Rebel Without a Cause is an American movie that premiered in 1955. Being a classic tale of adolescent rebellion, the film included James Dean’s rebel final roles. He died a month before the film’s release. Dean’s performance appears to be a toned-down Brando rather than the start of a significant talent.
But “Rebel Without a Cause” was hugely influential at the time. James’ contribution profoundly impacted the way young males were perceived in popular culture. They might be more feminine, sexier, perplexed, and ambiguous.
The movie was filmed in black and white for a sufficient period, but the company stopped production and reshot it in color. Rebel Without a Cause is more than just a film about rebels. It is most likely one of Nicholas Ray’s most influential films.
Rebel Without a Cause is a Classic
When Rebel Without a Cause was published in 1955, it was not just a landmark representation of youthful anguish in postwar America. It was also an immediate homosexual classic. Perhaps 50s was the era of teenagers. When their inclinations manifested and the idea of adolescence became a thing, with all of its benefits and drawbacks.
They had their sense of style, interests, and ideas. As a result, films like Blackboard Jungle, The Wild One, A Summer Place, Gidget, King Creole, and Rebel Without a Cause defined the 1950s.
What Happened to James Dean During the Movie?
In 1955, the film Rebel Without a Cause was premiered. The narrative begins in a Los Angeles police headquarters. Jim Stark (James Dean) has been arrested for intoxication. Two other kids are seen, Judy (Natalie Wood), who left home because of her problematic relationship with her dad, and John Crawford (Sal Mineo), who is arrested for killing dogs.
Jim Stark’s family has only recently moved to Los Angeles, and this is not Jim’s first run-in with problems. The family relocates to a different city whenever something goes awry, hoping that Jim would meet new acquaintances. As they thought it’s the only solution to avoid the troubles created by Jim.
Nevertheless, things will not go as planned in Jim’s school life. Jim spots Judy and approaches her on his way to Dawson High, but she prefers to hang out with her boyfriend Buzz (Corey Allen). He was a gang’s leader.
Initially, director Nicholas Ray did not want to cast Wood in the role. Ray thought Wood didn’t match the part of a 1950s adolescent; she wasn’t wild enough. Wood was in a vehicle accident one night while out with friends. Ray went to the hospital, relieved to see that Wood had not died. Wood overheard Doctors refer to her as a “goddamn juvenile delinquent.” When Wood heard this, he said to Ray, “Did you hear what he called me, Nick?” He called me a damned juvenile delinquent! OH, she did justice with her role.
Okay, back to the movie, Plato notices Jim when he arrives at school, and they ultimately become friends. The students are attending a lecture at Griffith Observatory. Buzz, who enjoys causing havoc, provokes Jim into a knife battle. But Jim needs to do anything to prove he’s not a “chicken” as Buzz dares him to a “Chickee run.”
Directors add more spoilers inside the movie. Buzz is killed after his car crashes over a precipice during the race. Judy, who has no true friends in “the gang,” falls in love with Jim. They must deal with the fallouts that happened next in their life after getting into a relationship. Also have to deal with the anguish of Buzz’s friends, the police, and their parents. Rebel Without a Cause is a tragic film.
We all remember that James Dean died when he was just 24 years old. This occurred on September 30, 1955, a month well before the film’s premiere. Ironically, James Dean was killed in a vehicle accident, much like Buzz in the movie.
However, James’s persona was taking huge risks as well. Dennis Hopper, Edward Platt, and Jim Backus, who played Dean’s henpecked father, were among the film’s excellent supporting players. All three prominent actors died tragically young. Mineo was stabbed to death at the age of 37, and Wood drowned in unexplained circumstances at 43. Their deaths merely contributed to the film’s cult-like following.
The only criticism we have with the movie is that James Dean was 24 years old when he played a 16-year-old character. But, well, everyone looked much older than they were these days.
James Dean’s career was brief yet noteworthy. He was nominated for an Oscar for his first credited part (East of Eden). Rebel Without a Cause impact youth, and it’s a picture that shaped American cinema history and deserves to be watched now for various reasons. It’s a film that doesn’t lose its significance. It is also remembered for the potent triumvirate of Sal Mineo, James Dean, and, of course, Natalie Wood.
James Dean Portrays in Rebel Without a Cause
Dean portrays an emotionally troubled dormitory middle-class teen. Dean, a disturbed yet sympathetic adolescent who passionately wants a reason to live while rejecting the ideals of his elders.
Soon after his family relocates to a new location, he confronts dangerous gangbangers while seeking solace with troubled adolescent Judy (played by Natalie Wood) and Plato (Sal Mineo). Jim’s character was hardly the hero who has it all figured out. His parents frequently quarrel, enabling him to exhibit an emotional side that other stoic hero do not.
Jim Stark, “You are tearing me apart” is Probably the film’s most classic saying. He is notorious for getting into trouble, creating distrust between him, his family, and the authorities like the police.
Rebel Without a Cause Impact on Teens
It’s not only a movie for teens but it’s especially Made for youngsters. Rebel Without a Cause’s impact on teens and was one of the finest films on the subject. It’s a fascinating look at the lives of American youth. The picture helped catapult the teenagers to a new degree of cultural consciousness, which would last for generations.
It demonstrates empathy for them, and even if sad occurrences occur, they are here to make us aware of the injustices they are subjected to.
How can we not feel a lump in our throats as we witness Natalie Wood, in tears, tell the inspector that her father does not love her? We can’t help but sympathize with Plato, whose mom and dad have abandoned him. How can we not be unhappy for Jim when he fails so miserably at making friends? However, when he develops friends like Plato and Judy, we see that quality triumphs over quantity.
Aside from the difficulties of growing up, adolescent misbehavior, and terrible deaths, the movie addresses a very controversial issue about youth like homosexuality. Today, there are more and more films about this issue, but at the time, it was a very indecent subject and impacted a lot on teens.