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FutureStarrRebel Without a Cause
The capitalist and feminist ills probably will survive this planet. One thing, however, is that they died in the prime of their social, cultural and scientific power to produce men and women strong enough to take both order and chaos in their hands.
The film was a groundbreaking attempt to portray the moral decay of American youth, critique parental style, and explore the differences and conflicts between generations. The title was adopted from psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner's 1944 book, Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath. The film, however, does not make any references to Lindner's book in any way. Warner Bros. released the film on October 27, 1955, nearly a month after Dean's death in a car accident on September 30, 1955.
Over the years, the film has achieved landmark status for the acting of cultural icon Dean, fresh from his Oscar nominated role in East of Eden and who died before the film's release, in his most celebrated role. This was the only film during Dean's lifetime in which he received top billing. In 1990, Rebel Without a Cause was added to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant". (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Warner Brothers had bought the rights to Lindner's book, intending to use the title for a film. Attempts to create a film version in the late 1940s eventually ended without a film or even a full script being produced. When Marlon Brando did a five-minute screen test for the studio in 1947, he was given fragments of one of the partial scripts. However, Brando was not auditioning for Rebel Without a Cause, and there was no offer of any part made by the studio. The film, as it later appeared, was the result of a totally new script written in the 1950s that had nothing to do with the Brando test. The screen test is included on a 2006 special edition DVD of the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.
Bosley Crowther, writing in The New York Times, described Rebel Without a Cause as "violent, brutal and disturbing", and as an excessively graphic depiction of teen-agers and their "weird ways". He referred to a "horrifying duel with switchblades", a "brutal scene", and a "shocking presentation" of a race in stolen automobiles. Although he admitted that there are moments of accuracy and truth in the film, he found these "excruciating", and discerned a "pictorial slickness" in the production's use of the CinemaScope process and its filming in the widescreen format, a slickness he declared was at odds with the realism of Ray's directing. Crowther was not impressed by James Dean's acting, and cited the various mannerisms he believed Dean copied from Marlon Brando, asserting that "Never have we seen a performer so clearly follow another's style" and calling Dean's interpretation of the Jim Stark role a "clumsy display". (Source: en.wikipedia.org)