Why?...Because... End of Discussion....
Robert Morris | Dallas, Texas | 02/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Released soon after James Dean's death, in the same year in which East of Eden also appeared, this film immediately attracted and rewarded great interest and has continued to do so. Part of its appeal is explained by the fact that Dean died instantaneously in a violent car crash, Natalie Wood drowned, Sal Mineo was stabbed to death, and Nick Adams overdosed on prescription drugs. Their premature deaths enrich even more the poignancy of their roles as teenage rebels "without a cause." Actually, much of their behavior is explained by their unhappiness in their dysfunctional families. Jim Stark (Dean) feels smothered by his parents who move from one town to another, hoping that he will finally "find himself." Judy (Wood) desperately needs love from a father (William Hopper) who is unwilling and/or unable to provide it. Plato (Mineo) seems to have no contact whatsoever with his parents. Meanwhile, Judy eagerly agrees to be gang leader Buzz Gunderson's "trophy girlfriend." After his death, she shifts her attention to Jim. They and Plato briefly become a "family of three," in one scene in an abandoned mansion even pretending (albeit satirically) to be father, mother, and son. (FYI, the set in which this scene was shot is alleged to have appeared earlier in Sunset Boulevard as Norma Desmond's mansion.) All of the film's action occurs within a 24-hour time period, beginning in a police station and ending with police also involved because....Nicholas Ray directed Rebel Without a Cause and also co-authored the script. Working with an exceptionally talented cast, he succeeded so well with evoking great performances from that cast that Dean, Wood, and Mineo have since become icons for teenage malaise. They brood, they pout, they withdraw, they whine, they whimper, while feeling totally misunderstood by adults. They especially resent their parents' inability to "get it" even without knowing what that "it" is. I saw this film again recently, again impressed by the quality of the acting but, probably inevitably, much of the film now seems dated to me even as it retains much of its innocence. Some scenes remain quite vivid, such as when Judy stands proudly out in the field, bathed in automobile headlights, before "officially" starting the "Chickie Run" contest; also when Jim urges his Mitty-like father (Jim Backus) to stand up to his (Mr. Stark's) badger-like wife (Rochelle Hudson). It is probably not realistic to expect young people in relatively comfortable circumstances to have a "cause" except to be accepted, respected, and loved on their own terms. This is a "classic" of sorts. When seeing it now, I have the feeling that I have opened a time capsule from 1955 and the film is among the items contained in it."
I fell in love with Natalie Wood....
D. Scott | CO USA | 01/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree this movie was a great talent launch for Dean, Salminio,and especially Natalie Wood. Most reviewerers see this as a great movie "Vehicle" for Dean and Salminio. Natalie Wood takes a "back seat" view in this movie...She will for ever be my most favortite movie star of all time. Its interesting that all three had a short, violent death...Dean in his famous car wreck, Salminio Stabed, still in his early years, and Natalie a mysterious drowning which details were never fully disclosed...fell in the water, Drowned...end of story. But after this movie she went on to make wounderful movies..Her emotional talent range was fantastic! Natalie and Elizabeth Taylor, whom had a close reseblance, I heard, their identy was often confused by vieweres in that era. Of course Taylors..wild public life, placed HER in the main spotlight. But next time you see this movie try to see the emotion and depth that Natalie put into it. They didnt have "Ensemble Catagorie" for the Academy Awards back then, but they shure had my vote....I didnt get into the details of this movie because if you havent seen it, the reviews are a plenty.... Just wanted to share my view on Nataile Wood, sort bright flame to soon extinguished."
Rebel Without a Cause
John Farr | 06/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most iconic films of the 1950s, Nicholas Ray's "Rebel" was the movie that cemented James Dean's reputation as the embodiment of the restless, disillusioned teen. Hyped as a story of juvenile delinquency, "Rebel" questions the suffocating complacency and conservatism of mid-century American society with raw force. Fresh from his debut in "East of Eden," Dean is explosive as the brooding, misunderstood Jim, his performance equalling Brando for its moody intensity, while Wood, Mineo, and Jim Backus (as Dean's spineless father) make stellar additions to a superb cast."
Dysfunctional Families and Their Dire Consequences!
Frederick Baptist | Singapore | 05/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film that ultimately is about families and their inability to communicate. Just like the more modern tv drama "The O.C." this film shows that behind the clean facade of rich, well-to-do neighbourhoods lies the broken pieces of parents who are unable to relate to their children who in turn end up looking for this missing love and understanding in all the wrong places with violent and destructive effects.
Dean's character is ashamed of his father who in his eyes is hen-pecked and cowardly and he insists upon good answers from his father as to why he is feeling the typical hormone-induced depression that most teenagers go through and when that is not forthcoming, he rebels in an attempt to hurt his parents. Wood's character is similar in that she also has communication problems with her father who is uncomfortable with physical closeness now that his daughter has become an attractive teen perhaps in an over-reaction to his own incestual desires? Confused at his behaviour Wood's character believes her father hates her and so she too rebels in an attempt to hurt him. Mineo's character is the most pitiful and perhaps most deserving of sympathy; his parents are divorced and they truly appear not to care about him at all leaving him alone with a live-in maid as sole companion. This film is truly touching for me as I can personally relate based upon my own experiences growing up with many of the issues portrayed here.
The dvd is also a treat as the bonus features contains a couple of good behind-the-scenes documentaries and except for a few minutes at the start, the picture quality is very good and the sound quality has been remastered very well in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround making this the best old movie picture and sound quality-wise that I've seen on dvd to date.
A very good film and a very good dvd version of it; highly recommended!"