Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rebel Without a Cause Scenes

Here are a few scenes from Rebel Without a Cause found on YouTube, which are described in much greater detail in the book Live Fast, Die Young:The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause.

Rebel Without A Cause Screen Test

This screentest, which uses the Mansion Scene, took place on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire. Screenwriter Stewart Stern felt that this dress rehearsal was better than the scene that appeared in the film. "The other one is far more staged and much more rigid," he said.

The Mansion Scene

This scene was filmed in the abandoned Getty Mansion, which was also the mansion used in Sunset Blvd. This scene is the emotional heart of the film, a brief moment when the teenagers create a world of their own. Plato (Sal Mineo) leads Jim (James Dean) and Judy (Natalie Wood) on a tour of the mansion carrying a candelabra, which was connected to a gas jet (you can actually see the wire if you look closely). At one point James Dean imitates Mr. Magoo, who was voiced by the actor playing his father in the film, Jim Backus. Warner executives wanted him to change it to a Warner character like Bugs Bunny.

The Police Station

The film opens with a drunk James Dean being brought into a police station where he meets Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo for the first time. His parents, played by Jim Backus and Ann Doran, and his grandmother, played by Virginia Brissac, bicker among themselves, until Dean suddenly cries out, "You're tearing me apart!" His cry of pain cuts through the near-comic tone of the scene and immediately spins the film onto another emotional plane, forcing his parents, and the audience, to pay attention.

Going to School
The next day James Dean's Jim talks to Natalie Wood's Judy in the alley between their houses. He offers her a ride but she says she goes with "the kids" and the gang pulls up. One of the gang members is Dennis Hopper, in his first film role.

The Knife Fight

This scene was actually filmed twice, first in black and white and then again in color after Warners decided a week into filming that the film should be shot in color. James Dean and Corey Allen, who plays Buzz, used real switchblades in the fight, which was shot at Griffith Observatory. At one point Allen accidentally cut Dean. When director Nicholas Ray stopped the scene, Dean angrily told him, "Don’t you ever cut a scene while I’m having a real moment!"

"I've Got the Bullets!"
At the end of Rebel Without a Cause (don't watch this if you haven't seen the film) Jim and Judy try to save Plato who is holed up in Griffith Observatory. Dean was having problems saying "I've got the bullets" and did many retakes of this scene.

Alternate Ending
Originally, director Nicholas Ray wanted the ending of the film to take place on the roof of Griffith Observatory and shot part of the scene this way. It proved too expensive, however, and he had to go back and re-shoot the scene the way it appears in the film.

, , , , , , , ,

No comments: