Rebel Without a Cause

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"The bad boy from a good family."
  • PG-13
  • 1955
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 7.6  (97,391)
  • 89

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film directed by Nicholas Ray and starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo. The film explores the generational divide between teenagers and their parents, as well as the struggles of identity and fitting in. The film follows the story of Jim Stark, a troubled high school student who has moved to a new town with his parents. This move has left him feeling alienated and alone, prompting him to act out and rebel against authority. Jim finds himself drawn to a group of peers who also reject societal norms, including the rebellious and troubled Judy, who he quickly befriends.

The two bond over their shared feelings of isolation and their desire to belong, but their friendship is put to the test when Jim meets a young man named Plato, who is struggling with his own identity and loneliness. The three teens find solace in each other, but their situation quickly deteriorates as they become entangled in a dangerous situation that leaves them all facing grave consequences.

Throughout the film, the characters struggle to understand their place in the world and their relationships with their parents. Jim's relationship with his father is particularly strained and becomes a focal point of the film. It is revealed that Jim's father is emasculated by his wife's financial success, leading to tension between them and a lack of understanding towards their son.

Rebel Without a Cause was groundbreaking for its time, exploring taboo subjects such as juvenile delinquency, gender roles, and sexual ambiguity. James Dean's performance as Jim Stark has become iconic, with his portrayal of the troubled and rebellious teen resonating with audiences for generations to come. Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo also deliver powerful performances as Judy and Plato, respectively.

The film's cinematography is also notable, with Nicholas Ray using color to explore the emotions of the characters. The colors red, blue, and yellow are frequently used to highlight tension, isolation, and passion. The film's iconic climax takes place in an old mansion, which serves as a metaphor for the characters' own struggles with identity and societal expectations.

Rebel Without a Cause is a timeless film that continues to resonate with audiences today. Its exploration of identity, generational differences, and the struggle to belong is just as relevant now as it was over 60 years ago. The film's iconic status and James Dean's legendary performance have made it a classic of American cinema.

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 89.

Rebel Without a Cause
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (97,391)
  • Metascore