2014 Blind Spot Series: Rebel Without A Cause
What I knew going in: This was James Dean's second to last film.
Jim Stark (James Dean) is a troubled young man that has moved around a lot in his life. Once he and his family settle in a new town, he makes friends with Plato (Sal Mineo) and becomes attracted to Judy. (Natalie Wood) Too bad her friends aren't as smitten with Jim as he is with her. An accident happens that changes this group of kids forever.
Have you ever watched a film with a certain amount of expectations, then start to wonder if maybe you're watching it the wrong way once you realize you are having the polar opposite reaction that everyone else has had? That's kind of how I felt here. How was this movie nominated for Oscars? This is a joke, right?
I'll get the good out of the way first. Wood and Mineo gave great performances. They were quite young when they filmed this, and they were solid. The story overall was solid too, despite all of the theatrics. That's what threw me off here, everything felt overly dramatic. James Dean probably had a lot of potential to be a great actor, but I felt like he was just mugging here. There's only so many times you can do the "dramatic head tilt," the "pout," and the "eye fuck" without it becoming a farce. And The score! The way the music picked up during the dramatic scenes was laughably bad. Then there's the car crash, which I shouldn't make fun of because this film was made in 1955, but oh my God. That was awful. I know I kind of gave Vertigo crap on not aging well, but I take all of that back after seeing this.
This is the first film on my Blind Spot list that I flat out didn't like. Sure, I was underwhelmed by Citizen Kane, but I can at least appreciate what it did at the time of its release. This was just..kind of bad to be honest. Wood and Mineo were the only saving graces.
Memorable Quote: "You're tearing me apart,