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Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | | Drama | 29 October 1955 (USA)
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A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Stewart Stern (screen play), Irving Shulman (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,729 ( 471)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Dean ... Jim Stark
Natalie Wood ... Judy
Sal Mineo ... John 'Plato' Crawford
Jim Backus ... Frank Stark
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Carol Stark
Corey Allen ... Buzz Gunderson
William Hopper ... Judy's Father
Rochelle Hudson ... Judy's Mother
Dennis Hopper ... Goon
Edward Platt ... Ray Fremick
Steffi Sidney Steffi Sidney ... Mil
Marietta Canty ... Crawford Family Maid
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Stark - Jim's Grandmother
Beverly Long Beverly Long ... Helen
Ian Wolfe ... Dr. Minton
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Storyline

Jim Stark is the new kid in town. He has been in trouble elsewhere; that's why his family has had to move before. Here he hopes to find the love he doesn't get from his middle-class family. Though he finds some of this in his relation with Judy, and a form of it in both Plato's adulation and Ray's real concern for him, Jim must still prove himself to his peers in switchblade knife fights and "chickie" games in which cars race toward a seaside cliff. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE NEW HIT - THE BIGGEST HIT - FROM THE ACADEMY AWARD DIRECTOR OF "ON THE WATERFRONT" ELIA KAZAN (Australian daybill) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rebelde sin causa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| Dolby Digital (DVD version)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his article "Dangerous Talents," published in "Vanity Fair" in March 2005, Sam Kashner writes that director Nicholas Ray, screenwriter Stewart Stern, costar James Dean and Sal Mineo himself all intended for Mineo's character Plato to be subtly but definitely understood as gay. Kashner says that although the Production Code was still very much in force and forbade any mention of homosexuality, Ray, Dean, Mineo and Stern all worked together to insert restrained references to Plato's homosexuality and attraction to Jim, including the pinup photo of Alan Ladd on Plato's locker door, Plato's adoring looks at Jim, his loaded talk with Jim in the old mansion and even the name "Plato," named after the classical Greek philosopher Plato, who scholars generally agree was homosexual. For that mansion scene, Dean suggested to Mineo that Plato should "look at me the way I look at Natalie." It can be argued, therefore, that Sal Mineo was the first person nominated for an Oscar for playing an LGBT character, having received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the film. See more »

Goofs

Jimmy puts his left hand through the window, but it's a right hand that turns the radio knob. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First police officer: Get up, get up. Mixed up in that beating on 12th street, huh?
Second police officer: No. Plain drunkenness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teenage Caveman (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Five O'Clock Whistle
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Gene Irwin and Josef Myrow
Played on the car radio after the dedication
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No
8 April 2015 | by carljessiesonSee all my reviews

I was really excited about this one because of how iconic James Dean is and because I had never seen something with him in it before, and honestly, I was disappointed. I was really annoyed throughout the entire movie. I read a little bit more about the movie afterward and it enlightened me to the film's strengths that gave it "classic" status, which helped a little bit, but I can't ignore the fact that this was a really annoying movie.

I don't usually pay too much attention to film titles, but this one truly says it all. Bunch of angry suburban kids causing mischief for no reason, essentially. I get that there was an element of emotional neglect from adults, which fueled their teenage debauchery, but it played out like a bunch of spoiled white kids messing everything up for everyone else because they didn't know how to deal with their problems. It's a real issue, this painful separation between generations, but this movie was so melodramatic about it. I hate to compare negatives (because a negative is a negative and that's that), but there are a multitude of other more important, more devastatingly horrible issues out there. I don't expect every movie to tackle an societal problem, I get that some movies are just fun, but if they wanted to make a drama about a problem, they should have picked something else. I just didn't care. I didn't feel bad for these kids.

It was so dramatic, the story was weak, a vessel for the studio to make money off of Dean more than anything. That's like every Zac Efron movie. Not much substance, but with an exceptionally attractive male displaying both strength and sensitivity- it's a formula to make profit. That's why I'm surprised this is a classic. Seems like something a 1950s Teen Nick might put out for a quick buck or something. The story-telling was bizarre, also. They tried to do some kind of "let's get this story started and fill in the blanks of his past later," which I've seen work many times, but it just didn't work here. I felt like I came into a movie halfway through, too many details merely implied, too many rapid jumps in story/relationships, just made it frustratingly mysterious for no reason. Pacing was so strange. Starts out ominous and tense, then after bad things happen, it gets light-hearted and silly.

The only things I really enjoyed were the aesthetics, and I'm not sure how much credit they should get for that considering the ~aesthetics~ I enjoyed so much were just how things looked back then. I also did see the spark that has made James Dean so legendary despite his short career/life. His acting was over-the-top, in my opinion, at some points, but he really did have something about him that was fascinating.

Such a bizarre film to me. By the time it was over I had more questions than I had answers and that is enormously frustrating. I really, really didn't like it but I'm so confused that I didn't enjoy such a widely beloved film so I might try to give it a viewing again but I highly doubt it.

5/10

Bye love you


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