The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
. . . in showing the viewer some of the young actors who did NOT make the cut to become members of Buzz Gunderson's gang (which would perhaps SOUND more intimidating in Minneapolis than in Los Angeles!), or the fact that a version of the climax was filmed in which "Plato" (Sal Mineo's character) took his death plunge from the aperture for the Griffith Observatory telescope. I had seen REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE years ago, and remembered it as a black-and-white movie. When I watched the feature, it was sort of a shock to see it in color. Turns out the first three days of filming actually WERE in black-and-white, but studio honchos got in positive feedback on James Dean's slightly earlier EAST OF EDEN project, and decided to spring for the color format. The narrator here says that that decision cost "hundreds" of extras their jobs, making REBEL a "better" movie. With this sort of insensitivity toward human suffering, it would be pretty hard to rate this mini-documentary from the "go-go" 1990s any higher than a 6 of 10.
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