Opened: October 27, 1955
Directed by: Nicholas Ray
Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Corey Allen, William Hopper, Rochelle Hudson, Edward Platt, Marietta Canty, Virginia Brissac & Dennis Hopper
The classic portrayal of teenage angst, Rebel Without a Cause made James Dean an icon shortly after his untimely death and seared his look as Jim Stark into cinema history.
After a trip to the Griffith Observatory, new kid Jim Stark is challenged by Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen) to prove that he’s not a chicken. When things go south, Jim connects with loner Plato (Sal Mineo) and Judy (Natalie Wood) who both have issues fitting in at home and in school.
Rebel presents rebellion in a new light with teens who come from upper class families. Another groundbreaking part of this film is the connection between Jim and Plato. For Plato, there’s something more than friendship there. And while it’s not specifically stated, it was a major breakthrough in the ‘50s for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Final say: A beautiful rebellion. ★★★★★