"Wild One", Whatever Its Problems, Is Still Wild

Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?

There's probably some conflation of Laslo Benedek's The Wild One (1953)--coming out for the first time on blu-ray--and Nicholas Ray's (superior) Rebel Without a Cause (1955) because of this famous exchange. A young woman, enjoying the antics of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club (B.R.M.C.), asks Johnny (Marlon Brando), the ringleader, what they're rebelling against to which Johnny replies, "Whadya got?" The comparison is an interesting one. While James Dean is the height of 50's cool off screen, in Rebel Without a Cause, he plays a whiney youth in the throws of a terrible case of full-blown angst, having to deal with alienation and social phenomena he's not ready for. Why it was Dean that became the icon, despite making only three major films before he died, isn't obvious. Brando's Johnny, however, is what icons are made of with his black leather jacket,
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