My mother was a kid in the 60’s and, upon listening to my feelings about “Rebel Without a Cause,” told me that her gang of friends always called it “Rebel Without a Clue,” and I have never heard such an apt description.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone most of your life hearing about the James Dean classic “Rebel Without a Cause” as the movie to best represent the 1950’s, and the conversation pretty much ends there. At this point we all know Dean to be non-hetero when he was alive, but after watching “Rebel” for the first time I’m surprised the audience of the day didn’t ban this film for its homoerotic undertones. Or the opening line “he shot puppies.” Stick with me and you’ll see what I mean.
THE WEIRDEST PLOT, MAYBE EVER?
Here are the basic points to “Rebel”:
> Cute boy who is an supernaturally strong magnet for trouble moves to town, befriends a rich psychotic kid
> Within a minute of seeing Cute Boy, Head Bully forces him into a knife fight for no reason
> Head Bully forces Cute Boy to a car race to settle beef they literally don’t have
> Head Bully fucking dies, dude
> Everyone runs home and argues with their clearly abusive parents
> Cute Boy, Pretty Girl and Psycho run away and hide in an abandoned mansion next to the museum
> Psycho loses it and gets shot for being an incel dumb-ass and I don’t feel bad about it
> That’s it? That’s…the end.