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Rebel Without a Cause and Juvenile Delinquency Hysteria

By Harry Kuperstein, VI Form

Rebel Without a Cause and Juvenile Delinquency Hysteria

1706684Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean, was released in 1955, which was around the peak of the hysteria surrounding juvenile delinquency. Chapter 4 of Gilbert’s A Cycle of Outrage states that from 1953 to 1958, there was a spike in articles about delinquency. The Senate also heard cases of delinquency in 1953, some of which lasted over a decade. And, it soon became evident that movies about teenagers turning towards delinquency, likely propped up by famous icons like James Dean, became wildly popular. Over sixty films centered on the idea of juvenile delinquency were released in the 1950s (Gilbert 85). (more…)