The Rebel Hollywood Cinema Essay

1879 words - 8 pages

Thesis Statement It is my thesis statement that the male rebel in Hollywood cinema will perform well as an individual and in society as long as in the end he conforms to particular social and cultural norms. To elaborate, the male rebel is allowed to be rebellious in certain aspects of his character as long as at the end of the film he is seen to have tempered this wild manner with a socially acceptable and good characteristic. To illustrate this thesis statement I would like to draw on two movies. The first is Rebel Without a Cause (1955), directed by Nicholas Ray and starring James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. The second film is Get Shorty (1995) John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito (Rebel).Summary of Films I will begin this essay by giving a brief summary of both films. Rebel Without a Cause is a tale about a teenager named Jim Stark played by James Dean, who has been moved from town to town by his family because of his tendency to get in trouble. Jim, a misunderstood and rebellious adolescent, meets two other characters with similar issues Judy and Plato. Jim gets into trouble through-out the plot line in circumstances such as knife fights and chickie runs. It is ultimately through this chickie run that Jim, Judy and Plato form a close bond. In the end, the three form a pretend family and seem to live idyllically happy in an abandoned mansion. The conclusion of the film sees Plato die and Jim and Judy forming a loving and mature relationship.Get Shorty which was filmed 50 years after Rebel Without a Cause, is about a mobster Chili Palmer, who goes to Hollywood to collect an outstanding debt for his boss. While there he is seduced by the movie business, finding that his skills as a shylock are useful in movie producing. While in Hollywood Chili seamlessly assimilates himself into the Hollywood scene, joining up with characters such as Harry Zimm, a producer, Karen Flore, a beautiful actress and Martin Weir an ego ridden actor to produce movies. In the conclusion Chili is successful in producing his movie, winning the lady and the respect of Hollywood.Rebels To Society Both Chili Palmer and Jim Stark are portrayed in their respective movies to be rebels both in character and to society. It is important to note here that the characters Chili and Jim are not stock rebel characters. Rather they are intricate and dynamic in their own manners. The character Jim Stark rebels internally against his feelings of abandonment and lack of understanding from his parents. His mother is a domineering and self-centered woman who is constantly picking on Jim's father, he in turn is essentially emasculinated by her, a weak and unsubstantial man (Gateward 27). Through witnessing his father's weakness Jim strives towards what he sees as manly behavior (Gateward 27). His character epitomizes the loneliness, frustration and rebellious anger so often felt in teenagers. He also struggles with his peers as he is conflicted between conforming to...

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