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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Rebel Without A Cause (1955) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Rebel Without A Cause (1955)  (Read 666 times)
El Misfit
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« on: April 10, 2011, 01:34:18 PM »

It's really refreshing to see a film that shows the conflict between teenagers and parents spark. If you haven't seen it, then see it ASAP! If you haven't even heard of it, then look it up and watch. I don't want to give away the story, but I will say this: I want a red leather jacket. BounceGiggle
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 10:04:07 AM »

I love this movie.  Sal Mineo plays one of the truly tragic and pathetic characters in screen history.
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 05:17:49 AM »

GREAT film! One of my top ten non-horror/sci fi films of the 50's.
If you enjoyed Dean in this-give EAST OF EDEN (1955) a look too....

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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 02:04:47 PM »

GREAT film! One of my top ten non-horror/sci fi films of the 50's.
If you enjoyed Dean in this-give EAST OF EDEN (1955) a look too....

I saw EAST OF EDEN once a long time ago and I didn't enjoy it very much.  However, it's been on my "must watch again" list for a long time. 

I recently watched GIANT (which I hadn't seen in many years).  It has a great cast including Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor.

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Neville
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 01:45:24 PM »

Oh, boy, how I hate this one. It's because pretty much everrything is spelled out to the audience. I guess Nicholas Ray wanted to make sure the movie wasn't misunderstood, but still... James Dean ACTING. See?! Psychological explanations for every character shouted out to the audience... James Dean's character is a troublemaker because his father does househowrk in an apron. See?! And Mineo is gay! And Elizabeth Taylor has an unresolved Electra complex!

Duh. They say the way to Hell is paved by good intentions. And IMHO "Rebel without a cause" is exhibit #A. Allright, it was a brave movie for the 50s and they got away with quite a good deal of nastiness for the censorship of the era. But it's been superseeded by every similar movie by then on. Seriously, what does the film have to offer by today's standards? Ah, see, that promising young actor crashed his car sometime after he made it. And the car race or the knife fight in the observatorium look good in scope. I'll give them that, but nothing else.
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2011, 03:26:37 PM »

This just reminded me of a nick name I had for one of my old girlfriends.  I called her REBEL WITHOUT A CLUE.  The first time I said it, she thought it was hilarious.

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peter johnson
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 12:18:34 AM »

Neville, it is very difficult to try to enjoy a film from another era, as there is so much cultural baggage we carry with us.

There was never ever any point in the picture that spelled out that the Sal Mineo character is/was gay.  This is something you have learned by reading about the actor.

It is actually a pretty decent movie, but to fully appreciate it takes some investment in knowing about history, sociology, the nature of film itself, etc.  It is a deceptively simple movie.  Glad you caught the Jim Bachus in an apron business.  Just because the psychological models of yester-year do not conform to our own, is no reason to dismiss them -

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ChocolateChipCharlie
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 09:58:11 AM »

I thought this movie was interesting but I didn't think it was all that good.  I watched it during my "watch the entire AFI top 100" quest, and it seemed to me that the voters felt like they needed to have a James Dean movie on the list so they voted for that one because it's his best.  He wasn't a very good actor though.  They did the same thing with Elizabeth Taylor, actually.  GIANT and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? were the two that got on the lists.  Actually James Dean was in GIANT too, and that was a better movie than REBEL in my opinion.  Rock Hudson getting into a brawl defending his half-Latino grandkids was a really big deal in the 50s.  And even more interesting when you find out more about Rock Hudson.
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Neville
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 10:30:28 AM »

I agree, "Giant" was better, and it also provided Dean with more material to work with, he started at his usual cocky self, and eventually became a Howard Hugues-style tycoon.

I disagree about his acting in RWAC, though. He was way too method-rooted, like Paul Newman in his early days, but like him he could have evolved into a great actor. He only needed time, but he was denied just that.
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akiratubo
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 01:57:09 PM »

I had to watch this for class in high school, and I caught it again on TCM not so long ago.  Watching it was kind of like that time I had to walk about eight miles out of the woods, in the dark, because my buggy dropped a tire.

Numerous people have explained to me why this movie is great but I just don't see it.  I agree with Neville on every point he raised.  Also, Rebel Without a Cause feels far too smug to appeal very much to me.  Watching it (and a lot of movies from the period), I can almost hear the sound of the director patting himself on the back for making such an "important" movie.  Personally, I thought it was screamingly obvious that Plato was gay, but that may just be 50 years of hindsight.  I've also always thought James Dean was a TERRIBLE actor, a no-nothing pretty boy.  He has the same effect on me that, say, Shia LaBoeuf or Robert Pattinson seem to have on most people here.

Perhaps being raised on the far, far grittier and more naturalistic movies of the 70s and 80s has rendered me unable to appreciate older movies.  As far as troubled youth movies go, movies like Suburbia or Teachers have it all over Rebel Without a Cause.
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 05:44:58 PM »

Personally I loved this film, and I think this film set the standard for teen dramas ever since.
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Hammock Rider
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 09:09:33 AM »

The first time I saw this film was on the Late Show way back in the day. I watched it with my sister and my Mom. My Mom, who'd grown up during the Depression summarized the film as follows: "AAAAh those kids are a bunch of spoiled cry babies."

   This proves once again, how subjective films are to the viewer. I myself thought it was pretty good back then, but I can see where people think it's dated. I could see where they were going with the film but I just didn't feel it on an emotional level.  It's not a bad movie at all though, it's just a product of it's time. I think it was about as daring a film as you could pump outof Hollywood back then.
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 07:14:15 AM »

It's not a bad movie at all though, it's just a product of it's time. I think it was about as daring a film as you could pump outof Hollywood back then.

Well said
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 07:18:29 PM »

It's really refreshing to see a film that shows the conflict between teenagers and parents spark. If you haven't seen it, then see it ASAP! If you haven't even heard of it, then look it up and watch. I don't want to give away the story, but I will say this: I want a red leather jacket. BounceGiggle
The jacket ain't leather, it's poplin. 
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 07:30:56 PM »

Oh, boy, how I hate this one. It's because pretty much everrything is spelled out to the audience. I guess Nicholas Ray wanted to make sure the movie wasn't misunderstood, but still... James Dean ACTING. See?! Psychological explanations for every character shouted out to the audience... James Dean's character is a troublemaker because his father does househowrk in an apron. See?! And Mineo is gay! And Elizabeth Taylor has an unresolved Electra complex!

Duh. They say the way to Hell is paved by good intentions. And IMHO "Rebel without a cause" is exhibit #A. Allright, it was a brave movie for the 50s and they got away with quite a good deal of nastiness for the censorship of the era. But it's been superseeded by every similar movie by then on. Seriously, what does the film have to offer by today's standards? Ah, see, that promising young actor crashed his car sometime after he made it. And the car race or the knife fight in the observatorium look good in scope. I'll give them that, but nothing else.
We know SAL MINEO was gay, but was Plato?  Hmmm... I think it's there in subtext, but it's much more ham-handed than that.  Plato looked at "Jim" as a father figure (y'know, he lied about his own and was missing the real one...)  
I think when one becomes very familiar with a property, such property can become worn out.  As you suggest, this film is archetypal, but it's a mistake to underestimate the ground newly broken by it.  And I think there are some nice, perhaps dated, performances.  This film still looks good; everyone likes a peek at the abandoned mansion (the symbolic heart of the film).  I think it holds up for what it is.  Damned good.  

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout "...Elizabeth Taylor has an unresolved Electra complex..." ???  Question
I guess you're referring to NATALIE WOOD whose problem is with her father and his sexual attraction for his own daughter (perhaps the most daring suggestion of the film...)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 07:34:00 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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