Of the three movies James Dean starred in before his tragically early death at 24, this is the one he’ll always be remembered for.
Incarnating, even more so than Marlon Brando, the post-war crazy mixed-up kid, at odds with his family, his school and with society at large, Dean’s Jim Stark is maybe the closes ’50s Hollywood ever got to existentialism.
Nicholas Ray’s 1955 film extends sympathy to all its characters, not just the kids, though the central trio of Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo focus our emotions.
Uncannily enough, Dean’s co-stars would also both meet with premature violent deaths.
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