Jim Stark ( James Dean ) is a rebellious boy who quickly gets into trouble. His parents prefer to go to a new city rather than to talk with their son. His father is a weakling and his mother has only contempt for him. In Los Angeles, Jim now wants to change his behavior. Nevertheless, he gets into an argument with other young people. The girlfriend of the leader is Jim’s neighbor, Judy ( Natalie Wood ), who feels a certain affection towards him. Jim finally appeals to the lonely boy Plato ( Sal Mineo ). For the gang, this is another reason to joke about Jim and they challenge him to a dangerous car race.
Background & info
James Dean is wearing a white T-shirt. After the move was released the T-shirt sales in the USA increased enormously. The empty pool, where Jim, Judy and Plato discuss their lives, is the same pool seen in the movie Sunset Boulevard – Boulevard of Dawn .
The film was nominated for three Oscars in the categories best supporting actor, best supporting actress and best screenplay. All three main characters died under tragic circumstances. James Dean died in a car accident the same year. He never saw the finished movie. Sal Mineo was stabbed in 1976 and Natalie Wood drowned in 1981.