This is the first time I watched a movie from actor James Dean. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE is engaging, amazing, and full of spectacular performances. Especially by the legendary James Dean. His style of acting kinda reminds me of Marlon Brando. There's a certain aura - when I watched his acting. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE maybe seems a little bit dated. But this movie still succeed to deliver its important moral values...
This is the movie that made James Dean the icon that he is but this film is more than that. It's also a very deep, human and emotional drama that shows, with a dash of melodrama, how tough it can be to be a teenager and the yearning to be free and do what you want to do with your life. Nicholas Ray was ahead of his time as a filmmaker and a storyteller.
For now at least, I've come to the conclusion that it is not the classic it is made out to be. Its message of rebellion and restlessness, despite its namesake, has an unnecessary nihilistic streak: it is far too mean, uncaring, and mean-spirited. There is a spirit underneath that goes beyond dated dialogue and references, that only appears enlightened in its psychology, while remaining ignorant of its own negativity.
Considéré par la critique comme un chef-d'oeuvre, il ne serait pas fâcheux de réviser ce jugement dithyrambique en évacuant ou du moins en faisant abstraction du mythe James Dean. On peut objectivement reconnaître que l'acteur est loin de renouveler sa géniale performance d'"A l'est d'Eden" et que le film de Kazan est bien plus percutant, envoûtant que la modeste réalisation de Nicholas Ray... www.cinefiches.com
James Dean is doing something different from just about everyone onscreen. It works for him, creating a believable outsider. It's worth noting that his titular rebel seems to be craving the structure of a "traditional" family unit, Natalie Wood's character is tormented by the distance from her father brought on by his sexualization of her, and Sal Mineo's character is deeply in the closet. There's a lot here.
Apart from main issues being resolved in a naive, at times unconvincing, manner, it is an intuitive criticism of 50's family (father figure at that) anticipating life-style revolutions of decade to come. Even if just a showcase of it, with a lot left unanswered, "Rebel" as a anti-hero of the story forms and important step between Classical and New Hollywood.