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Rebel Without a Cause
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Product Description

When people think of James Dean, they probably think first of the troubled teen from Rebel Without a Cause: nervous, volatile, soulful, a kid lost in a world that does not understand him. Made between his only other starring roles, in East of Eden and Giant, Rebel sums up the jangly, alienated image of Dean, but also happens to be one of the key films of the 1950s. Director Nicholas Ray takes a strikingly sympathetic look at the teenagers standing outside the white-picket-fence '50s dream of America: juvenile delinquent (that's what they called them then) Jim Stark (Dean), fast girl Judy (Natalie Wood), lost boy Plato (Sal Mineo), slick hot-rodder Buzz (Corey Allen). At the time, it was unusual for a movie to endorse the point of view of teenagers, but Ray and screenwriter Stewart Stern captured the youthful angst that was erupting at the same time in rock & roll. Dean is heartbreaking, following the method acting style of Marlon Brando but staking out a nakedly emotional honesty of his own. Going too fast, in every way, he was killed in a car crash on September 30, 1955, a month before Rebel opened. He was no longer an actor, but an icon, and Rebel is a lasting monument. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews:

  • Dysfunctional Families and Their Dire Consequences!
    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!...more info
  • A Great Classic
    This movie is about a teenager (James Dean) who was a troublemaker that caused his family to move alot. He meets a pretty teenage girl (Natalie Wood) and a troubled boy (Sal Mineo)at the police station (where he was found drunk by a cop earlier). Later he meets the girl's boyfriend and his gang who terrorized him.
    The three teens had trouble times with their fathers: James' character had a spineless father who won't stand up for him in front of his domineering mother. Natalie's character was distraught because her father won't return her affections. Sal's character was neglected by his own father (the only time his father paid attention to him was a check sent to him, but no "Hi" or any written note).
    There are tender times like in the deserted manison that the three stayed at after a hard night with their families, and tragic scenes like the "chicken run" James had with Buzz, Natalie's character's boyfriend (Buzz died).
    There are more to it than I am telling you here, so you just have to watch the movie. This is a very good drama in the 1950s, and James Dean made it so real with some of his emotions and outbursts in the movie. Go buy this movie in DVD or video -- this is worth a lot to watch!...more info
  • Rebel rocks!
    If you are looking for a good classic movie with a star that lives up to his legend, then Rebel is the one to see. In the movie James Dean becomes a real rebel when a gang of hoodlums challenges him to a fight. All through out the movie James Dean and Natalie Wood give a wonderful performance, not to mention that James will steel your heart from the moment you lay eyes on him. This is by far my favorite James Dean movie! See it, I know that you will love it!...more info
  • These Rebels DID have a cause
    For all that the title is such a classic one, it is rather inaccurate. And possibly, it was meant to be. Maybe a catchy title to draw in the crowds or a deliberate lie to show later that their cause, seeming meaningless, was a valid one. And in the end, this film is so poignant! Not a "dated" film at all, but a lesson to the generations of teenagers before and afterwards. Teenage angst has not changed in the last 50 years, and the reasons have not become any less meaningful. "Rebel Without a Cause" offers a very truthful look into the lives of teenagers, the reasons they rebel and gives a reason to why rebeliousness should not be taken so lightly.

    The movie begins with all three of the main characters Jim (James Dean) Judy (Natalie Wood) and Plato (Sal Mineo) in a police station in the wee hours of the morning. All are dressed in obviously middle and upper-class clothes but have been picked up on the street for wandering, drunkeness and violence. The title of the movie immediately gives itself away, Judy is upset because her father was rough with her, Plato's father left him and his mother is never at home...

    Then we meet Jim's parents. A submissive father, sharp-tongued mother and uptight grandmother. True, they may give him "many things" but the tension, strain and ignorance of Jim's needs are, as he says, "tearing me apart!"

    We find out in the course of the movie, as Jim, Judy and Plato come together, that they are really good kids who are only looking for love and acceptance. We see how little their parents understand of them and how they are rebelling against the ignorance that has been starving them for years!

    And truly, this is my FAVORITE James Dean movie, I think his portrayal of Jim is really a mirror of his own life with his biological Dad and some of the kids he grew up with. His acting is just so true, real, passionate and believable. This movie is my reasoning for why he is still such a legend. Truly, one of the greatest actors of all time. And a fantastic movie to boot!

    And get this, the extra disc has all kinds of wonderful things the VHS tape had. Cast interviews, screen tests, alternate endings, black and white clips, film changes! On my old tape, I always watched the prelude to this with the outtakes, alternate endings, screen tests and James Dean interview. Ooh, plus the trailer! I HAD to see these before the movie began. So, it's great to see all that footage included on this DVD as well!
    ...more info
  • Es lo mejor de James Dean
    Es una de la mejores 100 peliculas del Siglo pasado. En esta movie Jimmy hace el papel de joven REBELDE, el cual muchos jovenes de los a?os 50 cojen la figura de (James Dean) como modo de vida, rebelde, incoformista, solitario, etc....more info
  • Mainstream View of Important Film
    Rebel without a Cause showcases the performances of James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo in a classic story of teenagers disconnected from their parents in the mid-1950s. There are many famous scenes and lines, all discussed in other reviews.

    The current 2-disc special edition has excellent picture and sound and has a good set of extra features, including a commentary, featurettes, and making-of shots.

    Queer theorists have tried to make something of the relationships of Dean, Mineo, and their characters. The only mention of this alternative analysis comes in the commentary track, where the suggestion that Plato (Mineo) has a homoerotic attraction to Jim (Dean) is dismissed because the production code would not stand for it and because Plato is more straight-forwardly viewed as wanting Jim to be a big brother or father. This is the mainstream view. Those wanting to explore gay interpretations will have to await another release.

    Regardless, this film influenced family values and dress standards for years to come and is a must-see....more info
  • A Landmark Film in American Cinema
    Rebel Without A Cause is simply an American classic, it is arguably the greatest performance of James Dean, and one of the most definative films about teenage agnst and alienation ever made. It is the film that immortalized James Dean as an eternal rebel, followed closely behind by East of Eden and Giant. Dean has since become more powerful than he ever was in real life, his mortality has become associated with the eternal symbology of youth and rebellion. He will continue to forever represent the concepts that his characters stood for. Released in 1955, shortly after Dean's death, Rebel was a film that spoke for an entire generation of young people, and arguably continues to do so. It's effect on teenagers in the 1950's tore like a shockwave through every city and town in America. It's reverberations continue to be felt today as new Dean fan's become aware of his everlasting impact on the fabric of American culture. It has been voted on the AFI's Top 100 Greatest American Films list. Rebel arguably owe's much of it's success to the film's star which quickly elevated it to the film that it has become today. James Deans everlasting effect on Hollywood is impossible to gauge, although his affect is undeniably profound and permanent.

    Nicholas Ray directed Rebel, and James Dean plays Jim Stark, the angry, lonely, rebellious, troubled teengaer who has just moved to town. Jim feels misunderstood, ignored, and alienated and he doesn't seem to care. When released in 1955, this was a landmark film that portrayed teenagers as individuals who had the capablility experience emotion and to think on their own. By today's standards, it's initial impact has lost much of it's power. Alot of the lines seem dated and awkward. This film portrayed teenagers as adults. Dean was essentially the first actor to give them a voice. In order to understand the magnitude of his impact, it was as if when he died, an idea had been killed. RWAC takes place over the course of 24 hours. The film opens and closes with the sound of police sirens. In the first scene, it is past midnight and Jim Stark is being hauled into the police station for public drunkeness. We are also introduced to Judy(16 year old Natalie Wood), who has been brought in for running away from home, she claims that her father called her "a dirty tramp" for wearing too much lipstick, and Plato(Sal Mineo), who has been brought in for shooting puppies. Rebel immediately identifies these three juvenile delinquents as three people who have something in common. Jim will offer his jacket to Plato for the first of two times, the latter being at the end. This first scene introduces his rebellious nature against authority. When he is brought in to speak to Officer Ray, he takes a swing at him. Like East of Eden, Dean is rebelling out of the strong need to be loved and accepted. Jim's parents love him, but that is not enough. He needs the love and acceptance of his peers. The adults in Rebel are essentially living in a seperate world. They have only so much power to help the children. Jim does have a cause, but he is going about it the wrong way. His rebellion is a cry for help. Ray realizes this and offers to help him, to give him someone to talk to. Jim's parents are less than understanding, his father is afraid to stand up for himself to his wife, and Jim see's this as an incredible insult. Jim's parents are incapable of placing themselves in Jim's shoes. The next day, Jim offers to give Judy a ride to school. She blows him off and tells him he's probably a "real yo-yo". Rebel captures teenage insecurity in a powerful way. Out of the desire to be loved and to belong, you must first "belong, in order to be loved." It is a painful, yet imperative step that they must go thorugh. Dean is the new kid, the outcast, and in order to be accepted, he has to prove himself and fight his way in. When students attend a field trip to The Griffith Observatory, the planetarium is symbolic of the universe. When Jim walks into the planetarium, the announcer says: "A a star increasingly bright and increasingly near" Dean is the sun who will bring forth the end for two in the audience. On a school field trip to the planetarium, Jim, in an attempt to gain the respect of his peers, by acting funny, manages to threaten the ringleader named Buzz. He is befriended by another outcast named Plato. The children witness the end of the world as the sun engulfs the Earth in a fiery explosion of gas. This foreshadows the fiery car accident, and the tragic ending that Plato will face later on.

    Buzz challenges Jim to a knife fight in which Jim ultimatelty wins. Buzz is obviously threatened by this new threat to his girlfriend Judy and his self confidence. Jim attempts to discuss with his father what he would do. Jim's father does not have anything to offer his son, and is unable to grasp the concepts of "honor" and "fighting." Jim leaves home hurt and frustrated. It is from this scene that Jim wears his famous red windbreaker for the rest of the film. He is now rebelling without a cause. Buzz challenges Dean to a "chickie" run in stolen cars, the object is to identity the chicken by seeing who jumps out of the car. Dean survives and Buzz dies. The chickie run captures the unsettling notion that these kids are willing to die to be accepted. They want to belong that much, and yet they struggle to communicate it. Dean wins Judy over, and has a huge confrontation with his parents back at home. Jim needs to be loved and he needs help, and his parents cannot give that to him. They don't know how. Jim's dad refuses to stand up to his mother, and Dean physically attacks his father. At this point in the film, Rebel becomes about the path that these kids take on their own. They cannot be helped, but they can possibly help each other. Jim meets Judy and they decide to go a deserted mansion in the hills. Judy's situation at home is no better than Jim's. She is seeking love from her father, who does not seem comfortable or capable of giving it to her, although he expresses his desire to, and Judy is rebelling against her overprotective family whom she feels disconnection from. Plato's parents have left him, his mother is sending child support checks to his home. It is Plato who is in desperate need of support and attention. Rebel begins to change direction here, and we slowly witness that these three can help each other. Jim, Judy, and Plato are all searching for love and support and they find it in each other- temporarily. At the mansion, Plato attempts to make Jim and Judy his parents. Plato feels betrayed when they leave him momentarily, and he begins to lose control emotionally. Quckly, the mansion is surrounded by authorities and the kid's parents. Jim attempts to help Plato. He tells him that they are friends, and that "friends don't let each other down." Plato comes out of the planetarium brandishing a gun, with no bullets, and he is shot by police officers and Jim is devastated. In this tragedy, Jim has become a man, his father tells him he did everything a man could. Jim introduces Judy to his parents and they are accepting. Leonard Rosenman conducted the score for Rebel, and his jazzy score adds alot to the film. James Dean was essentially the vehicle that embodied an idea. And when he died, he was still carrying that ideas with him. James Dean's death at the age of 24 did nothing more than immortalize his message forever. The 2 Disc-Special Edition contains all of the material that the single disc contains and more. It is presented in an anmorphic widescreen format, and the picture is remastered. There is a feature lenghth commentary, and a documentary on James Dean. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • Defines James and him alone
    James's acting was supperb in this film. I think that James really didn't have to act because most of this character WAS him. The plot of this story also defines what life was like in the 1950's....more info
  • Almost 50 and Still a Significant Tale
    This review refers to the Warner Bros DVD release of "Rebel Without a Cause"......

    After nearly 50 years from it's release in 1955, this is a film that still truley embodies the feelings of teenage angst.The three teens that this story revolves around are played powerfully by James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo.It's not just about how the kids deal with the problems that life hands them but about the parents as well.

    Jim Stark(Dean) is the newcomer to the neighborhood. The family is always moving around seemingly due to Jim's inability to stay out of trouble. The parents(Jim Backus/Ann Doran) may be at the core of Jim's problems.There's a great scene at the police station, where the parents are arguing(as usual) over what's right for the boy and Jim sums up the whole event by crying out, as only James Dean could do.."You're tearing me apart".

    Judy(Wood),very cool and part of 'The in-crowd" comes from what seems to be a typical middle-class family, but underneath there are problems galore.At 16, Judy longs for the affection her father(William Hopper) gave her as a little girl, but he seems to be confused by her impending womanhood and pushes her away both emotionally and phyically. Judy does whatever she can to gain her father's attention.

    Perhaps the most deeply troubled of all is John "Plato" Crawford(Mineo) who comes from a well off family but they are never around to care for him or about him. He is cared for by his well meaning housekeeper/nurse played brillantly by Marietta Canty.

    Trouble once again finds Jim on his very first day of school, which erupts in a knife fight that is so beautifully acted and directed it takes on the look of an exquiste dance,and ends with a tragic car race.The parents seem to be of no help in the dilemna. Jim, Judy and Plato find each other in their loneliness and form a makeshift family of their own, that also is beset with some devastating results.

    Beautifully directed by Nicholas Ray(Johnny Gutiar/The Flying Leathernecks), watching this film again was like finding a buried treasure in a time capsule. It is a story, that will always have meaning as although the times(and types of problems) may change, people really don't.These young brillant actors had an on screen chemistry and charisma that is unsurpassed. I also want to make mention of Edward Platt, who played the empathetic Juvenile Officer, Corey Allen as "Buzz"(Dean's rival), and also look for Dennis Hopper in an early role as one of "The kids".

    Warner Brothers has done a superb transfer of this 48 year old film. It has been restored, looks brand new, and is presented in the original widescreen. The sound was also terrific in the remastered Dolby Digital 5.1. There are some excellent special features to peruse. Behind the scene documentaries which were actually filmed around the time of the making of "Rebel" enables us to see interviews with the stars. There is one with James Dean not only talking about the film, but advising young people to "Drive Safely"! You will also see the screen tests and learn where that toy monkey came from in the opening scene.

    If it's a film you already know you love, you will love the DVD. If you haven't seen it, whether you are a teen or an adult, you will be moved by this story and it's a must have for your classic DVD collection.

    Thanks and enjoy.....Laurie...more info

  • Setting a bad example
    What the youth of today needs is standards and decency. Films like this glamorise silliness and insubordination. Tut tut. ...more info
  • Racing toward the abyss - physically and psychologically

    A film "classic" about teenage alienation and angst that spoke to a generation, but not the masterpiece many make it out to be. James Dean is Jim Starr, a high school senior with overbearing, out-of-touch parents (Jim Backus plays his father, who walks around the house in an apron - a symbol of his "weakness as a man"), new in town, trying to fit in with the crowd. The movie addresses all the concerns of teenagers in the mid-1950s (maybe even of all time): parents, authority, friendship, loyalty, proving oneself, searching for values), but the tone the movie takes is only on par with a soap opera. Some of it is laughably corny and outdated today, yet it's not hard to see how it could have been so influential. Dean is good in the role as the young rebel - mysterious, strong-willed, sexy - but most of the others come across as mere types. The game of chicken between Dean and Buzz (played by Corey Allen) of course presaged Dean's own death only months later....more info
  • Unwitting Indictment of American Youth
    Someone called this movie "The Quintessential American Film". Such hyperbole is not far off the mark. Only in America could the hapless lives of a bunch of spoiled brats be turned into fodder for a mannered story of hand-wringing teenage existential angst. Elsewhere, teenagers are too busily engaged in the business of living and surviving to indulge in the navel gazing so blithely practiced by the young people in this film.

    I don't mean to say that this is a bad film. It is a great film, a classic film, but for reasons the very antithesis of those cited by its admirers. It is great because it exposes everything that is wrong with American youth: the self-centredness, the self-pity, the lack of self-motivation, the blaming-everyone-but-themselves mindset. It's all there, for those honest enough to see it; and it's all encapsulated in a bunch of misfits so full of themselves that they cannot see beyond the confines of their own paltry little universes.

    A lot has been written over the years about James Dean's performance. But whether or not he or Natalie Wood or Sal Mineo overplayed their roles is beside the point. What is important is that they effectively conveyed the emptiness in the lives of suburban youth. This film is not a classic because it made Dean an icon, or because his real death would soon immortalize his fictional character, but because of the skill with which insignificant lives were vested with seeming significance. In many ways, this film can be considered the progenitor of the grunge realism school of cinema, a school that persists to the present day and has spawned the pretentious art house films that infest university campuses all over the world.

    This film could only exist in a world where affluence is so commonplace that it is taken for granted, where life is so self-centred that aimlessness can be elevated to the status of tragedy, and where thrills are so cheap that the jaded can only feel alive by promoting risks that take them to the edge of death. This film gave rise to innumerable games of chicken, knife fight scenes and squint eyed antiheroes mumbling nihilistic doggerel, but it has also suffered from being considered nothing more than the sum of such stylistic devices. In reality, it is an unwitting indictment of American youth, and viewed as such, it achieves a significance that is wholly unintentional....more info

  • Why?...Because... End of Discussion....
    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....more info

  • Nice Film
    i've heared about this film and James Dean for a while and i just got to seen Rebel without a cause and i will say that it's a good film.Not a film for all time but a film that would have been radical for 1955.

    It's like the movie 13 was when it came out...rugged and well recieved by fans and critics...more info
  • A Brilliant Movie Of Coming Of Age In The 50s
    This classic James Dean movie is exceptional. James Dean is charismatic as Jim Stark playing a high school youth trying to fit in with a 50s peer group not willing to except an "outsider." Jim trys to defend his honor by playing chicken in a game where his opponent loses his life, but not by Jim's hand. There are only a handful of films that fit the standard of classic "old hollywood" with outstanding acting. This movie is one of the very best. ...more info
  • This movie is crap
    This movie sucks for so many reasons, I can't fit them all in the 1,000 word space that amazon gives me. For starters, I'll give my impression of the 3 lead characters after watching the movie. (...) Natalie Wood's character is bipolar, and Sal Mineo's character is a little on the gay side. To make it worse, the plot is boring, unrealistic, and inconsistent. Oh yeah, and where does this image of James Dean wearing a leather jacket come from? Although it was even shown on the cover of this DVD, HE DOESN'T WEAR A LEATHER JACKET IN ANY OF HIS 3 STARRING ROLES. And to think that there is actually a James Dean brand of leather jackets with his face on the inside of the jacket. It's a conspiracy....more info
  • Still cool 50 years later
    Teenaged Jim Stark (James Dean) has just moved to a new town and wants to fit in with the local greasers. However, things go horribly wrong when a game of Chicken between Stark and one of the greasers ends in the greaser's death.

    Although not the first cinematic depiction of the 1950's youth culture ("The Wild One" was made two years earlier), "Rebel Without a Cause" is one of the best of these such films. Unlike "The Wild One", which barely even had a plot, "Rebel Without a Cause" has a strong storyline which would probably still work if it were remade today, and Jim Stark is a far more realistic character than Brando's Johnny Strabler. It is essentially a coming of age film, chronicling Jim Stark's transition from irresponsible teenager, to adulthood, as he is effectively forced to become a "parent" to a troubled young friend of his, who sees him as a hero.

    As it was made in the 50's, many of the characters feel as though they were taken straight out of "Grease" (for example, the greasers, who appear to comb their hair every two seconds), which makes the film somewhat laughable to begin with, but as the film progresses and takes a serious turn, you forget this pretty quickly. Jim Stark, however, with his iconic red jacket and a cigarette hanging from his mouth, still seems as cool as he must have seemed in 1955, and after seeing this film, I finally understand why James Dean's legend has lived on for more than 50 years after his death.
    ...more info
  • The milestone film about the juvenile delinquency!
    James Dean became a mythical legend after this cult movie which has stood up the status level through the years and doesn't age a bit .

    The astonishing presence of a selected group of promising young actors made of this movie a must see for every movie conosseur : Sal Mineo , Natalie Wood and Dennis Hopper signed their names without knowing in this immortal artwork .

    Nicholas Ray , Samuel Fuller , Elia Kazan and Otto Preminger were the most minucious and outlaw film makers of that decade.

    It seems so useless to recommend this item because it's more than obvious.
    ...more info
  • James Dean the Icon lives on this classic DvD of a cult film
    Quite possibly the greatest movie of all "rebel without a cause" is regarded as one of the best movies ever made, like "cool hand luke" it has had a cultural impact, not
    only as far as movie as concerned but society.

    what made the movie such a hit was the fact that you had this giant rebel icon known as james dean, whom every young girl wanted to go out. an all star cast such as natalie wood, whose career would continue to skyrocket with such great films as "splendor in the grass". however, the film's storyline is what impacted viewers, much of which were young men and women who could relate to the main character. dean plays jim stark, born to a rich father , stark don't seem to fit in with anybody, his neighboorhood, his classmates, he movesto a new town where he must try to fit with society. he encounters on his first day judy (wood), a pretty girl whose around with the wrong crowd, a rebellious gang bent on no good. as jim gets lost finding his class he meets a kind young man named plato (sal mineo who also died young) who helps him find his way. however near the end of the afternoon jim has a confrontation with judy'sboyfriend named buzz (played by corey allen) what results is a fatal accident. however besides this stark must deal with his overbearing father who does not understand his own and thinks he can soothe him by buying him literally. it seems that stark cannot fit into anywhere in society, he is a rebel,an outsider looking in on a world, that doesn't quite understand him and it will be a battle for him to find his way and find meaning in his life.

    that's the cult phenomen right there, everyone especially teenagers feel at one time or another like jim stark, a rebel, an outsider looking in, not really acceptedinto any form of society whether it's school or his own parents. stark is the classic example of the rebel. of course jim stark's character is totally identical to James Dean himself, who lived life by the edge. Just like Jim Stark, Dean didn't getalong with his father, in fact his father didn't want Dean to go into acting. Imagine if James Dean followed his father's stupid advice? Incredible, this idol would never have been born. He had a strange relationship with his mother. He played the Stark character like his own because it was his story.

    The acting by Dean's costars is equally as good Jim Backus as Frank Stark plays Jim's dad. Backus is best known for playing Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island. Backus brings a lot of "Mr. Howell" into this character. His rich ideals and manner are completely blind to the trails and turbulations his son is going through leading to the famous "Your tearing me apart" line by James Dean, one of the most memorable lines in movie history.Natalie Wood is excellent as Judy, the popular and pretty girl at school who realizes near the end of the film that she is a lost soul like Stark. Sal Mineo is great as Plato the rich kid with the somewhat pessimistic look on society. Plato when hemeets Stark, start a very quaint relationship, although part of it lies in the fact that Plato is completely fascinated by Stark.

    DVD details

    Ah it's been over 50 years since the movie has been released but only until a couple of years ago, a dvd was released, however it's worth the wait as dvd comes with many great extras and historical pieces of rare footage. First is the rare trailer for the movie, however as an added bonus we get trailers for James Dean's other flick including Giant (with Rock Hudson) and East of Eden (his last film).

    3 Documentaries on the film including one called "Rediscovering a Rebel" which reveals interesting details about the movie. For instance the movie was actually at first f ilmed in black and white as seen in the screen test forDean and Wood. The executives at Warner Bros. decided to go color as color was now becoming the standard in films. Also you get ultra rare screen tests with Dean and Wood acting out their roles. However
    , we also get what's best described as a propangand interview for the stars themselves from Warner Bros. We get a long and rare interview with star Natalie Wood as she catches some rest and explains the film itself. We also get a rare interview with Dean himself.
    Then we get an inside look into Warner Bros. other features at the time including
    East of Eden (Dean's last film).

    The documentaries are excellent as they provide rare footage coupled with many facts about the movie almost no one knows about. For instance the Jim Stark
    character modeled after James Dean was actually supposed to be a kind of nerd. When James Dean tried for roles he often sported a pair of reading glass. He later changed his image to appear more suave and cool. It obviously worked.

    One part of the documentary has Dean sporting a public service message for safe
    driving which is a sad twist of fate since Dean died in a car crash.

    As you can see this is a must have DVD complementing one of the greatest movies of all time. People talk about "Casablanca" and all this other classics, but in my opinions, "Rebel Without A Cause" overshadows them as it's a movie which reach a million or so teens in it's day and still has the power to do that today with it's messages of alienation, the outsider and not fitting in, while trying to find oneself's true identity.

    Get the DVD and relieve this true classic....more info

  • You're tearing me apart!
    If there's a James Dean movie to be seen, "Rebel Without a Cause" is it. I give this movie thumbs up on the storyline, acting, and cinematography. It is an intense movie about tragic teenage rebellion set in the 1950s and depicted in a timeless fashion. James Dean emanates star quality as he gives it his all to portray a character filled with angst and confusion, leaving him lost in a life of parental hypocrisy that he cannot understand or accept. I especially like the clips from the actual audition and his brief interview/promo of the film. He ends the interview with an ominous advice and request for fast/reckless drivers to be careful while driving, stating "The life you save may be mine"....more info
  • Straight Talking
    This exceptional movie probably deserves even more of a cult status than it already has. Most people, when they think of RWC, remember it only as one of the few examples we have of James Dean's eerie charisma; but it's also an entertaining and powerful film, well written and acted, and the credit for the lasting impression of Dean's character should go as much to the filmmakers as to Dean himself (not that Dean himself doesn't deserve bales and bales of credit).

    Today, a lot of elements of RWC might seem obvious; the generational gap in more apparent now than ever, and the attemps of children to compensate for a lack of parental attention has been a common theme for decades. Not only, though, should you consider that the film was groundbreaking when it was released, but what it has to _say_ about the issues between children and their parents is more relevant today than ever. The script deserves credit mainly for a couple of reasons:

    1) The film doesn't have that 'made by kids' feel that's afflicted a lot of more recent movies about kids, such as Better Luck Tomorrow. It has a definite sense of perspective, as in the scene where Jim's father tells him: 'I'm trying to show you how foolish you are!--Ten years from now, this won't mean anything; you'll look back on it and laugh!' In a way, he's right, but that doesn't make Jim's feelings or the problems facing him any less urgent at the moment.

    2) The kids in RWC are smart, and they have personalities beyond basic love-starved psychosis. Buzz, especially, is a surprisingly fully-drawn character, and some of Dean's best moments as Jim come when he's doing innocent things, like jumping up behind the fence to get Judy's attention. Finally, the scene in which Jim, Judy and Plato parody adult behavior is especially incisive and especially relevant today - kids are, in many ways, shrewder than they're given credit for, and their eyes are open.

    3) There are moments of overacting (Jim shouting: "You're tearing me apart!"), but there's understatement too. At the beginning, for example, after Jim's father complains that he's bought everything for his son, and the audience is ready to write him off as ignorant and materialistic, he immediatley adds that he's shown Jim love and affection too - which may not be entirely true, but he's shown as being more than just a stock Bad Parent.

    4) Things like 'no stab' knife fights and racing with stolen cars might seem almost tame by modern standards, but the display of self-destructive behavior in RWC still has some emotional power. The kids may doing things which kids today would consider silly, but their attitudes are sometimes genuinely frightening. Again Buzz is a great character. The gang mentality, too, with its shifting attitudes and its effect on personality, is very striking and very accurate.


    In an era when parents seem to be trying harder than ever to understand their children, the problems have really remained the same. The consequences today might be more severe, but psychology and the human thrist for love are timeless, and RWC may well be timeless. In fact, beyond still being relevant, the film is an effective antidote to modern films which glorify and enshrine adolescent problems, when many of these things are just as pathetic, in the end, as a boy whose socks don't match....more info
  • Sal Mineo, James Dean, Natalie Wood, in a masterpiece
    What can be said about a film that is one of the most influential classics ever made? PLENTY!???? "Rebel without a cause" is still a timeless masterpiece. Kids of today can still relate to it's basic premise,? of youth misunderstood.. .of wanting to belong..? The clothes,? hair,? and times may have changed,? but the story of 3 teens,? bonding as the world around them seems to cave-in,? is just as potent today as it was in 1955. James Dean delivers a knock-out performance,? as Jim Stark.?It's his first day at a new high school. Only,? this time,? he wants to do things the right way: A troubled past,? his parents avoid problems by simply moving. On this day,? Jim truly wants things to be different for good. The night before wasn't great!. Arrested for public intoxication,? his parents,? perhaps the first glimpse of a "dysfunctional" family on screen,? hardly know how to handle the situation: Mom is overbearing,? self-centered and constantly ruling over anything his father has to say. His dad is a lilly-livered man with good intentions,? but Jim needs guidance. He begs for it,? in his rebellion. At the police station,? among the other teens in trouble,? is?Judy (played by the gorgeous,? Natalie Wood). Judy has similar problems with her parents. Her father actually slapped her for kissing him on the cheek! All Judy wants is to feel loved.????????????????????????????? Also at the jail,? is John "Plato",? played to perfection by Sal Mineo (Nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor). When we first meet Plato,? he is being questioned why he shot a bunch of puppies,? a horrifying way to introduce a character,? but somehow,? Mineo makes us care about Plato,? a rich kid with tons of problems: His dad disappeared,? and his mom is always away on trips,? leaving him to be cared for by the family maid. Plato is looking for somebody to be his friend,? or family. And by the end of 24 hours,? these 3 will make their own tightly knit little circle.?After a rough start in school,? Jim finds trouble during a field trip at "Griffith Park Observatory" with a bunch of rough kids,? including Judy,? who runs with the wrong crowd. Jim meets Plato at the Observatory,? who warns him not to "monkey with" them. But,? the kids are dead-set on causing Jim trouble,? and before we know it,? Buzz,? the leader of the gang,? forces Jim into a knife-fight.. Jim,? Judy,? and Plato form a kind of "family",(and it's obvious Plato has a crush on Jimmy,possiby the first gay teen in cinema history)? and end up hiding out at a deserted mansion near the Observatory,? as the gang searches for them,? as well as the police. In Jim,? Judy finds a young man who she can truly love...And Plato finds a buddy he always has wished for.. ..??The performances are so gut wrenching,? and real,? you cannot help but feel their pain.. .When Plato screams out,? "save me" holding a gun, as the gang closes in, you cannot help but feel his pain. These 3 not only make you care for them, but you can almost "feel" their agony. "Rebel" is not just the tale of teens trying to fit-in. It is also about friendship.. it's about loyalty.. integrity, and the basic need to feel loved. That is what makes this movie so potent. That is why generation after generation have discovered, and embraced "Rebel". Times have changed, but human emotions haven't: We all long for human interaction, and companionship. And for 24 hours, at least, this family of 3 found it.? We should all be so lucky....more info
  • Had a few moments
    This is an example of a bad good film. Not a film so bad, such as "The Thing" or "Plan 9", that is still fun to watch, but a film held in such high regard as to fall short in nearly all categories.

    In typical Hollywood tradition, most of the "high school" kids were 19 or older (except Sal and Natalie), and James Dean was 24 - which strains credulity. Oddly, Natalie's boyfriend drives off a cliff and is killed, yet she shows no emotion about it.

    The movie did have a few truly good moments - "you're tearing me apart" is the classic scene, and "give me something, dad", but on the whole it was as forced and unreal as the studio "interviews" of cast members also on the DVD (with staged close ups of directors giving commands, etc).

    James Dean's death seemed to launch him to some icon level, but I'm not sure his acting in his big three melodramas (RWAC is the middle film) warranted it.

    It might have been big when it was released, but it seems overblown and dated today. It might be worth a watch, but I found it entertaining for the wrong reasons....more info
  • James Dean, The True Original Rebel
    This movie will never lose its place in movie history, a true classic with great actors that are truly missed and taken from us at their early ages, James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. I love this movie for its 50's style of teenage upbringing. The times have changed a bit, but the rebelness of teenagers has not. It was great to go back in time and watch the clothing and cars. James Dean, superb, Natalie Wood, innocent yet a wild teen, Sal Mineo, the shy young teen who idolizes his friend James Dean. ...more info
  • A Definate Must See
    This is an amazing piece of classic film. James Dean and Natalie Wood are very convincing as troubled teens looking for understanding and acceptance from their parents. The raw emotion that they display is both heartbreaking and compelling. Sal Mineo plays the part of Plato beautifully, as the misfit that has neither family nor friends.
    James Dean's character Jim has trouble fitting in the new town his family has moved to and meeting the expectations of his dominating mother and spineless father. Then he has a run-in with a gang of boys who challenge him to a game of "chicken", and that is where the real trouble begins. To tell anymore would be to give the movie away.
    This movie portrays a new angle to being a teenager that I think could fit into any time frame. I can see why this film is considered a classic.
    A must see on DVD as there are new scenes that have been added that make the movie flow that much better....more info
  • How about a little Chicky run?
    What can I say about this masterpiece of a movie? I love it, It's intelligent cinema, and some people just don't get it. I don't want to attack anyone who has reviewed the movie because, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
    But there is a review from someone in Illinois, that obviously did not pay attention to the movie. They comment on the fact that Judy does not grieve the loss of Buzz, Duh! Thats the point, the feeling of isolated youth and the confusion that youth brings. Judy has lost someone so close to her and yet she is not able to cry for him or even show any signs of loss, (Kinda deep huh?)
    This same reviewer pointed out that all the actors in the movie overact, What movie were you watching? With all the fake soap opera type acting we see in todays cinema the acting in Rebel seems low key given the circumstances.
    Another fact pointed out was the script and lack of quality it showed. Sorry, But I'm gonna have to disagree with you. The script was a combination of other ideas and I feel it has important structure and symbolism that is sometimes missed by the less intelligent viewer.
    As for the character played by Sal Mineo, we know from the opening scene that he is a powder keg. He blew away a bunch of helpless puppies because he was upset and distraught. He felt abandoned by Jim and Judy (Just like his mother and father!) and those same feelings made him feel like killing something or someone else. Totally believable.
    In closing I would suggest that The reviewer take another look at the movie, maybe three or four more looks. This movie is much deeper than a lousy script and some overacting actors. I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone with a strong and open mind....more info
  • the best movie to see!
    this movie is the best movie out there about teenagers. James Dean and Nataile Wood- as always- are great in this movie. this is one of my favortie movies ever, its worth watching!...more info