Rocking 50’s movie worth break viewing


Warner Bros. studios

Movie worth watching over break.

Matthias Kocur

“Rebel Without a Cause” —  ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

This winter break, break the tradition of the regular Christmas movie shenanigans and go out and try watching something you may never have  before.

The Warner Brothers Production: “Rebel Without a Cause” directed by Nicholas Ray has to be appreciated based on the impact on the film industry for its time.

Watching this movie will help us gain appreciation for the movies we have today due to it being an early high quality colored film. This movie really captured the capability of colored films and still can stand up to the films of today.  The films significance really helped progress us into the age of film where we stand today.

The year was 1955 and America was entering the Golden Age of Television due to the fact that there was a large jump in TV ownership in homes.

The film was first meant to be in black and white but due to James Dean’s popularity at the time the decision was to make it in color by the director Nicholas Ray.

The 50’s in America was about going against the grain and there was no better rebel for that than the Rebel himself James Dean.

Jim Stark (James Dean) is the new kid on the block, he doesn’t like his parents for both his mothers manipulative behavior and his father Frank Stark (Jim Backus) carefree attitude which makes him too submissive to whatever comes his way.

Jim’s struggles are shown at the start with him drunk with his face slammed on the ground in an emotional wreck putting trash on a toy monkey, while the opening credits rolling.  As the credits fade, the viewers see Jim being thrown into the police station for questioning.

The Opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie, and we get to explore the ideology of a “Juvenile Delinquent”, and the movie reinforces the ideology that parents are to blame for the youth acting up.

Both Jim Stark and Judy(Natalie Wood) help push the ideology that parents are to blame based on their own parents.  Judy has to deal with resentment of her sexual maturity from her father. 

As students we all faced the growing up process and we have all been there before.  Sometimes all we want is to grow into our own, but have the feeling that our parents are blocking it. 

The side character played their roles well helping out the main cast John “Plato” Crawford(Sal Mineo) was a child who was left by his parents and we get introduced to him at the police station for murdering puppies with a pistol.  He is a lost cause but finds solace in Jim and Judy and looks at Jim as a father figure.

Buzz(Corey Allen) is the gang leader at Dawson High School and is Judy’s love interest/boyfriend.  He and Jim interact a lot creating more layers to their characters.  

He loses to Jim in a knife fight on the first day of school, but he gets interested in him.  This makes Buzz feel like he’s losing dominance in the gang cause Jim is different from the rest so he gets pressured by the rest of the gang to challenge him to “chickie-run” 

Buzz lets Jim know that he is cool with him before, but this is all about being on top so there is no malice to this but just competitiveness.

The movie does not obtain the perfect rating because of the age of the film.  Some may say the film aged well and others will say it will come off as corny and dull. 

The plot remains relevant because there will always be disagreements between each generation on real life topics.