Rebel Without a Cause

Approaches to a Maverick Masterwork

Edited by J. David Slocum

Subjects: Film Studies
Series: SUNY series, Horizons of Cinema
Paperback : 9780791466469, 269 pages, September 2005
Hardcover : 9780791466452, 269 pages, September 2005

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Table of contents

Introduction: Rebel Without a Cause, Fifty Years Later
J. David Slocum
1. Story into Script
Nicholas Ray
2. Stark Performance
Murray Pomerance
3. "You want a good crack in the mouth?": Rebel Without a Cause, Violence, and the Cinema of Nicholas Ray
Susan White
4. Growing Up Male in Jim's Mom's World
Jon Lewis
5. Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause
George M. Wilson
6. Jim Stark's "Barbaric Yawp": Rebel Without a Cause and the Cold War Crisis in Masculinity
Jon Mitchell
7. "Armageddon Without a Cause": Playing "Chicken" in the Atomic Age
Mick Broderick
8. Youth, Moral Panics, and the End of Cinema: On the Reception of Rebel Without a Cause in Europe
Daniel Biltereyst

9. Rebellion and Citizenship: Hannah Arendt, Jim Stark, and American Public Life in the 1950s
Elena Loizidou

10. Youth Cinema and the Culture of Rebellion: Heathers and the Rebel Archetype
James C. McKelly

11. The Stark Screen Teen: Echoes of James Dean in Recent Young Rebel Roles
Timothy Shary

12. In the Shadow of Rebel Without a Cause: The Postcolonial Rebel
Claudia Springer

Cast and Production Credits
Selected Bibliography
List of Contributors
SUNY Series, Horizons of Cinema

Assesses the layered meanings and persistent global legacy of an American film classic.


Five decades after the production and initial release of Rebel Without a Cause, this book examines both the complicated historical moment in which the film was made as well as its continuing and pervasive influence on film today. The contributors track how the film continues to speak to diverse audiences as a touchstone for imagined anxieties over adolescence and coming-of-age, traditional values of family and community, threats from abroad, and the provocations of mass or consumer society. Although the specific sources and motivations for rebellion have shifted, what has persisted is the film's singular power to represent rebellion in what could otherwise be seen as the everyday, and to move viewers to ponder its causes.

J. David Slocum is Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University and is the editor of Violence and American Cinema.