REVIEW: Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

Title: Rebel Without A Cause
Release Year: 1955
Genre: Drama
Cast: James Dean, Natalie Wood & Sal Mineo
Plot: A rebellious teenager moves to a new town and finds a hard time adjusting.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review: As usual Rasha and I buy DVDs and just shelf them. After months of sitting there gathering dust and only after running out of films to watch, we pick them out of our shelf.

Even though I had watched this film in my childhood, I have no recollection of it except for the racing scene. I didn't remember if I liked it or not.

Anyway, after we watched the film, we were completely satisfied with it and thought maybe we should have given it a chance earlier.

The story takes place over 24 hours exactly. It starts at 3:00 AM and finishes at 3:00 AM the following day.

The film originally was supposed to be in black and white but they decided to switch it to colour. Deans character was supposed dress more nerdy in the black and white but that also was changed. I think making him dorky and cool at the same time made him more relatable because him being a nerd would change the storyline.

James Dean played the role of Jim Stark, the dorky rebellious teenager who desperately needed companionship, one that would take him away from his depressing family problems. Dean's acting was superb. He was one with his character.

Marlon Brando was actually going to play the role in an earlier version of the film in 1947 but it never went through. Paul Newman was considered for this 1955 version but the role was given to Dean. I don't think it would've suited either. Brando would've looked too cool to play someone looking for friendship, he would've probably gotten it the moment he entered the classroom and Newman would've looked too mature to care. Plus neither could pull off looking like a teenager.

Natalie Wood's part, as Judy, was originally considered for Debbie Reynolds. I'm happy that didn't go through. I would've considered Elizabeth Taylor for it though, maybe because Wood's acting resembles hers.

I was a bit confused with Judy because she seemed to want more from her father which was a bit disturbing. I guess it just meant she needed his attention and affection but it could've been played without seeming like she wanted to be his wife...

Sal Mineo - Plato - did a great job portraying a psychopath. Eventhough I don't particularly like his acting, he made his character very believable.

In the scene when Jim and Judy laughed because Plato had different coloured socks, wasn't scripted. Mineo put them on that way.

The worst scene and most painful for me was seeing Jim's father dressed in an apron...why can't you be a man, I thought. I guess they wanted us to understand who wears the pants in that house. That was probably one of the problems Jim had. He wanted a real father figure.

The ending was silly because all through the film, Jim's parents had all these problems but suddenly they resolved everything.

Favourite Quotes:

Judy: I love somebody. All the time I've been... I've been looking for someone to love me. And now I love somebody. And it's so easy. Why is it easy now? 
Buzz Gunderson: Oh he's real abstract. He's hm, he's different.
Jim Stark: That's right. That's right. I'm cute too. 

On a final note, I think James Dean was great! All the cast did a great job. The storyline was a bit confusing in some parts, slow in others and the ending was sort of quick but it was a great portrayal of a highly dramatised teenager's life in the 1950s. But I hardly think you'll find that many brats in one town.


  1. Hahaha brats...that’s true!
    I love this film, especially the beginning in the Police Station.
    James Dean was amazing. I think this was his best role, even-though I loved film in Giant.

    I still wish the rest of the cast was different. I wouldn’t want Elizabeth Taylor for the role of Judy though, because in 1955 she looked very mature to be a Teenager.

    I think Natalie Wood was okay for the role, because her acting is good, she looks like a teen and also because I’m not that picky about who play opposite James Dean, since he’s not my favourite (looks wise) hahah...
    The person that bothered me the most was Sal Mineo, even-though he wasn’t the worst actor, he was actually a great actor, I just don’t like him heheh.

    Marlon Brando in 1947 would’ve been okay, but Paul Newman in 1955? He would’ve looked too old for the part.

    Amazing review as always, it makes it a lot harder for me to make one...I love it!

    1. Yes I think I just wanted Elizabeth Taylor because Natalie Wood acts like her - at least in this film - plus I wanted her in more films hehe
      Wood was actually 16 so she was the right age along with Sal Mineo but I still would've rather had someone else in his place.
      I know your review will be perfection because I know how you write and you always remember the parts I forget to comment on. I hope you start soon chuckabella!


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