Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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 movie was originally to be shot in black and white, and some scenes had already been filmed that way, when the studio decided to switch to color. The official explanation at the time was that Twentieth Century-Fox, which owned the wide-screen CinemaScope process, had ordered that all films shot in the process had to be in color, but some also believe that Warners ordered the switch to head off comparisons with Blackboard Jungle (1955) and because James Dean's increasing popularity gave the film more prestige.Another film MGM's Trial (1955) was also slated to be shot at the same time in black and white CinemaScope. Due to the same demand it skipped that process and shot in standard widescreen black and white instead. See more »
The duration of the "chickie run" was obviously extended to heighten its tension and dramatic impact. The cars are seen going far too fast, and for far too long a period of time, to cover the distance to the cliff. At the speed they were traveling over the distance involved, they should have gone over the cliff within a few seconds. 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 »
Of all the "classic" movies I've seen, I'd have to say Rebel Without a Cause is the most overrated. James Dean is a good actor, but honestly, aside from him, everyone else is over the top.
Let me first list a few things that seemed completely implausible to me: The people in James Dean's new town hate him immediately, without him even doing anything. A highschooler gets his shirt caught in a car door, flies screaming off the edge of a cliff to a explosive firey death, and no one cares. These first two problems wouldn't be that bad if the movie didn't appear to be going for an element of realism. If the whole thing was played as little surreal, or as some sort of social black comedy, I could accept these events, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
The character of Plato is atrocious, both acting wise and thematically wise. And yet he becomes the focal point of the movie. My biggest problem is that the themes are literally batted over the audience's head. It becomes immediately clear that James Dean is serving as a replacement father figure for Plato. Plato has mentioned he has no father and no friends, it just becomes very obvious. Does he really need to say things like "yeah, I'm hoping we can go on fishing trips like my dad used to take me on." I refuse to believe audiences were that dumb in the 1950s. (as an aside, the person who argued that Plato was gay, I agree that this is intentional, [how else would he be so attracted to James Dean after only knowing him 3 seconds] and the movie does get some points for slyly tackling a taboo thing like that). However, I desperately wanted Plato to fall victim to a flail of gunfire by the final scene.
Maybe my hopes were too high, It could be that all the themes in this movie have been re-done in more audience-trusting fashion. Still, James Dean was a much better teen idol than we have nowadays.
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