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About The Book

The complete story behind the groundbreaking film Rebel Without a Cause is vividly revealed in this fascinating book as provocative as the film itself.

The revolutionary film Rebel Without a Cause has had a profound impact on both moviemaking and youth culture since its 1955 release, virtually giving birth to our concept of the American teenager. And the making of the movie was just as explosive for those involved. Against a backdrop of the Atomic Age and an old Hollywood studio system on the verge of collapse, four of Hollywood's most passionate artists had a cataclysmic and immensely influential meeting.

James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, and director Nicholas Ray were each at a crucial point in their careers. The young actors were grappling with their fame, burgeoning sexuality, and increasingly reckless behavior, and their on- and off-set relationships ignited as they engaged in Ray’s vision of physical melees and psychosexual seductions of startling intensity.

Through interviews with the surviving members of the cast and crew and firsthand access to both personal and studio archives, the authors reveal Rebel's true drama: the director’s affair with sixteen-year-old Wood, his tempestuous “spiritual marriage” with Dean, and his role in awakening the latent sexuality of Mineo, who would become the first gay teenager to appear on film.

This searing account of the upheaval the four artists experienced in the wake of Rebel is complete with thirty photographs, including ten never-before-seen photos by famed Dean photographer Dennis Stock.

About The Authors

Photo Credit:

Lawrence Frascella has served as chief movie critic of Us Magazine and theater critic for Entertainment Weekly, as well as an editor at Aperture. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Harper’s Bazaar and Rolling Stone.

Photo Credit:

Al Weisel is a regular contributor to Premiere magazine, a former contributing editor at Us Weekly, and has written for Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Spin, and New York Newsday. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Touchstone (October 4, 2005)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743291187

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Raves and Reviews

"Compulsively readable." -- Chris Fujiwara, The Boston Globe

"Easily the best 'making of' since [Lillian Ross's] Picture, Live Fast, Die Young recounts the tumultuous production of Rebel Without a Cause with scrupulous scholarship." -- David Ehrenstein, The Advocate

"Frascella and Weisel pay determined homage . . . engaging and learned. . . . A passionate depiction of how art can create, inspire, and destroy -- all at the same time." -- Kirkus Reviews

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