Perfection In Nicholas Ray's Film Rebel Without A Cause

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The idea of perfection is something that people have been striving for since recorded history. For much of time the idea of perfection was to be proper and have good manners. This changes, and it quickly becomes ideal to be a rebel. In Nicholas Ray’s film Rebel Without a Cause (1955) staring James Dean and Richard Thrope’s film Jailhouse Rock (1957) starring Elvis Presley they set this new precedent. Elvis and James dean are two of the most remembered men from the 50’s and they were both regarded as bad boys. They sold sex through their music and through their cigarettes. They perpetuate the concept of the ideal man through these products they are selling as well as through their portrayal of their male and female characters. They also use…show more content…
The enemy being the police lends itself to the bad boy persona that was shown through Rebel Without a Cause as well. Elvis music was already seen as something radical. It had a different style then people were used to not to mention the introduction of the pelvis to mainstream media. So in a sense the recording label in this film represented the entire music world that tried to tell Elvis that he was too sexy or told him to tone it down. Having all of these antagonists’ shows that the two main characters are constantly fighting something and it is always them against the world. This makes them be portrayed as lone wolves. Isolating people is useful to the film companies because if people don’t talk to each other they are much easier to mould into their own image. It also makes them less likely to question as to why they are purchasing the products they are. The struggles against all of the enemies make the bad boy’s procurement of the girl seem all the more triumphant. It makes it look like they had to work hard to get where they are in the world even though it was a matter of circumstances that put them in the position in the first…show more content…
In Rebel Without a Cause Dean’s character is sensitive and he cries. He just wants to be part of a functional family. He doesn’t mean to step on the school crest, he does so on accident. It can’t be called rebellion without the previous knowledge of the rules. In Jailhouse Rock Elvis’ character is never truly happy until he is with Peggy, he needs her just as much as she needs him. He needs her to show him how the music industry works and most importantly he needs her love in order to feel happy. Even with all of this being said the representation of the bad boy still outweighs the good in the protagonist. The core of the film still centers on the characters rebelling against society. The aims if the films Jailhouse Rock and Rebel Without a Cause are to set the precedent of what an ideal man should look like in the 1950s. They do this through means of the characters they portray, what they are selling, and the technical aspects of the films. They say that the ideal man has to rebel against society and be a bad boy. Since James Dean And Elvis Presley are two of the most remembered people from that era toady it is easy to assume that they were looked at as role models by young men across America. It would be intestine to see how these films would change if they were shown today. However, James Dean being portrayed by Justin Beiber and

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