Rebel Without a Cause

1955 NR 1h 51m DVD

Rebel Without a Cause

1955 NR 1h 51m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
When Jim Stark (James Dean) arrives in a new town with his troubled past firmly in tow, he quickly falls for the girl next door (Natalie Wood) and befriends the vulnerable Plato (Sal Mineo), forming a surrogate family fueled by alienation. From a deadly game of chicken to the spectacular climax at Los Angeles's Griffith Park Observatory, director Nicholas Ray's Oscar-nominated portrait of teen angst provided a jolt to 1950s America.
James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Dennis Hopper, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Corey Allen, William Hopper, Rochelle Hudson, Edward Platt, Marietta Canty, Virginia Brissac, Ian Wolfe
Nicholas Ray
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.55:1
English, French, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital Mono
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this landmark depiction of teen alienation and delinquency has plenty of don't-try-this-at-home moments, including knife fighting, gunplay, breaking-and-entering a disused house, a fatal game of "chicken" in stolen cars, and animal cruelty. Young people drink to inebriation and smoke. There is a link made between a single-parent household (actually less than that; never-seen mom lets the maid oversee things) and a loner mentally ill son.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


Pistol shots cause wounds and a casualty, as does a fatal car plunge. Blood is drawn by jabs in a non-fatal knife fight. Jim physically attacks his father and a policeman, and kids beat up on other kids.


"Heck" and "tramp" is about as bad as it gets.

Social Behavior

The gang violence and youthful recklessness that drives the plot is shown to be petty and futile. Even Buzz, Jim's hood-like enemy, says he likes Jim, but fights with him just for appearance's sake, or maybe boredom ("Gotta do something"). Part of the message -- supposedly the result of filmmaker Nicholas Ray researching hundreds of police reports -- is that out-of-control teens, even in apparently "good" families, get a raw deal from moms and dads unable to understand and cope with them.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Jim is shown drunk from the opening scene, and there is a sense his parents frequently imbibe socially. Jim also smokes and shares his cigarettes with other boys.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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