For Reel

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
May 16, 2011, 6:24 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Nicholas Ray

I had the pleasure of seeing a 35mm print of Rebel Without a Cause on a large screen. Although I was somewhat aware of what to expect regarding its presentation of teen angst if only by cultural osmosis (this being such a landmark, widely discussed film), what lasts most with me is the beauty of its images. The planetarium scene memorably diminishes the teenager’s perils whilst visually demonstrating the growth potential afforded to all of them, however in its return late in the film, the now darkened setting serves to cruelly taunt the tortured Sal Mineo and his own lack of upward mobility. Though at all times implausible, the film’s use of melodrama perfectly compliments the way in which high schoolers often over-dramatize every minutia of their self-important lives.

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