Rebel Without a Cause

Rebel Without a Cause

Director: Nicholas Ray Cast: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Corey Allen

DVD (Special Edition / 2 PACK)

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This landmark juvenile-delinquent drama scrupulously follows the classic theatrical disciplines, telling all within a 24-hour period. Teenager Jimmy Stark (James Dean) can't help but get into trouble, a problem that has forced his appearance-conscious parents (Jim Backus and Ann Doran) to move from one town to another. The film's tormented central characters are all introduced during a single night-court session, presided over by well-meaning social worker Ray (Edward Platt). Jimmy, arrested on a drunk-and-disorderly charge, screams "You're tearing me apart!" as his blind-sided parents bicker with one another over how best to handle the situation. Judy (Natalie Wood) is basically a good kid but behaves wildly out of frustration over her inability to communicate with her deliberately distant father (William Hopper). (The incestuous subtext of this relationship is discreetly handled, but the audience knows what's going on in the minds of Judy and her dad at all times.) And Plato (Sal Mineo), who is so sensitive that he threatens to break apart like porcelain, has taken to killing puppies as a desperate bid for attention from his wealthy, always absent parents.

The next morning, Jimmy tries to start clean at a new high school, only to run afoul of local gang leader Buzz (Corey Allen), who happens to be Judy's boyfriend. Anxious to fit in, Jimmy agrees to settle his differences with a nocturnal "Chickie Run": he and Buzz are to hop into separate stolen cars, then race toward the edge of a cliff; whoever jumps out of the car first is the "chickie." When asked if he's done this sort of thing before, Jimmy lies, "That's all I ever do." This wins him the undying devotion of fellow misfit Plato. At the appointed hour, the Chickie Run takes place, inaugurated by a wave of the arms from Judy. The cars roar toward the cliff; Jimmy is able to jump clear, but Buzz, trapped in the driver's set when his coat gets caught on the door handle, plummets to his death. In the convoluted logic of Buzz' gang, Jimmy is held responsible for the boy's death. For the rest of the evening, he is mercilessly tormented by Buzz' pals, even at his own doorstep. After unsuccessfully trying to sort things out with his weak-willed father, Jimmy runs off into the night. He links up with fellow "lost souls" Judy and Plato, hiding out in an abandoned palatial home and enacting the roles of father, mother, and son. For the first time, these three have found kindred spirits -- but the adults and kids who have made their lives miserable haven't given up yet, leading to tragedy. Out of the bleakness of the finale comes a ray of hope that, at last, Jimmy will be truly understood.

Rebel Without a Cause began as a case history, written in 1944 by Dr. Robert Lindner. Originally intended as a vehicle for Marlon Brando, the property was shelved until Brando's The Wild One (1953) opened floodgates for films about crazy mixed-up teens. Director Nicholas Ray, then working on a similar project, was brought in to helm the film version. His star was James Dean, fresh from Warners' East of Eden. Ray's low budget dictated that the new film be lensed in black-and-white, but when East of Eden really took off at the box office, the existing footage was scrapped and reshot in color. This was great, so far as Ray was concerned, inasmuch as he had a predilection for symbolic color schemes. James Dean's hot red jacket, for example, indicated rebellion, while his very blue blue jeans created a near luminescent effect (Ray had previously used the same vivid color combination on Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar). As part of an overall bid for authenticity, real-life gang member Frank Mazzola was hired as technical advisor for the fight scenes. To extract as natural a performance as possible from Dean, Ray redesigned the Stark family's living room set to resemble Ray's own home, where Dean did most of his rehearsing. Speaking of interior sets, the mansion where the three troubled teens hide out had previously been seen as the home of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Of the reams of on-set trivia concerning Rebel, one of the more amusing tidbits involves Dean's quickie in-joke impression of cartoon character Mr. Magoo -- whose voice was, of course, supplied by Jim Backus, who played Jimmy's father. Viewing the rushes of this improvisation, a clueless Warner Bros. executive took Dean to task, saying in effect that if he must imitate an animated character, why not Warners' own Bugs Bunny? Released right after James Dean's untimely death, Rebel Without a Cause netted an enormous profit. The film almost seems like a eulogy when seen today, since so many of its cast members -- James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Nick Adams -- died young.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/05/2013
UPC: 0883929278916
Original Release: 1955
Rating: PG-13
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:51:00
Sales rank: 6,731

Special Features

Closed Caption; Disc 1:; Digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements; Commentary by Douglas L. Rathgeb, author of The Making of Rebel Without a Cause; Theatrical trailer; ; Disc 2:; Rebel Without a Cause: Defiant Innocents documentary; Vintage documentary James Dean Remembered; Additional scenes (without sound); 3 segments from the Warner Bros. ; Presents TV series including Dean's famous Drive Safely commercial TV spot; Rare screen tests; Wardrobe tests

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Dean Jim Stark
Natalie Wood Judy
Corey Allen Buzz Gunderson
Sal Mineo Plato
Dennis Hopper Goon
Jim Backus Jim's father
William Hopper Judy's Father
Rochelle Hudson Judy's Mother
Virginia Brissac Jim's Grandma
Ann Doran Jim's Mother
Marietta Canty Plato's Nurse
Edward Platt Ray
Ian Wolfe Lecturer
Nick Adams Moose
Jack Grinnage Chick
Steffi Sidney Mil
Tom Bernard Harry
Louise Lane Woman Officer
Dick Wessel Guide
Beverly Long Helen
Frank Mazzola Crunch
Robert Foulk Gene
Dorothy Abbott Nurse
Jimmy Baird Beau
Paul Birch Police Chief
Paul Bryar Desk Sergeant
Nelson Leigh Sergeant
David McMahon Crunch's Father
Peter Miller Hoodlum
House Peters Officer
Nicholas Ray Man in last shot
Gus Schilling Attendant
Almira Sessions Old Lady Teacher
Robert B. Williams Moose's Father Ed

Technical Credits
Nicholas Ray Director,Screenwriter
Don Alvarado Asst. Director
Gordon Bau Makeup
Malcolm C. Bert Art Director
Robert Farfan Asst. Director
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Stan Jones Sound/Sound Designer
Moss Mabry Costumes/Costume Designer
Leonard Rosenman Score Composer
Irving Shulman Screenwriter
Stewart Stern Screenwriter
William Wallace Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
David Weisbart Producer
William H. Ziegler Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rebel Without a Cause
1. Drunken Credits
2. Judy's Dad Dilemma
3. Happy Birthday, Plato
4. Tearing Jim Apart
5. Need to Belong
6. Girl Next Door
7. New School, First Day
8. Planetarium Field Trip
9. "Let's Bring Him Down"
10. Peer and Tire Pressure
11. Knife Fight
12. Apron-Strung
13. Age Where Nothing Fits
14. No Answer How
15. Preliminaries with Buzz
16. Chickie Run
17. Home From Cliff's Edge
18. All Involved
19. "Dad, Stand Up For Me"
20. No One to Listen
21. "Your Lips are Soft"
22. Heartbroken - And Armed
23. Looking for Jim
24. Old Deserted Mansion
25. Happy Now
26. What It's Like to Love Somebody
27. Plato's Terror
28. Making Them Family
29. Return to the Planetarium
30. "I Think I Know My Son"
31. When the End Will Come
32. Friends Keep Promises
33. Plato's Death
34. "You Can Depend On Me"
35. Friends and Family
Disc #2 -- Rebel Without a Cause
1. Introduction [5:31]
2. Sammy Davis Jr. [7:37]
3. Getting Started [6:02]
4. Natalie Wood [11:48]
5. Sal Mineo [8:13]
6. Leonard Rosenman [11:17]
7. Giant [4:49]
8. Need for Speed [2:54]
9. Steve Allen [6:08]
10. Coda and End Credits [1:53]

Customer Reviews

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Rebel Without a Cause 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read these online reviews and am very upset with the people that wrote these reviews. What about Sal Mineo? He was excellent in the movie, and just as talented as James Dean and maybe even more so, but one will never know. James Dean only did three movies, and Sal Mineo did many more than that, so it wouldn't be fair to say whose better and who is not, but SAL MINEO deserves respect for his acting just as much as James Dean does. Hey did you people know that there was a kiss between the two that was part of the movie before it was cut out of the original version? I think that's something for the time that this movie was made. Also, let us not forget the incredible Natalie Wood, what a great actress, and she too did a great performance in this movie. SO before you all talk about James Dean, yes he was great, yes he was sexy, but so was Sal Mineo, and Natalie Wood, well she was breathtaking!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was breathtaking. James Dean is awe-inspiring. There has never been another actor who was charismatic, strong, and covered the whole spectrum of human emotion like Jimmy. He deserves to be immortal and will remain that way through his work!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebel Without a Cause is a great movie with even better acting. People can still relate to this movie after 50 years. It is timeless. Unfortunatly the very talented James Dean died just a few years after making this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is wonderful! I am 15 years old and I love James dean!!!!!!! I really like this movie because it shows you an inside look of the presures teenagers go through and yet those things don't matter as much when you know your loved. I feel so sad for Plato (Sal Mineo) he is so troubled and unloved if only his parents relized how much he needed them, and the way Jim (James Dean) be-freinds Plato relizing how much he needs a friend and more than that someone to protect him is so sweet. And then you have Judy (Natalie Wood) she feels unloved by her father and misunderstood my her mother. I love how these three characters feed eachother you might say all of them needing to be loved and to love. This movie shows me how lucky I am to have a good family and wonderful friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Dean was a wonderful actor. His performance was superb, as always. You really feel for Jim Stark. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for an inspiring love story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really love James Dean and I think he portrayed his role of Jim in Rebel Without a Cause wonderfully! I think he is a great actor. Besides the fact that I love James Dean, I thought the movie in general was awsome. It really shows that teen angst and juvinile delicuency aren't just found in slum areas but in middle class areas too.