- Rebel Without a Cause
name = Rebel Without a Cause
image_size = 215px
writer = Nicholas Ray "(story)"
Irving Shulman "(adaptation)"
Stewart Stern"(screenplay) "
James Dean Natalie Wood Sal Mineo
editing = William Ziegler
runtime = 111 mins.
country = United States
language = English
budget = $1,500,000 (est)
imdb_id = 0048545
"Rebel Without a Cause" is a 1955 film directed by
Nicholas Raythat tells the story of a rebellious teenager played by James Dean, who comes to a new town, meets a girl, defies his parents, and faces the local high school bullies. It sought to portray the existing decay of youth in middle America, critique parental style, and expose the rift between two generations. The title is taken from psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner's 1944 book, "Rebel Without A Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath". The film itself, however, does not reference Lindner's book in any other way. In 1990, "Rebel Without a Cause" was added to the preserved films of the United States Library of Congress's National Film Registryas being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
The main plot centers on Jim Stark (
James Dean), a 17-year-old. Stark and his parents move to Los Angeles, where he enrolls at Dawson High School. The film begins with Stark brought into the police station for public drunkenness. His mother, father and grandmother come to get him, and the film's central dilemma is introduced. Jim's parents are frequently quarreling, both in front of him and behind his back. Often the father is the one who tries to stand up for Jim; however, Jim's mother, a naturally pushy woman, easily overpowers him and always wins out; Jim feels betrayed both by this fighting and by his father's lack of backbone, leading to feelings of unrest and displacement, this shows later in the film when he repeatedly asks his father "what do you do when you have to be a man?".
While trying to fit in at the school, he becomes involved in a dispute with a local bully and tough guy named Buzz Gunderson. While he tries to deal with Buzz (
Corey Allen), he becomes friends with a 15-year-old boy, John, nick-named Plato( Sal Mineo), who was also at the police station the night of the opening scene for shooting puppies. Plato idolizes Jim, his real father having abandoned his family. Plato experiences many of the same problems as Jim, such as searching for a place in life and dealing with parents who "don't understand."
Jim meets Judy (
Natalie Wood), whom he also recognizes from the police station, where she was brought in for being out alone after dark, who originally acts unimpressed by Jim, saying in an ironic tone "I'm sure you're a real yoyo". She belongs to the high school gang of Buzz Gunderson. The thugs challenge Jim to a "Chicken Race" with Buzz, racing stolen cars towards an abyss. The one who first jumps out of the car loses and is deemed a "chicken." The "game" ends in tragedy for Buzz; he is the first to "chicken", but a strap on the sleeve of his leather jacket becomes caught on the car door and he is unable to jump before it goes over the cliff.
Jim tries to tell his parents what happened but becomes frustrated by their utter failure to understand him and storms out of the house. When Jim is seen trying to go to the police by some of Buzz's friends, they decide to hunt him down, and harass Plato and Jim's family to try to find him. Judy and Plato join him in the garden of an abandoned villa, where they act out a "fantasy family", with Jim as father, Judy as mother and Plato as child. The thugs soon discover them, and Plato pulls a gun, firing at one of the boys, Jim, and a police officer, in a clearly unstable state.
Plato hides in the
Griffith Observatorywhich is soon sieged by the police. Jim and Judy follow him inside, and Jim convinces Plato to lend him the gun, from which he silently removes the ammunition magazine (though he neglects the round in the chamber). When Plato steps out of the observatory, he becomes unstable again at the sight of the police and charges forward, brandishing his weapon. He is fatally shot by a police officer acting in defense of himself and the bystanders, despite Jim's yelling to police that he removed the bullets. Plato was wearing Jim's jacket at the time, and as a result, Jim's parents (brought to the scene by police) think at first that Jim was shot. Mr. Stark then runs to comfort Jim, who is distraught by Plato's death, and promises to be a stronger father figure, one that his son can depend on. Thus reconciled, Jim introduces Judy to his parents.
James Dean– Jim Stark
Natalie Wood– Judy
Sal Mineo– John "Plato" Crawford
Jim Backus– Frank Stark
Ann Doran– Mrs. Stark
Corey Allen– Buzz Gunderson
William Hopper– Judy's father
Rochelle Hudson– Judy's mother
Edward Platt– Ray Fremick
*Nick Adams – Moose
Dennis Hopper– Goon
*Jack Grinnage – Chick
*Beverly Long – Helen
Warner Brothers had bought the rights to the book, intending to use the title for a film. Attempts to create a film version in the late 1940s eventually ended without a film or even a full script being produced. When
Marlon Brandodid a five-minute screen testfor the studio in 1947, he was given fragments of one of the 1940s partial scripts. However, Brando was not auditioning for "Rebel Without a Cause" and there was no offer of any part made by the studio. The film, as it later appeared, was the result of a totally new script written in the 1950s that had nothing to do with the material Brando screen-tested with. The screen test is included on a 2006 special edition DVDof "A Streetcar Named Desire".
*According to a biography on her, Natalie Wood almost did not get the role of Judy because Nicholas Ray thought that she didn't seem fit for the role of the wild teen character. While on a night out with friends, she got into a car accident. Upon hearing this, Ray rushed to the hospital. While in delirium, Wood overheard the doctor murmuring and calling her a "goddamn juvenile delinquent"; she soon yelled to Ray, "Did you hear what he called me Nick?! He called me a goddamn juvenile delinquent! Now do I get the part?!"
The real-life location that Dawson High School was filmed on is
Santa Monica High School, located in Santa Monica, California.
The film was in production from
28 Marchto 25 Mayfy|1955.
The 1949 Mercury Coupe James Dean drove in the movie is part of the permanent collection at the
National Automobile Museumin Reno, Nevada. [ [http://www.automuseum.org/NAM_collections_jdmerc2.shtml National Automobile Museum - collections ] ]
Awards and honors
National Film Registry
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor– Sal Mineo
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress– Natalie Wood
*Best Writing, Motion Picture Story –
BAFTA Award for Best Film
*BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor – James Dean
American Film Institute recognition
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies#59
*The man wearing a trenchcoat and carrying a briefcase and walking towards
Griffith Observatoryat the end of the movie is director Nicholas Ray.
*All three of the main stars (
James Dean, Natalie Woodand Sal Mineo) died under tragic circumstances. Dean was killed in a traffic accident on September 30, 1955aged 24, Mineo was murdered on February 12, 1976aged 37 and Wood drowned on November 29, 1981aged 43. In addition, Nick Adams is often linked to the urban legendsurrounding this film. Adams, often considered "The Poor Man's James Dean" (he is also connected to Dean due to dubbing some of his lines in " Giant" because of Dean's death), attempted to let the spirit of Dean live vicariously through Adams in his work, which was notably most successful with "The Rebel". But following an Oscar nomination for " Twilight of Honor", his career began to decline and he allegedly died of a drug overdose on February 7, 1968aged 36 (although several people, including his own daughter, believe he may have been murdered).
*The cliff edge chicken run scene has been imitated in numerous films and TV programs, including an episode of "
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and "Quantum Leap".
*The mansion in which Jim, Judy and Plato seek refuge was also
Norma Desmond's house in the film Sunset Blvd.. It was owned by millionaire J. Paul Getty.
Pop culture references
*The pop band "
Jim Stärk" is named after the film's main character.
*The '80s British rock group
The Smithsquote a line from the movie for the song "Stretch Out and Wait" from the album "Louder Than Bombs": "As we lie, you say : Will the world end in the night time? (I really don't know) Or will the world end in the day time? (I really don't know) And is there any point ever having children? Oh, I don't know. What I do know is we're here and it's now".
Kid Rock's 1999 album, " Devil Without a Cause" is a play on the title of the film.
The Simpsons" episode " Lisa's Date with Density" shares many plot similarities. And in " Take My Wife, Sleaze", the Simpsons are watching a similar movie, in which one of the characters exclaims "He's a rebel I tell ya! A rebel without a cause ...just like the boy in that popular movie we saw"
*Some of the scenes from the
Bollywoodmovie Ghulamstarring Aamir Khanare influenced from this movie.
*Long Island post-hardcore band Disarming Arctica have a song entitled "You Can Wake Up Now the Universe has Ended" based on a line from "Rebel Without a Cause". The song is about the life and death of James Dean.
Paula Abdulmusic video for the single " Rush, Rush" is an adaptation of the film with Keanu Reevesas the James Dean character, Jim, and Abdul as the Natalie Wood character, Judy.
*A main character from "
Futurama", Philip J. Fry's outfit is based on James Dean's character's outfit.
*Hilary Duff sang a song called "Mr. James Dean" that related to him and the movie "Rebel Without a Cause".
*In the Jay Z song "Allure", the lyrics allude to James Dean. "Even James Dean couldn't escape the allure, dyin' young, leavin' a good looking corpse".
*The tag line of "
Stubbs The Zombie" is "A rebel without a pulse", a play on the film's title.
*Country music group Shenandoah 1993 hit song "I Wanna Be Loved Like That" contains the following lyrics- Natalie Wood gave her heart to James Dean/ The high school rebel and the teenage queen/ Standin together in an angry world/ One boy fightin for one girl
*In an episode, titled Pre-Hibernation week, of the television show "
SpongeBob SquarePants", SpongeBob screams "Your games are tearing me apart!", referencing Jim's "Your words are tearing me apart!" line.
*Perhaps most well-known is the line from
Don McLean's " American Pie", "...In a coat he borrowed from James Dean," referencing the scene where Plato borrows James Dean's character's jacket.
Garfieldbook, Garfield at the Movies: Lights, Camera, Hairballs!, It includes a parody of the film entitled "Rebel Without a Clue" which included Odieas James Dean.
*The popular website
FunnyOrDiereleased a video titled "Acting with James Franco" where James Francoand his brother Dave Francotry to reenact the jacket scene from this film. Franco had played James Deanin a 2001 biography film.
*Frascella, Lawrence and Weisel, Al : [http://www.livefastdieyoungbook.com "Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause"] . Touchstone, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-6082-1
* [http://www.thebookstandard.com/bookstandard/news/hollywood/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001571425 Behind the Scenes of "Rebel Without a Cause": James Dean, Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood—Living Fast, Dying Young, in Life and Onscreen]
* [http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/articles/050214roco01 "The Making of "Rebel Without a Cause" by Sam Kashner] A "Vanity Fair" piece about
Nicholas Raywith a particular focus on "Rebel."
* [http://www.eslnotes.com/movies/html/rebel-without-a-cause.html "Rebel without a cause" by Raymond Weschler]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Rebel Without a Cause — [Rebel Without a Cause] the US film (1955) which made James Dean famous. He plays a young person who resists his parents’ authority and gets into trouble with the police. Many US parents were shocked by the film because it showed children from… … Useful english dictionary
Rebel Without A Cause — La Fureur de vivre La Fureur de vivre Natalie Wood et James Dean Titre original Rebel Without a … Wikipédia en Français
Rebel Without a Cause — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: … denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun Originaltitel: Rebel Without a Cause Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1955 Länge: ca. 106 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch … Deutsch Wikipedia
Rebel Without a Cause — Rebel With|out a Cause (1955) a US film in which James ↑Dean appeared as a ↑teenager from a ↑middle class family who gets into trouble with the police. As a result of this performance Dean became the most typical example of a young ↑rebel… … Dictionary of contemporary English
Rebel Without a Cause — … Википедия
Rebel Without a Cause — the US film (1955) which made James Dean famous. He plays a young person who resists his parents’ authority and gets into trouble with the police. Many US parents were shocked by the film because it showed children from good families who were not … Universalium
rebel without a cause — noun One who fights the good fight for the sake of fight but has no clear goal to achieve … Wiktionary
Rebel Without a Cause — 1955 film starring James Dean (directed by Nicholas Ray) … English contemporary dictionary
Rebel Without a Cause — Voir La Fureur de vivre … Dictionnaire mondial des Films
a rebel without a cause — a person who is dissatisfied with society but does not have a specific aim to fight for Origin: from the title of a U.S. film, released in 1955 … Useful english dictionary