The Making Of Rebel Without A Cause

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9780786419760: The Making Of Rebel Without A Cause

This work is a complete history of this classic American film, from idea to script to film. In 1954, troubled director Nicholas Ray chatted at a dinner party about his controversial plan for a film about middle-class juvenile delinquents. He was told of a book, written by a prison psychologist and owned by Warner Bros., called Rebel Without a Cause. Inspired after reading it, Ray began writing his own story. Warner Bros. quickly bought it and hired Ray to direct the film. From the backgrounds of the many players to the pre-production, production, and post-production of the film, the work covers every aspect of Rebel Without a Cause from its rudiments to the 1955 Oscars: the selection of cast and crew, legal fights, preparatory research, changing screenwriters and the many variations of the story, location scouting, auditions, the writing of the score, script readings, difficulties with the censors, romances and fights, shot-by-shot analyses of the directing, editing, screenings, and, of course, its star's death. Dozens of intimate anecdotes fill the work with every detail from wardrobe decisions to James Dean's pranks to the Air Pollution Control Board's opposition to the final car crashes. An epilogue discusses the possible sequels, rights conflicts, documentaries, musicals, and spin-off attempts, and offers concluding words on the cast and crew. Sources include production records, publicity releases, scripts, newspapers, and discussions with Stewart Stern. An appendix offers two unpublished letters from Stewart Stern to Nicholas Ray and to Marcus and Ortense Winslow.

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In 1954, troubled director Nicholas Ray chatted at a dinner party about his controversial plan for a film about middle-class juvenile delinquents. He was told of a book, written by a prison psychologist and owned by Warner Bros., called Rebel Without a Cause. Though he was initially unimpressed, Ray adapted the book into his own screenplay and Warner Bros. hired him to direct what would become a classic. From the backgrounds of the many players to the pre-production, production, and post-production of the film, this complete history recounts every aspect of Rebel Without a Cause from its rudiments to the 1955 Academy Awards: the selection of cast and crew, legal fights, changing screenwriters and the many variations of the story, location scouting, auditions, script readings, difficulties with the censors, romances and fights, the editing, test screenings, and, of course, the death of its star. Dozens of intimate anecdotes, from wardrobe decisions to James Dean's pranks, add rich detail. An epilogue discusses the possible sequels, rights conflicts, documentaries, musicals, and spin-off attempts, and offers concluding words on the cast and crew.

About the Author:

Novelist and reference librarian Douglas L. Rathgeb has published in The Journal of Popular Film and Television, Literature/Film Quarterly, Post Script and the Steinbeck Newsletter. He lives and works in Carmichael, California.

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Douglas L. Rathgeb
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Douglas L. Rathgeb, Stewart Stern (Foreword)
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