Rebel Without a Cause (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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The documentary featurette Rediscovering a Rebel provides a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of this milestone film, including a look at the film's early scenes filmed in black and white, before it was decided to start from scratch and shoot
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Rebel Without a Cause is the highly influential coming of age drama classic. It holds up dearly. I was astounded while watching this movie as I recognized aspects that other films took from this film. Footloose, Grease, and The Outsiders all clearly was inspired by this one film. It is part crime drama, psychological thriller, and budding romance. Rebel Without a Cause remains an endearing look into troubled teenagers' mindset.
James Dean leads the film as Jim Stark, a highly relatable new kid in town, who merely wants a strong father and a place in this world. Natalie Wood is so sweet and real as Judy. Sal Mineo is also excellent as a troubled youth named Plato. You sympathize with each of their plights. I found myself rooting for them to overcome their respective situations.
I have to hand it to Nicholas Ray, who directed Rebel Without a Cause, for his inventive camera angles, creative use of shadows, and constantly shifting cinematography. Ray proved he was a force to be reckoned with his stellar direction.
Rebel Without a Cause is as universally likable and relatable as a coming of age tale can get. Check it out if you want to see a real classic.
The only thing I don't really like about the movie is that some on-screen emotions (particularly at the end) that do not match the watcher's emotions. It gives off a really disorienting feeling, but for all I know that was the intent. I personally am not a fan of the mismatched feelings, but it's such a small portion of the movie I just overlook it.
The movie begins with all three of the main characters Jim (James Dean) Judy (Natalie Wood) and Plato (Sal Mineo) in a police station in the wee hours of the morning. All are dressed in obviously middle and upper-class clothes but have been picked up on the street for wandering, drunkeness and violence. The title of the movie immediately gives itself away, Judy is upset because her father was rough with her, Plato's father left him and his mother is never at home...
Then we meet Jim's parents. A submissive father, sharp-tongued mother and uptight grandmother. True, they may give him "many things" but the tension, strain and ignorance of Jim's needs are, as he says, "tearing me apart!"
We find out in the course of the movie, as Jim, Judy and Plato come together, that they are really good kids who are only looking for love and acceptance. We see how little their parents understand of them and how they are rebelling against the ignorance that has been starving them for years!
And truly, this is my FAVORITE James Dean movie, I think his portrayal of Jim is really a mirror of his own life with his biological Dad and some of the kids he grew up with. His acting is just so true, real, passionate and believable. This movie is my reasoning for why he is still such a legend. Truly, one of the greatest actors of all time. And a fantastic movie to boot!
And get this, the extra disc has all kinds of wonderful things the VHS tape had. Cast interviews, screen tests, alternate endings, black and white clips, film changes! On my old tape, I always watched the prelude to this with the outtakes, alternate endings, screen tests and James Dean interview. Ooh, plus the trailer! I HAD to see these before the movie began. So, it's great to see all that footage included on this DVD as well!