Family life -- United States -- Drama, Fathers and sons -- United States -- Drama, Teenagers -- United States -- Drama

Rebel Without a Cause

35mm 'Scope Print


James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus,

Not enough has changed to render this film outdated; it still reads as American Gothic given truth serum. Realizing CinemaScope's narrative potential, Ray effectively tore open the walls of the American home to reveal teenagers wracked by alienation and parents trapped in the cycle of their own ineffectuality. The architectural strength of the visuals and editing is enhanced by the choice of Los Angeles hilltop locations including the Planetarium—an imposing structure that sits close to the sky, lending an ancient classicism to a fifties classic.

Judy Bloch
  • Stewart Stern
Based On
  • a story by Ray, adapted by Irving Shulman

  • Ernest Haller
Print Info
  • Color
  • 'Scope 35mm
  • 111 mins
  • Warner Bros.

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The cinema is Nicholas Ray (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, James Quandt, 2003

The melodramatists (article), American Film, Harlan Kennedy, 1992

Revivals in focus -- excerpt (review), Village Voice, Tom Allen, 1987

Revivals in focus -- excerpt (review), Village Voice, Tom Allen, 1985

Rebel without a cause (program note), Los Angeles International Film Exposition, 1982

Rebel without a cause: on four actors, dying young (article), Esquire, Joy Williams, 1982

Rebel without a cause (program note), Mill Valley Film Festival, 1980

An evening with Nicholas Ray (booklet), Cinema Guild, Nicholas Ray, 1977

Ajax or the Cid: an examination of Ray's "Rebel without a cause" (review), Daily Californian (Berkeley, Calif.), Éric Rohmer, 1973

The films of Nicholas Ray (program note), Pacific Film Archive, 1973

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