Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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 <email@example.com>
When the crew began night shooting at the Griffith Park Planetarium in Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles residents saw the bright production lights in the hills and flooded switchboards with reports of raging forest fires. See more »
When Plato arrives at the mansion just after Judy and Jim do, after talking briefly, they let him into the house. When he walks into the house and comes up the stairs, a cord is clearly visible dragging on the ground behind him. Probably a cord for the microphone. See more »
First police officer:
Get up, get up. Mixed up in that beating on 12th street, huh?
Second police officer:
No. Plain drunkenness.
See more »
Of all the "classic" movies I've seen, I'd have to say Rebel Without a Cause is the most overrated. James Dean is a good actor, but honestly, aside from him, everyone else is over the top.
Let me first list a few things that seemed completely implausible to me: The people in James Dean's new town hate him immediately, without him even doing anything. A highschooler gets his shirt caught in a car door, flies screaming off the edge of a cliff to a explosive firey death, and no one cares. These first two problems wouldn't be that bad if the movie didn't appear to be going for an element of realism. If the whole thing was played as little surreal, or as some sort of social black comedy, I could accept these events, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
The character of Plato is atrocious, both acting wise and thematically wise. And yet he becomes the focal point of the movie. My biggest problem is that the themes are literally batted over the audience's head. It becomes immediately clear that James Dean is serving as a replacement father figure for Plato. Plato has mentioned he has no father and no friends, it just becomes very obvious. Does he really need to say things like "yeah, I'm hoping we can go on fishing trips like my dad used to take me on." I refuse to believe audiences were that dumb in the 1950s. (as an aside, the person who argued that Plato was gay, I agree that this is intentional, [how else would he be so attracted to James Dean after only knowing him 3 seconds] and the movie does get some points for slyly tackling a taboo thing like that). However, I desperately wanted Plato to fall victim to a flail of gunfire by the final scene.
Maybe my hopes were too high, It could be that all the themes in this movie have been re-done in more audience-trusting fashion. Still, James Dean was a much better teen idol than we have nowadays.
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