"Think of a law, they've broken it. Think of a crime, they've committed it." A tense, tough story of teenage gangs committing acts of robbery, violence, and murder. The leader of the gang ...
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The son of a dead Italian nobleman and a wealthy American woman forgets the disappointment of finding he has no talent for being a painter by succumbing to the sexual advances of an amoral model who believes in indiscriminate love affairs.
"Think of a law, they've broken it. Think of a crime, they've committed it." A tense, tough story of teenage gangs committing acts of robbery, violence, and murder. The leader of the gang finds himself torn between his own brother and his sleazyu, (but very good looking) girlfriend. 35mm.Written by
'Die Halbstarken' don't have much in common with the theme and influence of the roughly contemporary James-Dean-Film 'Rebel without a cause', only that the main-persons of both films are attractive youths, who wear similar clothing. And: The Intention of this German film to handle the same Topic is recognizable.
But James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood play sensible youths, who run into an emotional crisis while in contact with their surroundings (so triggering the Youth-Revolution against narrow structures),while Horst Buchholz, Karin Baal and the others are merely youthful criminals, who could have appeared as well in films from, say, the 1930's.
James Dean in 'Rebel' may seem emotionally unstable, but he is never brutal, like Horst Buchholz in 'Die Halbstarken' (who, above all, acts very dumb). It looks to me, in comparison, as if Nicholas Ray, director of 'Rebel', wanted to describe an emotional situation and a thereby starting Rebellion, while 'Die Halbstarken' wanted to warn against this Rebellion, according to the opinions of the grown-ups of that time. The German film wanted to demonstrate an immaturity and malignity of the so-called 'Halbstarken', and so seems to be a moralizing anti-youth-rebel-story, and therefore wholly different from 'Rebel without a cause'.
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