as plangent now as it was in 1955. Top recommendation.
- James Dean: a true and gifted actor.
"Rebel Without A Cause" is a true landmark film. James Dean should have gotten the Academy Award for this film and not for "East of Eden". Although I think "East of Eden" is as equally as good as "Rebel Without A Cause". It's the story of a discontented teenager who doesn't fit in in the new neighboorhood, and who always finds himself in trouble, and doesn't know why. His troubles all stem from a lack of communication with his folks. He finally finds himself friends with Plato and Judy, but still becomes involved when a leather-jacket clad gang comes after Plato, in which he is eventually shot in the end. Truly what James Dean was all about. You can imagine the impact it had on its audiences when this film was released, which was just about a month after the car accident that took James' life. James Dean will always be remembered as a
gifted and true actor....more info
- Mainstream View of Important Film
Rebel without a Cause showcases the performances of James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo in a classic story of teenagers disconnected from their parents in the mid-1950s. There are many famous scenes and lines, all discussed in other reviews.
The current 2-disc special edition has excellent picture and sound and has a good set of extra features, including a commentary, featurettes, and making-of shots.
Queer theorists have tried to make something of the relationships of Dean, Mineo, and their characters. The only mention of this alternative analysis comes in the commentary track, where the suggestion that Plato (Mineo) has a homoerotic attraction to Jim (Dean) is dismissed because the production code would not stand for it and because Plato is more straight-forwardly viewed as wanting Jim to be a big brother or father. This is the mainstream view. Those wanting to explore gay interpretations will have to await another release.
Regardless, this film influenced family values and dress standards for years to come and is a must-see....more info
- Only one problem with this film: it sucks
Alternative titles for this film should be "Rebel Without a Plot" or "Phoniness Without a Cause." I can't decide which one is more accurate; it's a tough call. During the film I never got the feeling that this was even a half hearted attempt at describing real life. The fact that this false, artificial, self involved movie was a touchstone for a generation of the same qualities should tell you something about the decline of our society, and not just the decline of Hollywood filmmaking.
If you want true teen age nihilism try "American Me" or "Boyz N the Hood" instead....more info
- Good underlying story, but a highly overrated classic film.
Although Rebel Without a Cause has to be given credit for its groundbreaking portrayal of teenage angst, to me it's got some major problems.
To begin with, Nicholas Ray never could say anything with much subtlety -- he's like one of those beat poet cliches from the 1950s who take themselves oh-so-serious and are like down with system, man. So, from the first frame RWAC slathers on the message with a cake spatula. We are supposed to be totally sympathetic to the troubled James Dean character and his existential plight through being a 20-something teenager. He sees the ridiculous marriage of his parents as a stark warning of the horrors that surely await in his future. If this were handled really well it could have a lot of traction, but unfortunately it is played sporadically and is too hyperbolic (in all the wrong ways) to have much resonance.
Along for the ride is a horribly miscast Natalie Wood, who cannot seem to deliver a single one of her lines correctly. She too is a confused young rebel, but about what we have no idea. Still, kudos for Ray's attempt to portray the awkwardness of a girl maturing sexually and being attracted to the wrong kind of guys. She is a spineless, confused follower.
Sal Mineo gets the most demanding part, that of the true outcast. If the film has one strength it is in this character's delusional nature which is a brilliant interpretation of many of the most disturbed High Schoolers I knew. Alas, Sal Mineo does little to endear the irritating Dino to the audience -- but then again, the often painful lines he has to utter would be tough to endure in real life. I'm actually rewriting this part of my review because the more I think about it, the more the film really does center around him and of course so does climax. I just wish that we did not have to rely on the faux-outsider James Dean character to act as an intermediary....more info
- Still cool 50 years later
Teenaged Jim Stark (James Dean) has just moved to a new town and wants to fit in with the local greasers. However, things go horribly wrong when a game of Chicken between Stark and one of the greasers ends in the greaser's death.
Although not the first cinematic depiction of the 1950's youth culture ("The Wild One" was made two years earlier), "Rebel Without a Cause" is one of the best of these such films. Unlike "The Wild One", which barely even had a plot, "Rebel Without a Cause" has a strong storyline which would probably still work if it were remade today, and Jim Stark is a far more realistic character than Brando's Johnny Strabler. It is essentially a coming of age film, chronicling Jim Stark's transition from irresponsible teenager, to adulthood, as he is effectively forced to become a "parent" to a troubled young friend of his, who sees him as a hero.
As it was made in the 50's, many of the characters feel as though they were taken straight out of "Grease" (for example, the greasers, who appear to comb their hair every two seconds), which makes the film somewhat laughable to begin with, but as the film progresses and takes a serious turn, you forget this pretty quickly. Jim Stark, however, with his iconic red jacket and a cigarette hanging from his mouth, still seems as cool as he must have seemed in 1955, and after seeing this film, I finally understand why James Dean's legend has lived on for more than 50 years after his death.
- Educational support
Rebel Without a Cause is a great contrast to the outcome of teenage lives provided by Catcher in the Rye. I have used the two--read Catcher, watch Rebel--for several years in class and the effect is what I am looking for. Students see themselves and begin to effect changes in their own lives....more info
- 5 Thumbs Up!
This movie was a school assignment that my niece chose, and I could not be happier with the end result! Very smooth transaction...I wrote to the seller explaining it was intended as a gift for her school assignment and the seller responded to my concerns immediately! The movie was delivered very quickly, in excellent condition, and it has been an enjoyable experience watching it with my niece! Thank you so very much!...more info
- James Dean forever
The unique charisma and talent of James Dean make Rebel Without A Cause an absolute must-see for all film buffs. Dean stars as Jim, a lonely and misunderstood teenager whose trouble-making has forced his family to move to a new neighborhood. On his first day, Jim alienates a gang of boys, gets a girlfriend (Natalie Wood), befriends a neurotic outcast (Sal Mineo), and takes part in a "chicky-run" over a cliff.
Every minute of this film has become beloved by its fans, thanks to Dean, who owned the screen in his famous white tee shirt, red jacket, and jeans. 50s teens thought Dean spoke for them and they idolized him. He still deserves his icon status, because of the unforgettable character he created. When he cried to his parents, "You're tearing me apart!" you believed it was real. He was the epitome of the cool rebel.
Almost fifty years later, the character created by James Dean still rings true. They say a thing of beauty is a joy forever. That applies both to James Dean and this movie. A must-see classic film.
- Dark Side Of Happy Days
I went to high school in the late 1970's when 50's memorabilia was a big fad and silly, feel good, nostalgic shows like HAPPY DAYS (remember the Fonz?) and LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY ruled the airwaves and the movie GREASE was a box office phenomenon. I had always heard the 50's described as a happy wholesome idyllic time for America and especially American teenagers. What a shock then to see REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE a film actually made in 1955 with its contemporary depiction of self-destructive, angst ridden, upper middle class teenagers and their very dysfunctional families.
The film opens at an LA police station where the three main characters, high school students Jim (James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood) and Plato (Sal Mineo), have all been brought for unrelated offenses. Jim's been picked up for drunkenness and has just moved to the area after an apparently trouble filled past and his ambitious parents are anxious for him to make a good impression at his new school. Judy is a beautiful popular girl who is having lots of problems at home and was taken in to custody for breaking curfew. Plato the small child like character played by Sal Mineo has absent parents and is being raised by a maid. He has committed the most disturbing crime as he has shot some puppies.
We see the three the next day at their high school and later at a symbol laden field trip to the planetarium at Griffith Park. An altercation occurs at the observatory there which leads to a tragic "chickie run" on the bluffs over the Pacific Ocean. Within the same 24 hour period Jim Judy and Plato draw close and even make a makeshift family of each other. More tragedy is still in store for the kids and the climax shifts back again to the Griffith Park observatory.
At times the film seems somewhat corny to modern viewers in part because of the dramatic musical score (very typical of the movie's day) that is too often played to punctuate climatic scenes. The movie also is a bit heavy handed in its symbolism. Jim's dad wears an apron over his suit to show how he is whipped by his wife, the theme of the planetarium show is the destruction of the earth, and Jim's awful mother's painting just happens to be standing near the doorway so Jim can kick through it when he storms out after a climatic fight. Much of the movie seems to have been filmed on location and there is a real feeling of LA in the 1950's throughout.
There is some overacting but overall the lead characters do a good job. James Dean is very charismatic in the film and the viewer can see why he still has a cult following. This is especially true when the morbid fact that he had been dead for about a month before this film was released is considered. Natalie Wood is very believable as the emotionally confused Judy. And Sal Mineo is heartbreaking as the troubled Plato who as his caretaker/maid says has "nobody". The major themes of the film can resonate with parents and teens of today and this is a must see for any film lover. ...more info
Certain scenes of this 1950s blockbuster may look corny now, but the film revolutionized the industry in its day. "Rebel Without a Cause" put the concept of the film-aimed-at-teenagers into high gear -- a trend that is still going today. We have this film to thank for the likes of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "The Breakfast Club," and the millions of other movies that come out now specially designed to appeal to teenagers. The film is also basically the everlasting showcase for James Dean's talent.
Dean is exceptional in the movie (he only made three during his lifetime, two of which were released after his death), playing a high school youth named Jim Stark who is trying to fit in while other teens are making sure he stays out. The film cannot be watched as anything but a stage for Dean's method acting (revolutionary and progressive in its own right in the mid 1950s). Particularly poignant is a scene about teenage drag-racing, as Dean himself would die in a car accident shortly after the filming of that scene.
"Rebel Without a Cause" is, many would argue, Dean's "finest hour." There are a handful of films that are regarded as classics of "Old Hollywood," and this is consistently near the top of the list. It speaks on multiple levels, and is considered a "classic" for good reason. ...more info
- A Special 2-Disc Edition 50th Anniversary DVD
Is Warner going to release a special edition of this film in 2005 along with East of Eden for their 50th Anniversaries? I would like to see this movie given its deserved justice on DVD. The previous version was okay but the snap-case wasn't that good. I've been trying to buy all of the Classics from Warner on their Special 2-Disc editions and this would be a very good addition to my collection....more info
- A Brilliant Movie Of Coming Of Age In The 50s
This classic James Dean movie is exceptional. James Dean is charismatic as Jim Stark playing a high school youth trying to fit in with a 50s peer group not willing to except an "outsider." Jim trys to defend his honor by playing chicken in a game where his opponent loses his life, but not by Jim's hand. There are only a handful of films that fit the standard of classic "old hollywood" with outstanding acting. This movie is one of the very best. ...more info
- Excellent Collection of "Rebel" Memorabilia
Movie buffs of all ages will treasure this 2 disc edition of the great classic and lament James Dean's unrecognized potential as a director, screenwriter and all the roles he never had the chance to play. Most of the special features (with the exception of a dismal commentary track with some hokey trivia) really enhance the fun of this collection...these include wardrobe tests, deleted scenes and "behind the scenes" segments which give great insight into the mechanics of film production and the personalities of the players. Peter Lawford's 1974 "James Dean Remembered" proves to be one of the worst "chat shows" in television history, but still has retrospective entertainment value.
Although certainly dated, REBEL still holds up with thematic resonance for contemporary audiences. Dean is breathtaking. Mineo is heartbreaking. A must have for your DVD library!...more info
- Love James Dean always
This film is a true classic, fine film making at its best. James Dean is perfectly cast as Jim Stark the misunderstood rebel, Dean gives a charasmatic performance and is extremely convincing. Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo star as his girlfriend and tag a long pal, both give great perfromance as well. This film perfectly captures the feelings of every lonley soul out there who ache to belong. James Dean is absolutley amazing in his most memorable role, a truly terrific actor. CLASSIC film and star! 5 stars! ...more info
- Dysfunctional Families and Their Dire Consequences!
This is a great film that ultimately is about families and their inability to communicate. Just like the more modern tv drama "The O.C." this film shows that behind the clean facade of rich, well-to-do neighbourhoods lies the broken pieces of parents who are unable to relate to their children who in turn end up looking for this missing love and understanding in all the wrong places with violent and destructive effects.
Dean's character is ashamed of his father who in his eyes is hen-pecked and cowardly and he insists upon good answers from his father as to why he is feeling the typical hormone-induced depression that most teenagers go through and when that is not forthcoming, he rebels in an attempt to hurt his parents. Wood's character is similar in that she also has communication problems with her father who is uncomfortable with physical closeness now that his daughter has become an attractive teen perhaps in an over-reaction to his own incestual desires? Confused at his behaviour Wood's character believes her father hates her and so she too rebels in an attempt to hurt him. Mineo's character is the most pitiful and perhaps most deserving of sympathy; his parents are divorced and they truly appear not to care about him at all leaving him alone with a live-in maid as sole companion. This film is truly touching for me as I can personally relate based upon my own experiences growing up with many of the issues portrayed here.
The dvd is also a treat as the bonus features contains a couple of good behind-the-scenes documentaries and except for a few minutes at the start, the picture quality is very good and the sound quality has been remastered very well in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround making this the best old movie picture and sound quality-wise that I've seen on dvd to date.
A very good film and a very good dvd version of it; highly recommended!...more info
- I fell in love with Natalie Wood....
I agree this movie was a great talent launch for Dean, Salminio,and especially Natalie Wood. Most reviewerers see this as a great movie "Vehicle" for Dean and Salminio. Natalie Wood takes a "back seat" view in this movie...She will for ever be my most favortite movie star of all time. Its interesting that all three had a short, violent death...Dean in his famous car wreck, Salminio Stabed, still in his early years, and Natalie a mysterious drowning which details were never fully disclosed...fell in the water, Drowned...end of story. But after this movie she went on to make wounderful movies..Her emotional talent range was fantastic! Natalie and Elizabeth Taylor, whom had a close reseblance, I heard, their identy was often confused by vieweres in that era. Of course Taylors..wild public life, placed HER in the main spotlight. But next time you see this movie try to see the emotion and depth that Natalie put into it. They didnt have "Ensemble Catagorie" for the Academy Awards back then, but they shure had my vote....I didnt get into the details of this movie because if you havent seen it, the reviews are a plenty.... Just wanted to share my view on Nataile Wood, sort bright flame to soon extinguished....more info
- Rebel Without a Cause
"Rebel Without A Cause" is one of the finest films ever created. The story is about a troubled youth that seeks redemption and a sense security through his family, but when they fail to do that he seeks comfort through friendship. James Dean, Natalie Woods, and the rest of the cast are great in this film, so it's no wonder why this movie is a classic. With great scenes like the chicken run car race or the arguements James has with his parents, you'll never want to turn off the T.V. The direction for this film seemed very powerful and had you in suspense throughout the film. One moment you'll be sad at some of James Dean's struggles in the movie, but then you'll be happy at some of his more happy scenes in the film. I think many of today's youth can identify with Dean's character, so making it that much more of a powerful film. Although the film does seem a bit paced at time, it doesn't ruin the experience. Overall, if you like movies, then you'll love this one.
To the reviewer who asked if there is a Two-Disc Edition DVD coming: Yes, a Two-Disc SE is coming out on May 31st 2005!...more info
- LOVE IT
Could the acting be any better? Plato's charecter is very believeable. Natalie Wood is as gifted and beautiful as ever. And could James Dean be any sexier?...more info
- NICHOLAS RAY, OPUS 11
**** 1955. Original story and direction by Nicholas Ray. Three nominations for the Oscars. James Dean and Natalie Wood, in conflict with their parents, meet Sal Mineo, a neurotic kid. They'll have to deal with a local gang and the police forces. Plato's myth of the Cavern revisited by Nicholas Ray. Behind the usual clich¨¦s of a movie about juvenile delinquents, the director tells us again the Greek myth that opposes the world of the shadows (night, planetarium, abandoned mansion) to Reality. Highly recommended. ...more info
- The milestone film about the juvenile delinquency!
James Dean became a mythical legend after this cult movie which has stood up the status level through the years and doesn't age a bit .
The astonishing presence of a selected group of promising young actors made of this movie a must see for every movie conosseur : Sal Mineo , Natalie Wood and Dennis Hopper signed their names without knowing in this immortal artwork .
Nicholas Ray , Samuel Fuller , Elia Kazan and Otto Preminger were the most minucious and outlaw film makers of that decade.
It seems so useless to recommend this item because it's more than obvious.
- the best movie to see!
this movie is the best movie out there about teenagers. James Dean and Nataile Wood- as always- are great in this movie. this is one of my favortie movies ever, its worth watching!...more info
- "Special Editing" Full of Extras
You can read dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews of "Rebel Without a Cause" here and elsewhere on the internet. In a nutshell, this is a story about the emerging "teenager" in America, post-World War II; troubled, lonely, dangerous and hard to understand. James Dean plays Jim, the new guy in town, the outisder. Even though the cover and movie poster makes him seem dangerous and bad, Jim really isn't like that. He's rather soft, shy, unable to fit in with those his age. Natalie Wood plays the bad girl next door who, like Jim, is misunderstood. Her father turns a cold shoulder to her, leaving her with the only option of acting out in order to get his attention.
What's so different about the "Special Edition?" Unlike the original DVD/VHS release a few years back, this one has extras galore. It's released as part of the James Dean collection. So, it has a lot of extra features that focuses on James Dean the actor. It doesn't stop there. It has a near-40 minute long feature from those who produced the movie that explains how it came about and the different aspects and production points. So, in total, you're getting:
*Commentary by Douglas L. Rathgeb: If you've seen the movie, then you can simply click this on in the menu and listen to this author, who wrote a book about the movie a while ago, talk about a lot of behind the scenes, "did you know...," actor and casting secrets behind the movie. He speaks constantly and tells you just about all you'd ever want and need to know about the movie, including where it differs from the book and he even tries to explain some of the plot holes that may hold the movie back.
*Theatrical trailor: The original trailor to the movie. It's rather long, considering it's a trailor, and is basically a montage of scenes from the film, some that may reveal some of the best scenes before they are seen.
*"Rebel Without a Cause: Defiant Innocents" documentary: Long, about 40 minutes. It's informative and again, reveals some things you may not know about the film and answers some questions. I personally found it to drag on a bit and didn't really get interested until the end when they talked about how Dean's death impacted the film.
*"James Dean Remembered" documentary: This is the best feature, in my opinion, on the disc. This was a documentary filmed 20 years after James Dean's death. Sammy Davis jr., Natalie Wood and numerous others sit down and talk about Dean, as they remembered him. There were anecdotes about James Dean's encounter with Marlon Brando, his alleged homosexual life, his odd behavior, his humor, the way he acted. It includes a lot of scenes from his three films, as well as a few other TV show appearances. This feature is nearly an hour long but had me hooked the minute it began.
* 3 Warner Bros. segments: These are little "behind the scenes" bits that feature Natalie Wood, Jim B. (plays the father, perhaps most known for his role as Thurston H. on 'Gilligan's Island'), and James Dean's perhaps famous "don't drive too fast" segment he filmed while shooting "Giant." These are obviously mostly staged and scripted, but that's how they were done back int he 1950s.
* Additional Scenes without Sound: The good point is that you get more scenes from this film that were cut out. You also get to see a lot more of Natalie Wood and James Dean. The alternate ending is also included (partially at least). There are also over a dozen additional scenes. The bad? There are no sounds. Not even on the color shots. They are all silent, tedious, and many of them weren't really additional scenes, they seemed to be extra footage. Do we really want to watch 8 long scenes of people leaving or hanging around the Planetarium? Or James Dean, who can barely be seen, just gazing up at some big contraption in the Planetarium? Or watch an intense scene like the alternate ending ... without any sound? Or kids driving their cars into the school's parking lot? This was nice, we all love additional scenes, but it was rather pointless.
*Rare Screen Test: Basically, the main three, Wood, Mineo, Dean, as they were in the mansion toward the end of the film. It's okay, I didn't find it that different from what was in the film.
*Wadrobe Tests: The actors are trying on different coats, standing around, trying not to look so stuffy and attempting to be friendly toward one another. It's fun to watch James Dean kid around, but that's just about it from this feature.
As for how the film itself looks, it's great. The transfer, reportedly new, is wonderful. You'll see, in the opening main menu and in features, the original film as it was seen in theaters; blurry, muted colors, dark, gritty. None of that here. It's vivid, intense, modern looking. The soundtrack for the most part is good. I'd say the film is at it's best in this Special Edition format.
So, buy this edition. More features, a better film quality, more bang for the buck. Definately worth your time and attention. Everyone should own this piece of Hollwyood history....more info
- Educational support
Rebel Without a Cause is a great contrast to the outcome of teenage lives provided by Catcher in the Rye. I have used the two--read Catcher, watch Rebel--for several years in class and the effect is what I am looking for. Students see themselves and begin to effect changes in their own lives....more info
- Straight Talking
This exceptional movie probably deserves even more of a cult status than it already has. Most people, when they think of RWC, remember it only as one of the few examples we have of James Dean's eerie charisma; but it's also an entertaining and powerful film, well written and acted, and the credit for the lasting impression of Dean's character should go as much to the filmmakers as to Dean himself (not that Dean himself doesn't deserve bales and bales of credit).
Today, a lot of elements of RWC might seem obvious; the generational gap in more apparent now than ever, and the attemps of children to compensate for a lack of parental attention has been a common theme for decades. Not only, though, should you consider that the film was groundbreaking when it was released, but what it has to _say_ about the issues between children and their parents is more relevant today than ever. The script deserves credit mainly for a couple of reasons:
1) The film doesn't have that 'made by kids' feel that's afflicted a lot of more recent movies about kids, such as Better Luck Tomorrow. It has a definite sense of perspective, as in the scene where Jim's father tells him: 'I'm trying to show you how foolish you are!--Ten years from now, this won't mean anything; you'll look back on it and laugh!' In a way, he's right, but that doesn't make Jim's feelings or the problems facing him any less urgent at the moment.
2) The kids in RWC are smart, and they have personalities beyond basic love-starved psychosis. Buzz, especially, is a surprisingly fully-drawn character, and some of Dean's best moments as Jim come when he's doing innocent things, like jumping up behind the fence to get Judy's attention. Finally, the scene in which Jim, Judy and Plato parody adult behavior is especially incisive and especially relevant today - kids are, in many ways, shrewder than they're given credit for, and their eyes are open.
3) There are moments of overacting (Jim shouting: "You're tearing me apart!"), but there's understatement too. At the beginning, for example, after Jim's father complains that he's bought everything for his son, and the audience is ready to write him off as ignorant and materialistic, he immediatley adds that he's shown Jim love and affection too - which may not be entirely true, but he's shown as being more than just a stock Bad Parent.
4) Things like 'no stab' knife fights and racing with stolen cars might seem almost tame by modern standards, but the display of self-destructive behavior in RWC still has some emotional power. The kids may doing things which kids today would consider silly, but their attitudes are sometimes genuinely frightening. Again Buzz is a great character. The gang mentality, too, with its shifting attitudes and its effect on personality, is very striking and very accurate.
In an era when parents seem to be trying harder than ever to understand their children, the problems have really remained the same. The consequences today might be more severe, but psychology and the human thrist for love are timeless, and RWC may well be timeless. In fact, beyond still being relevant, the film is an effective antidote to modern films which glorify and enshrine adolescent problems, when many of these things are just as pathetic, in the end, as a boy whose socks don't match....more info
- Nothing Better!
Before I saw this film, I thought it was ridiculous that someone could say that James Dean was their favorite movie star. Not so anymore.
This is truly a classic film, with the war on these teenagers backs. But even now, if we didn't have a war going on, it would still transcend the ages and delight viewers of all ages.
From the comedy, when Jim and Judy are acting like a married couple and talking about kids, to the action, when Jim's in the knife fight and and car race, to the drama, when Plato gets shot, and Jim has his only friend left, Judy, at his side, it is both written and acted wonderfully!
Buy the movie, embrace it, and show it to your friends. It's that good....more info
- A very moving film!
This is a classic film that captures teenage angst and the alienation of youth in a powerful way. James Dean stars as Jim Stark, a rebellious youth who is a new kid in town and the new kid in school. Nobody, not even his parents or the police can understand what exactly is fueling Jim's rebellious behavior. Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo also star as Judy and Plato, two of Jim's friends that also have problems of their own and issues with their parents. This is a very complex drama that makes a gripping statement about teenage angst and the communication gap that exists between parents and their children. This is an excellent film that transcends time and still has the ability to speak to generations of youth. The film features breathtaking performances from James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. Jim Backus and Ann Doran also give first-rate performances in their roles as Jim's parents, as does William Hopper as Judy's father. Other good supporting performances include Marietta Canty's as Plato's family's maid and Virginia Brissac's as Jim's grandmother. Also features very beautiful cinematography. Highly recommended!...more info
- The original teen angst movie
James Dean only made three films, but he became a pop icon after his premature death at the age of 24. Of his three films, Rebel Without a Cause is generally considered his best.
The movie starts at around midnight in a police station. Three juveniles are being held there -- Jim (James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood), and Plato (Sal Mineo). Jim is trashed. His parents, as we find out, are rather dysfunctional: his father is a weak hen-pecked milquetoast and his mother a shrill shrew. Judy is upset after a fight with her father, who called her a "dirty tramp" after she wore lipstick. And Plato has been caught killing puppies. His parents seem completely absent.
After the candor of these teens in the "nighttime" we then see their daytime personas. (One of the themes of the film is how characters have "nighttime" personalities that are true and daytime personalities that are insincere facades.) Jim is eager to impress on his first day at the new school. He happens to live next door to Judy, and offers her a ride. She coldly turns him down, and then makes fun of him to her friends as "a real yo-yo" and the "new disease." Plato, meanwhile, instantly idolizes Jim, or "Jamie," as Plato adoringly nicknames him. Jim has a run-in with a gang called "The Kids" (Judy is a member of the "Kids") and they agree to a "chickie run" at the bluff. A chickie run consists of two people driving stolen cars towards the edge of a bluff. The first driver to jump out of the car is the "chicken."
Rebel Without a Cause takes place over a course of 24 hours, and it's a testament to the skill of director Nicholas Ray that he could make this occasionally melodramatic tale of teen angst seem real and believable. Much happens during these 24 hours, but I've never found the storyline of "Rebel" to be terribly important. The movie is more about mood -- the insecure, insincere, yet overearnest world of teenagers. In Plato we have perhaps the first overtly gay character of the silver screen. Sal Mineo is perfect for this part -- his large expressive eyes convey Plato's absolute adoration and idolization of "Jamie." Natalie Wood is also pitch perfect as Judy. She's a touch hysterical and over-dramatic, and her mood swings ironically make her a "real yo-yo," the insult she had used on Jim. James Dean's performance is legendary. Yet it is also at times overwrought and melodramatic. It's hard to listen to him scream "You're tearing me apaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrttttttttttttt!!!" and not giggle a little. (Dean was more nuanced in East of Eden.) Still, like Humphrey Bogart's Rick or Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara Dean's Jim is a seminal performance. His red windbreaker, cigarettes, shy giggle, and curly blond hair defined "cool" for a generation. My favorite moment comes near the end of the film, when Jim talks to Plato. The quiet, comforting way he talks to his neurotic friend is just perfect.
This 2-disc dvd edition has a documentary of the film, and a documentary about James Dean. The James Dean documentary is particularly interesting, because it features Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo in interviews. Both actors also met early untimely deaths. I particularly like the segments with the grown up (and very handsome) Mineo. There's also screen tests, and Dean's famous "Drive Safely" ad....more info