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Rebel Without a Cause

Opens Friday, Apr 18, 2014 Synopsis: This landmark juvenile-delinquent drama scrupulously follows the classic theatrical disciplines, telling all within a 24-hour period. Teenager Jimmy Stark (James Dean) can't help but get into trouble, a problem that has forced his appearance-conscious parents (Jim Backus and Ann Doran) to move from one town to another. The film's tormented central characters are all introduced during a single night-court session, presided over by well-meaning social worker Ray (Edward Platt). Jimmy, arrested on a drunk-and-disorderly charge, screams "You're tearing me apart!" as his blind-sided parents bicker with one another over how best to handle the situation. Judy (Natalie Wood) is basically a good kid but behaves wildly out of frustration over her inability to communicate with her deliberately distant father (William Hopper). (The incestuous subtext of this relationship is discreetly handled, but the audience knows what's going on in the minds of Judy and her dad at all times.) And Plato (Sal Mineo), who is so sensitive that he threatens to break apart like porcelain, has taken to killing puppies as a desperate bid for attention from his wealthy, always absent parents.

The next morning, Jimmy tries to start clean at a new high school, only to run afoul of local gang leader Buzz (Corey Allen), who happens to be Judy's boyfriend. Anxious to fit in, Jimmy agrees to settle his differences with a nocturnal "Chickie Run": he and Buzz are to hop into separate stolen cars, then race toward the edge of a cliff; whoever jumps out of the car first is the "chickie." When asked if he's done this sort of thing before, Jimmy lies, "That's all I ever do." This wins him the undying devotion of fellow misfit Plato. At the appointed hour, the Chickie Run takes place, inaugurated by a wave of the arms from Judy. The cars roar toward the cliff; Jimmy is able to jump clear, but Buzz, trapped in the driver's set when his coat gets caught on the door handle, plummets to his death. In the convoluted logic of Buzz' gang, Jimmy is held responsible for the boy's death. For the rest of the evening, he is mercilessly tormented by Buzz' pals, even at his own doorstep. After unsuccessfully trying to sort things out with his weak-willed father, Jimmy runs off into the night. He links up with fellow "lost souls" Judy and Plato, hiding out in an abandoned palatial home and enacting the roles of father, mother, and son. For the first time, these three have found kindred spirits -- but the adults and kids who have made their lives miserable haven't given up yet, leading to tragedy. Out of the bleakness of the finale comes a ray of hope that, at last, Jimmy will be truly understood.

Rebel Without a Cause began as a case history, written in 1944 by Dr. Robert Lindner. Originally intended as a vehicle for Marlon Brando, the property was shelved until Brando's The Wild One (1953) opened floodgates for films about crazy mixed-up teens. Director Nicholas Ray, then working on a similar project, was brought in to helm the film version. His star was James Dean, fresh from Warners' East of Eden. Ray's low budget dictated that the new film be lensed in black-and-white, but when East of Eden really took off at the box office, the existing footage was scrapped and reshot in color. This was great, so far as Ray was concerned, inasmuch as he had a predilection for symbolic color schemes. James Dean's hot red jacket, for example, indicated rebellion, while his very blue blue jeans created a near luminescent effect (Ray had previously used the same vivid color combination on Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar). As part of an overall bid for authenticity, real-life gang member Frank Mazzola was hired as technical advisor for the fight scenes. To extract as natural a performance as possible from Dean, Ray redesigned the Stark family's living room set to resemble Ray's own home, where Dean did most of his rehearsing. Speaking of interior sets, the mansion where the three troubled teens hide out had previously been seen as the home of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Of the reams of on-set trivia concerning Rebel, one of the more amusing tidbits involves Dean's quickie in-joke impression of cartoon character Mr. Magoo -- whose voice was, of course, supplied by Jim Backus, who played Jimmy's father. Viewing the rushes of this improvisation, a clueless Warner Bros. executive took Dean to task, saying in effect that if he must imitate an animated character, why not Warners' own Bugs Bunny? Released right after James Dean's untimely death, Rebel Without a Cause netted an enormous profit. The film almost seems like a eulogy when seen today, since so many of its cast members -- James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Nick Adams -- died young. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Cast: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Corey Allen, Sal Mineo, Dennis Hopper Movie Details Buy Tickets Movie Review

Alaska Digest

...appeared in Juneau District Court on Thursday, less than 14 hours after he allegedly escaped a rollover accident in a stolen car. Alexander Kyle Bearden, 19, was charged with first-degree vehicle theft. Juneau District Magistrate John W. Sivertsen...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/052104/sta_akdigest.shtml
News
Briefly

Stolen car damages motorcycle JUNEAU - A car thief got two for the price of one Saturday...damage at about $500. Police said they arrested Smithers as he drove the stolen car into the Switzer Village trailer park in Lemon Creek. He was charged with...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/072301/Loc_Briefly.shtml
Local
Alaska Briefs

...Police arrested an 18-year-old Juneau resident Monday afternoon on auto theft charges, alleging he fled from a stolen car after an accident. Robert A. Porter was transported to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center where he was lodged without...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/081903/sta_briefs.shtml
News
Thieves benefit from vehicle registration laws

...used to have access to the FBI's National Crime Information Center database, which allowed nationwide checks for stolen cars and trucks, he said. In the 1990s, when the DMV moved out of the state Department of Public Safety, it was no longer...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/092303/sta_thieves.shtml
News
Man arrested after returning to stolen car

Police staking out a car that had been reported stolen arrested a Fairbanks man on an outstanding drug warrant Saturday, then added some new charges.

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/093002/sta_stolencar.shtml
News
Juneau Empire Story Archive

...said. He couldn't say how many kids are involved in gangs in Juneau. The criminal activity shows up in thefts and stolen cars, not drive-by shootings in turf wars. Teacher Sara Hannan said JDHS generally feels safe. She can think of two...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/022899/Ins_cops.shtml
Juneau Empire Story Archive

...been released to the custody of her parents. Investigation continues, police said. Child safe after thief ditches stolen car ANCHORAGE -- A teen-ager who stole a car at a South Anchorage gas pump Wednesday night ditched it a quarter-mile...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/072700/Loc_as.shtml
Juneau Police Department invites you to 'be the chief'

...for example, Alaska Marine Highway System terminals could be an aide to Homeland Security, a mechanism for finding stolen cars or a deterrent for vandalism. A location like downtown Juneau, with its large volume of nuisance crimes reported...

http://juneauempire.com/local/2011-07-07/juneau-police-department-invites-you-be
Local
Police capture suspect in multiple burglaries

...recent weeks across the community, from North Douglas to the Mendenhall Valley. He is also the suspected driver of a stolen car involved in a citizen's car chase Saturday on North Douglas Highway. The driver fled into the woods. "He's been...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/062409/loc_454028124.shtml

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