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By Harry Kuperstein, VI Form
Rebel Without a Cause and Juvenile Delinquency Hysteria
Rebel 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…)
By Rory Colburn, VI Form
Analysis of Rebel Without a Cause and the Cold War
The 1950’s was an era of extremism marked by xenophobia, misogyny, and ageism. The population was warped and manipulated by yellow journalism and a few outspoken individuals, who urged America towards conformity. These stories and people preached the external dangers of foreign influence, especially concerning Communism, and the internal dangers, concerning teenage rebellion, and subversive women. This ideology was captured by Hollywood in the film Rebel Without a Cause, which features scenes, characters, and compositions that address these concerns, sometimes using metaphor or allegory. (more…)