7.8/10
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290 user 147 critic

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | | Drama | 29 October 1955 (USA)
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

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Writers:

(screen play), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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3,104 ( 149)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
...
...
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Judy's Mother
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Goon
...
Steffi Sidney ...
Mil
Marietta Canty ...
Crawford Family Maid
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Stark - Jim's Grandmother
Beverly Long ...
Helen
...
Dr. Minton
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Storyline

Jim Stark is the new kid in town. He has been in trouble elsewhere; that's why his family has had to move before. Here he hopes to find the love he doesn't get from his middle-class family. Though he finds some of this in his relation with Judy, and a form of it in both Plato's adulation and Ray's real concern for him, Jim must still prove himself to his peers in switchblade knife fights and "chickie" games in which cars race toward a seaside cliff. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HE STOOD AT THE DOOR - AFRAID TO GO IN - AFRAID TO FIND OUT WHAT HIS MOTHER REALLY WAS... (Australian daybill) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebelde sin causa  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(optical prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| (DVD version)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The living room of the Starks' house was based on Nicholas Ray's bungalow (he did something similar for In a Lonely Place (1950)). James Dean and other cast members would rehearse there, and Dean felt most comfortable there. It was Dean's idea for Jim to be placed between his parents during the climactic fight scene, to reflect his inner turmoil. See more »

Goofs

When Jim asks to Plato what's a death race, he calls Plato by his nickname, but they never introduced themselves properly in the earlier scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First police officer: Get up, get up. Mixed up in that beating on 12th street, huh?
Second police officer: No. Plain drunkenness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Happy Days: The Spirit Is Willing (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 (Lullaby)
(uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Hummed by Judy while stroking Plato's hair
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Just so far ahead of its time....
7 December 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This film bears watching once every 5 years or so. It is astonishing on many levels, not least of which is the exploration of the underbelly of the happy suburban post-war years in middle class America.

Yes, we all rave about the beautiful and sadly short lived life of James Dean who died before this movie opened. To die also in a manner highlit in this movie - he was co-incidentally a promo for it. Fast driving and fast cars. Poor James.

What I enjoy most though in all of it is the afore-mentioned exploration of hitherto fairly underdeveloped film themes in the America of the fifties. For one, there is the underlying homosexual element to the Sal Mineo character and his obsession with James. And here James is allowed to indulge and return this love, not overtly, but it is there, the tolerance and acknowledgment of it.

The character of Judy, played by Natalie Wood is also of tremendous interest. Here there is an incestuous component in her relationship to her father. It seems to me that the father is terrified of his attraction to his gorgeous daughter and keeps pushing her away to the degree that at one point he slaps her as she tries to kiss him. She escapes from home at every chance seeking male attention from wherever she can get it.

James' parents are a little overblown and too quickly resolved at the end. But the appearance of an "emasculated" Jim Backus (he wears an apron in case we don't quite get it!) is a sight for sore eyes. A little dated in the world of today but so far ahead of its time in 1955.

9 out 10. Satisfying on many levels.


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