Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Cropped screenshot of Natalie Wood and James D...
Cropped screenshot of Natalie Wood and James Dean in the trailer for the film Rebel Without a Cause (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A key film, sprouting from the middle of the decade and masterfully drawing the battle lines for what would later become known as “the generation gap,” but more than that: Nicholas Ray’s temple-pounding James Dean saga doesn’t glamorize the 1950s; its milieu is lower-middle-class, and its social web is stretched to the tearing point. There may not be a clearer emotional portrait of mid-century America.

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