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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The whole film takes place over 24 hours. The opening scene in the police station takes place around 3:00 a.m. The ending scene takes place around 3:00 a.m. the next morning. See more »
Except for Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, all of the major participants who are supposed to be high school students are, in fact, in their 20s, and of college age; Dean was 24, and could have graduated from college 2 years earlier. See more »
First police officer:
Get up, get up. Mixed up in that beating on 12th street, huh?
Second police officer:
No. Plain drunkenness.
See more »
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.
Bye love you
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