Nicholas Ray's moving 1955 tale of teenage romanticism thwarted by an adult world of televisions and atomic bombs established James Dean as America's first underage icon. Dean's alienation is perfectly expressed through Ray's vertiginous mise-en-scene: the suburban LA setting becomes a land of decaying Formica and gothic split-levels. An unmissable film, made with a delirious compassion. With Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Corey Allen, Edward Platt, and Dennis Hopper.
By Dave Kehr