Wednesday, August 18, 2010
30 Before 30: Item 14, Part 1
I've seen a few "Classic" films in my day. Grew up watching Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Ben Hur and The Quiet Man to name a few. Of course I've seen a lot of the 80's classics like Sixteen Candles, Can't Buy Me Love, Christmas Vacation (best movie ever!), and Back to the Future.
However, aside from Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's and a handful Christmas movies (White Christmas, Holiday Inn, etc), I haven't seen many of the real old "Classiscs." I'm talking Jimmy Stewart, James Dean, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn super-movies that have shaped the cinematic world we live in today. And so, with quite a long introduction, I added Watch 5 "Classic" Movies to my 30 Before 30 list as Item 14.
The first film on the line-up was the James Dean & Natalie Wood classic, Rebel Without a Cause. I immediately fell in love with the movie during the opening credits when a drunken James Dean lied on the ground to play with one of those cymbal-banging monkey toys. And my heart swelled even further when he looked at the camera with those crystal blue, twinkling eyes that held the oh-so-heavy weight of teenage angst.
Telling the story of 17-year old misfit, Jim Stark, who is looking for a new start in a new town, Rebel Without A Cause depicts him finding the right girl, Judy, who naturally runs with the wrong crowd and the resulting action-packed battle. Filmed in 1955, I've read that the movie was meant to capture the moral decline of American teenagers and the generational gab between them and their parents....it apparently caused quite a stir for the time. For me, the 1 hour and 51 minutes flew by as I ached for Jim while he overcame his home, school and emotional problems. In addition, thanks to digital remastering, I truly could not believe I was watching a movie that was 55 years old.
I'm a sucker for romantic movies (what girl doesn't love a good ro-co?) and the movie followed the typical love storyline of significant/traumatic event, silly behavior, the first kiss (usually in a unique setting) and the moment the characters realize they've fallen in love. And, as classic movies often do, it left a few loose ends dangling that we can just assume worked themselves out.
Overall, in my non-professional, totally girly, and now James Dean-obsessed opinion, the movie was amazing! I recommend watching it to anyone who hasn't see it yet (even the spouse really liked it!) and let me know what you think as soon as you see it.
I'm excited to see the next classic film on my list....Some Like It Hot.