Rebel Without A Cause (1955): The Birth of a Genre

Review of Rebel Without a Cause Presented By Fathom Events

I mean, what more can I say about James Dean that hasn’t been said before? The man evidently shaped acting forever. How he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for his illustrious role as Jim Stark, the world may never know. This is a performance of a lifetime, that broke the conventional grounds of acting, raising the possibilities of how far an actor/actress can go when pushing the boundaries of forming an extensively animated, buoyant character. Dude made his depiction into a cinematically historical paragon.

Rebel Without a Cause is the ultimate, fictional, high school story about the all-time worst, most heartless, most spoiled, and without a doubt, most demented teenaged rag-tags ever to walk the planet. That being said, it’s fairly enchanting to observe these “specimen.” Well more so “very” than “fairly,” but we’ll save exaggerations for later. Conclusively, you feel like transforming into a rebel yourself after savoring this quixotic universe.

Some obvious flaws I’m sure most film-terminology-productionist-fanatics will notice about this movie is that some of the shot-editing and audio-editing is pretty heinous. And yeah, you can argue 95% of all the characters are complete s***heads, but sometimes you need corrupt characters in order to create an exceptional movie. Even if its the inflated, over the edge type of corrupt characters. And yes, the romance sub-plot towards the finale is quite cringe-inducing. 

This is one of those movies that are just so predominantly iconic, that it’s remarkably effortless to look past the flaws. Plus, James Dean’s performance is worth countless A+s anyways, so that essentially balances out the global quality spectrum of Rebel Without a Cause. (Verdict: A-)

SPOILERS from this point forward: 

Can I rant about Natalie Wood’s character, Judy, for a while? How crazy do you have to be to…ugh…let me just spell it out for you: First she’s a bystander and supporter to her boyfriend’s violent activities (and subjected bullying towards Jim), then on the day of witnessing her boyfriend devastating fall to his death is too horny to even show some remorse, instead she’s more worried about hooking up with Jim who was the man who agreed to do the singular endeavor that caused the death of her previous boyfriend, and finally, declares that she’s “in love” with Jim after less than a day of knowing him! If there are somehow, any people out there like this—RED FLAG—stay the F away. Jim Stark made the biggest mistake of his life—yes even bigger than when he did the chickie-run—when he decided to stick around with that nutcase. I am officially shook. 

R.I.P Plato. You will be heavily missed. 😭🤧😪

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