Generic Conventions of Teen Movies in the 1955 Film Rebel Without a Cause

Generic Conventions of Teen Movies in the 1955 Film Rebel Without a Cause

Length: 1108 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Generic Conventions of Teen Movies in the 1955 Film Rebel Without a Cause

'Rebel without a cause' was the first ever film to be targeted at the
newly established Teenage audience and caused the creation 'Teen
Movie' genre because of its incredible success. The creators of Rebel
without a cause saw that there was enormous potential for the teen
audience as they had never been targeted before and they had money to
spend on entertainment as they had no outgoings at all. The film
starred James Dean as Jim Stark the troubled teenager in a new town.
He is portrayed as the outsider and the protagonist as he fights his
oppressive authoritative figures.

James Dean: Role Model for teenagers

[IMAGE]The main theme running through this film is the outsider being
absorbed into the new community and the struggle for acceptance. This
can be seen in 'Rebel' as Jim is trying to be incorporated into the
new town and how he strives to overcome many obstacles. This theme can
also be seen in other films such as 'Save the last dance' as the white
protagonist Sara Johnson tries to fit into the very proud black
society. The narrative of initiation can be tied into the absorption
theme in that in Rebel the chicken run must be completed before Jim
will be accepted by buzz and the bully gang. This theme is reflected
in later films such as grease where the race must be completed to
resolve conflict between the opposing groups. Another theme which is
almost always seen in teen movies is the boy/girl romance. In rebel
without a cause this theme is reflected by the relationship between
Judy and Jim. This can also be seen in later films such as the
American ...

... middle of paper ...

...Pie where the
adults are seen as boring and only viewed as obstacles for the
teenager's hedonism. American Pie challenges this convention as it
uses an adult, Mrs Stiffler - a young mother trying to cling on to her
youth - who seduces the intellectual 'Geek' character, Paul Finch.

Rebel without a cause paved the way for hundreds of films targeted at
the teenage audience. It was created because there had never been a
genre which offered teenagers a way to communally express their
emotion before. The film gave iconic status to the name James Dean,
and gave thousands of teenagers a role model to follow. The film can
be seen in many other films which are constantly being added to the
genre. Hundreds of other teen films have elements of Rebel without a
cause and follow the generic conventions which it established in 1955.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Teens Making a Cause for Rebellion Essay

- ... He decides to go through with the run and during the event Judy’s boyfriend, who is the one that challenged Jim to the run, got in the car because of his jacket and ended up dying in the event. This event plus the treatment the teens receive at home make them runaway to an abandoned mansion where Buzz’s, Judy’s boyfriend, friends follow them and try to hurt the teens. Plato goes into a fit and ends up shooting one of the boys and runs to the planetarium observatory where the police follow him....   [tags: Rebel without a cause, film analysis]

Strong Essays
1233 words (3.5 pages)

Film Analysis: A Rebel Without a Cause Essay

- ... Jim suggests to his own father to stand up to his wife and not allow her to bully over him. Jim is disgusted by his father’s subjection to his wife and in this state, Jim’s father cannot give his son advise on how to make a decision based honor or stand up and be a man. Out of frustration and anger, Jim attacks his father because he cannot get a direct and respected answer from his father. Jim needs guidance from his family because he does not want to be a chicken, a man who cannot face the other teens with honor....   [tags: teenagers, family, ideal image]

Strong Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)

Rebel Without A Cause By James Dean Essay

- In the movie Rebel Without a Cause, the characters portray many characteristics of a teenager living in the Atomic Age post World War II as well as modern day society; with little guidance it appears the youth of America feels lost and alone. This movie was released in 1955 and was recorded in California. This was the last film that James Dean ever starred in; which was a devastating blow to such a blossoming young man’s career and superstardom. Life in the 1950’s was a time of prosperity for the United States of America....   [tags: World War II, United States, Bullying, Cold War]

Strong Essays
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Death of a Rebel Essay

- Aristotlean tragic heroes are defined by their fame and by their personal flaw which cause their own downfall. This is still true today as many influential people have cause their own demise due to their own personality flaws. James Dean is an excellent example of a contemporary tragic hero. (See Thesis) Born February 8th, in Fairmount, Indiana to Winston Dean and Mildred Wilson, James Dean quickly became a rambunctious toddler (They Died 26). All was perfect in his world until in 1940 his mother lost her battle with cancer when James was only nine years old (Encyclopedia n.p.)....   [tags: Biography]

Strong Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

1950's Movie Essay: Rebel Without A Cause

- 1950s Movie Essay: Rebel Without A Cause Introduction Rebel Without A Cause is a very popular film from 1955. It depicts life in the 1950's from the viewpoint of three teenagers who live in Los Angeles, California. They live in a comfortable environment in middle-class America. However, they must deal with their own inabilities to "fit" into society. The teens try to fit in with their peers and find the love they so desperately need from their families and others like their peers. The biases presented in the film's are based on cultural values form the 1950s....   [tags: Movies Film]

Strong Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)

Rebel W/out A Cause Essay

- REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE Rebel Without A Cause is a movie about three troubled, identity-seeking teenagers alienated from the world of their parents (Jim Stark, Judy, and Plato). Each of the movie’s main characters is searching for understanding, companionship, and a sense of belonging, much like most of the teenagers today. Even thought the movie is dated, it depicts the main problems and concerns that teens currently face. This film offers no answers. It merely presents the problems and the viewer is left to ponder how they'll turn out....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
884 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Teenage Self Conflicts

- During the adolescent stage of life, Hamlet and Rebel without a Cause show examples of how both Hamlet and Jim are being pulled in conflicting directions by two compelling desires. Both pieces help to give an understanding to the audience of the teenager under the dilemmas of self- conflict. Both pieces give evidence of goes in on the inside of the teenage brain as the teen feels a struggle with himself over a conflict, especially when the parents attempt to give help. Throughout the film and text, it can be seen that teens are harshly affected by the dilemmas of conflict, which is only amplified through the parents’ attempted guidance over the teenagers....   [tags: Hamlet, Rebel without a Cause]

Strong Essays
662 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on The Sounds of "Rebel Without a Cause"

- Director Nicholas Ray was lucky to have a talented composer create an original score for Rebel Without A Cause. Leonard Rosenman was born in 1924 and studied music in New York and Europe. His work as a film composer and arranger is very traditional, and has been regarded by some music critics as "insignificant." However, Rosenman received Academy Awards and Oscar nominations for his work. Along with film scores, Rosenman wrote theme music and scores for numerous television shows. The score in Rebel Without A Cause is much like another film starring James Dean, East of Eden....   [tags: Film]

Strong Essays
913 words (2.6 pages)

`` Rebel Without A Cause `` Essay

- As young adults we crave independence. We get tired of our parents telling us what to do, and always look forward to the day when we no longer have to rely on them. We want our freedom, but we never stop to think what life would be like if we had it. In the 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause, we see a character named Plato living with that freedom. Not by choice, but by his neglectful parents. He gives us a taste of how life without parental control can be damaging to one’s self being, and the absence of parental love and authority can have us seeking the attention we desire in unethical ways....   [tags: Love, Mother, Father, Want]

Strong Essays
1714 words (4.9 pages)

What is the Cause of Teen Violence Essay

- "Teen violence refers to harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood" (Teen Violence). As generations continue to pass, the issue of teen violence remains. Why do kids act the way they do. What factors into their violent behavior. Questions like these do not have straight answers; instead, they seek out people's differing opinions. John Leo, Mike Males, Gloria Steinem, Charlie James, Chuck Shelton, Annette Fuentes, and James Garbarino share their opinions about the controversy of teen violence through newspaper and magazine articles....   [tags: Teen Violence, Harmful Behaviors, Young Adulthood]

Strong Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)