Rebel Without a Cause

Synopsis: The landmark teen film that solidified Dean's image with the public follows the story of rebellious middle-class teens, disenfranchised with their parents, and given to a life of thuggery and deadly dangerous drag racing to win over women.
Genre: Drama
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.8
Metacritic:
87
Rotten Tomatoes:
96%
PG-13
Year:
1955
111 min
468 Views

CAST OF CHARACTERS

JIM'S FAMILY

JIM'S GRANDMA:
A chic, domineering woman in her sixties who

has made her son Frank dependent upon her for every

breath he takes. She is the irritant in the

household--the silent ruler--the silent enemy of

Frank's marriage.

JIM'S FATHER:
Frank is an unfeathered man who has never been

able to have fun. He is anxious to be a real father

to Jim, but has never learned how.

JIM'S MOTHER:
Tense and immature, she has never found the

husband she married. Upset by the presence of her

mother-in-law, mated with an ineffectual and joyless

man, she takes out her disappointment on him and on

her son.

JIM:
The angry victim and the result. At seventeen he is

filled with confusion about his role in life. Because

of his "nowhere" father, he does not know how to be a

man. Because of his wounding mother, he anticipates

destruction in all women. And yet he wants to find a

girl who will be willing to receive his tenderness.

JUDY'S FAMILY

JUDY'S FATHER:
a junior partner in a law firm. Boyish,

attractive and debonair. Because he is frightened by

the adolescence of his daughter, Judy, his only

recourse is to criticize her.

JUDY'S MOTHER:
Self-centered and frightened by the coming of

middle-age. She feels that Judy's blossoming youth

is threatening her wifely position as the desirable

object of the husband's attentions.

JUDY:
The victim and the result. At sixteen, she is in a

panic of frustration regarding her father--needing his

love and suffering when it is denied. This forces her

to invite the attention of other men in order to

punish him.

BEAU:
Judy's brother. Because he is very young he is a

danger to nobody and thus will grow up happily--

certain of the love of his father who feels comfortable

in giving it.

PLATO:
Son of a divided family--an absent father and a

traveling mother--he feels himself the target of

desertion. At fifteen he wants to find a substitute

family for himself so that he need no longer feel

cold, and especially a friend who will supply the fatherly

protection and warmth he needs and cannot find.

BUZZ:
A sado-masochistic boy of seventeen, who acts out

aggressively his idea of what a man should be in order

to hide his real sensitivities and needs. He was

probably rejected by both parents and must constantly

court danger and must constantly court danger in order

to achieve any sense of prestige or personal worth.

THE KIDS:

HELEN, CRUNCH, MOOSE, GOON, CHICK, COOKIE, MIL: All

searching for recognition in the only way available

to them; all suffering from unfulfilled hungers at

home; all creating an outside world of chaos in order

to bear the chaos they feel inside. They are

soldiers in search of an enemy.

FADE IN.

A deep night sky. Matte shot. Camera searches slowly

upward through the heavens and the silver tone of a bell is

heard sounding the strokes of midnight.

On the final note of the bell, camera is full on the Milky

Way and there it rests, just long enough for a burst of

Easter singing to arise. The hymn is sung by the crude,

unmatched voices of children. Camera pans down to include:

Spire of a church. Camera continues its downward pan as the

singing continues and we pass a window beyond which is the

source of the singing. Camera pans off window to show--

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Stewart Stern

Stewart Henry Stern was a two-time Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning American screenwriter. He is best known for writing the screenplay for the iconic film Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean. more…

All Stewart Stern scripts | Stewart Stern Scripts

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Submitted on February 12, 2017

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