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James Dean in Rebel without a cause
Short plot summary

Troubled juvenile, Jim Stark (James Dean), falls victim to a society dooming him to being a delinquent.

Jim meets up with (becomes father figure to) boy (Plato) who hangs on to him. Early on a friendly police officer gives Jim a break or this could quite easily have become a prison drama. Judy (Natalie Wood) (she with the big red lips at one point in the movie) is equally troubled by the relationship with her father.

These three souls all meet up but trouble is only a heartbeat away...

What our panel of critics thought

"Why did they make Natalie Wood wear those clown lips in the police station? I think we should be told."

"My, what a rebel - he drank that milk straight from the bottle out of the fridge! No wonder he is always in so much trouble - damn him!"

Please tell me the ending

Our three heroes go to a Mansion to hide from trouble, but trouble soon comes a'knockin. Plato shoots his handgun and the police are called.

The siege situation is ended when Plato runs out, shooting. Police shoot him dead. Jim cries, hugging his father's leg.

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

Oh, James Dean, you quintessential essence of juvenile delinquency in our 1950's, pre Elvis, world. A consummate performance by a 24 year old still at High School, with all the angst riddenness that situation implies.

A claustrophobic endeavor, with our hero trying to be accepted, but not being, due to a society full of spittle, cars to trash and not enough warmth for a group hug. A perfectly ordinary soul looking for a reason for his delinquency, but where to look? - 'tis his society at fault, not our little Jim's. Then the killing starts...

But Jim is unable to stop the execution of Plato by the 'boys in blue', who shoot, after Plato shoots at them first - thus bringing an end to that siege that is all our teenage lives.

Thank the Lord, in a very loud voice, they didn't make this movie in the 1970's as those '70s fashions would have made this a laughing stock.

Quotable quote (real)
"You're tearing me apart."
"I bet you're a real yo-yo."
"You've gotta do something."
Other comments

A landmark in teen angst from the 1950's.

This movie is probably only remembered today because James Dean is in it, one of only three movies he made before killing himself in a car accident.

Date of Review

March 9, 2003

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