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March 1993


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Andrew Vernon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Mar 1993 10:16:36 CST
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>From:         Scott Huddle <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Re: Natalie Wood
>I don't have any info, but the subject reminds of a punchline of an old
>What kind of wood doesn't float?
Ugh! That one wasn't even funny in December '81! :-)
>From:         [log in to unmask]
>Subject:      Rebel Without a Cause
>All this talk about Natalie Wood has made me want to ask a nagging
>question:  Is Rebel Without a Cause really that good.  I saw the
>James Dean mini-doc on A&E last weekend and found it really interesting.
>But I remember going to see Rebel for the first time five years ago,
>and I came away feeling disappointed.
I saw _Rebel_ for the first time in 1989.  It wasn't exactly love at
first sight, but I still like it better than, say, _Terminator 2_.  When
I saw it on cable again this month, I came to appreciate it more.
>I can see the claim of the ...
>documentary that never before Rebel had teenagers been portrayed so
>wild (to be translated: accurately, honestly or openly??) by hollywood.
I think _Rebel_ was more melodramatic than realistic. In fact, the opening
sequence is pure camp by today's standards. True, there were problems
with adolesence that had not been addressed previously, but then again,
there are probably few real-life scenarios like the observatory scene where
Plato gets shot. If you keep that in mind, the film has aged quite well.
>                 Would Rebel be as great had Dean not died so tragically?
>I'll admit that the film has grown on me, but I wonder if this is simply
>the result of social conditioning.  Society sez, "ooooh, Rebel . . .it's
>great . . .", and eventually I just agree.
I'm not sure that plays into it, since all three principal players died
tragically or under mysterious circumstances. The thought that Dean died
the same year does romanticise the film's image, but I don't think it's just
that, becuase I don't see any continued interest in Dean's other films.
>From:         [log in to unmask]
>Subject:      Re: Weddings and film
>ps>>> Are you looking for weddings, per se, or simply representations of
>        married people, i.e. the power struggle between James Dean's parents
>        in _Rebel_ or the rep of the Beavers parents?
As for 'marriages' in Rebel (Geez... mention Natalie Wood and I kick up
an entire thread :-), Look at the sequence where Jim, Judy and Plato all
arrive in the abandoned house.  First, Plato plays real-estate agent to
Jim and Judy, who ham it up like newlyweds. Then, at poolside, when Plato
talks about his parents, we almost see Jim and Judy become a surrogate
family, with Judy singing him to sleep and Jim "tucking him in."
         "You're TEARING ME APART!!!!!!"
                                    -- James Dean, _Rebel Without a Cause_
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