27 Oct: Rebel Without A Script

Nicholas Ray’s ‘troubled teen’ picture, ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ opened in the US on 27th October, 1955. The film was eagerly anticipated, partly due to the recent death of its star, James Dean, in a car accident.

Although the movie’s title can be traced back to a book by Dr. Robert Lindner that explored the mind of a teenage criminal, the script underwent multiple revisions – in part so that Dean and the young cast, including Natalie Wood and Dennis Hooper, could contribute improvisation. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly examine the film’s radical sexuality, yet latent conservatism; explain why it received an X rating in the UK; and reveal why it was released in colour, yet initially filmed in black and white… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Rebel Without a Cause: Review’ (Time, 1955): https://time.com/4079963/review-rebel-without-a-cause/

• ‘Behind the scenes: Rebel without a Cause’ (BFI, 2014): https://www.bfi.org.uk/features/behind-scenes-rebel-without-cause

• ‘Screen Tests – Rebel Without a Cause’ (Warner Bros., 1955):