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Rebel Without A Cause

            American cinema of the 1950's returned to feel good films. The decade of prosperity was characterized as a return to the family. The invention of TV placed a new dynamic on family life. Families sat in marveled at the new genre of media seemingly 24 hours a day. The old values of the family had been manipulated with families now sitting in front of the TV during meals and usually the father parking himself in front of the TV for hours on end after a hard day at the office. Interaction between family members became strained and relationships changed. Many filmmakers of the time tried to capture the new family dynamics in their work. In 1955 Nicholas Ray put his spin on this issue with Rebel Without a Cause. Starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, Ray created a story with a rebellious teen trying to find his place in the world. Dean as troubled youth Jim Stark moves to a new town to hopefully start a new life. He finds a love interest in Natalie Wood's character Judy. Proving hims!.
             elf to his peers was something that didn't come as easy. Jim participated in switchblade fights and racing cars toward seaside cliffs in an attempt to prove that he was a man. The film deals with an actual case study of a troubled young man and how the family and others dealt with him. The film received three academy award nominations best supporting actor, Sal Mineo, best supporting actress, Natalie Wood, and best motion picture story, Nicholas Ray. Although the film and actors didn't win any Oscars, the film stands as a realistic look at family life in the 50's and the issues that young people had to deal with during that time. Rebel Without a Cause is a realistic and powerful look at American culture of the 1950's, this is shown through three scenes dealing with the three main characters of the film. Their actions and interactions with adults shows the dissolve of the traditional family structure, and the birth of a new era in American society.

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