Instant Classic

Paramount Theatre's Summer 2000 Series

Instant Classic

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)

D: Nicholas Ray; with James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Dennis Hopper, Edward Platt, Nick Adams. (PG, 111 min.)

James Dean died at 5:45pm, September 30, 1955, when his Porsche Spyder 550 collided with another car at the intersection of routes 466 and 41 outside the tiny California hamlet of Cholame. When Rebel opened in New York City 13 months later, crowds of heartsick teens thronged theatres in an outpouring of fan emotion not witnessed since the death of Rudolph Valentino 30 years before. Today, nearly a half-century later, Dean's legacy -- three movies and a smattering of minor television appearances -- remains as vital as ever. Rebel isn't the actor's best film -- that honor goes to Elia Kazan's East of Eden -- and it's full of melodramatic hokiness, but Dean, as disaffected teen Jim Stark, still manages a walloping emotional sucker punch. Buoyed by top-notch supporting roles from Wood and Mineo, it's an iconic film filled with stunning performances from all three doomed leads, a near-perfect summer summary of fast cars, faster kids, and perfect death. (6/16-17)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Marc Savlov
Small Engine Repair
Toxic masculinity sizzles and pops, leading to a reeling third act

Sept. 10, 2021

We Need to Do Something
The terror is coming from inside and outside the house

Sept. 3, 2021

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle