Rebel Without A Cause, 1955

Director

Nicholas Ray

Cast



visit the film locations

Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, in Griffith Park (tel: 323.664.1181)

Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour, 3400 Riverside Drive, Burbank (tel: 818.972.8687)


Trivia

Griffith Observatory is a movie star in its own right. It's the spot at which Arnold Schwarzenegger materialises in The Terminator, with the fantastic night-time views across the city. Its sleek deco lines can also be seen in the spoofy 80s film of Dragnet (with Tom Hanks), cultish musical Earth Girls are Easy, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy satire Bowfinger, the remake of The House on Haunted Hill, and even sneaks its way into LA Confidential, perched on the hillside above Pierce Patchett’s luxurious home.

Rebel Without a Cause location: Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Rebel Without a Cause location: The school trip and the climactic shoot-out: Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

The angst-ridden teen has become such a familiar archetype that it's hard to imagine the impact of the original. Rebel Without a Cause began as a black-and-white, academy-radio (4:3) picture, but the revolution in cinema brought about by the threat of television meant the original footage was scrapped and production started over in magnificent widescreen and colour.

It was shot around Los Angeles, and you can still see the film's ‘police station’ on the Warners' Burbank lot, if you take the Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour.

Rebel Without a Cause location: Santa Monica High School, Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Rebel Without a Cause location: Jim Stark's high school: Santa Monica High School, Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

‘Dawson High’, the new school of the original angst-ridden teen Jim Stark (James Dean), at ‘University and 10th’ is actually Santa Monica High School, 601 Pico Boulevard at 4th Street, Santa Monica (seen more recently as ‘Hayden High School’ in teen comedy 17 Again), though some interiors were shot at John Marshall High School, 3939 Tracy Street, Los Feliz.

Marshall High, apart from being the old school of Leonardo DiCaprio, has featured in lots of movies, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Like Father Like Son, A Nightmare on Elm Street and fifties teen drama The Young Stranger.

The mansion, in which Jim, Plato (Sal Mineo) and Judy (Natalie Wood) play house, was also featured in Sunset Boulevard, and it stood at 641 Irving Boulevard at Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles.

Two years after Rebel was filmed, it was demolished.

The planetarium visited by the schoolkids, and the site of the final shootout, is the Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, in Griffith Park.

Rebel Without a Cause location: Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Rebel Without a Cause location: The school trip and the climactic shoot-out: Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

The film put the observatory firmly on the map, and there’s now a bust of Dean in the grounds. Other films featuring the Observatory include the Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy Hollywood satire Bowfinger; stylish 1995 neo-noir Devil In A Blue Dress, with Denzel Washington; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; the spoofy 1987 film of Dragnet – with Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd; The Rocketeer; and, of course, The Terminator.

It even became a Los Angeles nightclub in Julien Temple’s Earth Girls Are Easy.

Coincidentally, James Dean’s first professional acting job was a Coca Cola commercial filmed in Griffith Park.

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