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Rebel Without A Cause at IMA Summer Nights Film Series

The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Nights Film Series continues Friday, June 11, 2010 with Rebel Without A Cause, starring Hoosier native James Dean. This Indianapolis art event gets underway at 6:00 for members of the IMA and 6:30 for nonmembers. Tickets to the IMA Summer Nights Film Series are $10.00 for Indianapolis people and $5.00 for members of this Indianapolis art museum. Pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful outdoor setting of the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s amphitheatre near the Indianapolis Canal Walk, north of Indianapolis downtown. Don’t miss this classic 1955 film starring perhaps the sexiest man ever to live.

Directed by Nicholas Ray, Rebel Without A Cause tells the story of one rebellious teenagers struggle to find his way in a small town. Released in 1955, it was an attempt to portray the moral decay of American youth, critique parental style and exploit the differences between generations. The film gets its title from the 1944 book by Robert M. Lindner, though it shares only part of the novel’s title: Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath. However, the film carries no other reference to Lindner’s work.

James “Jim” Stark is the seventeen year old protagonist of Rebel Without A Cause. After his parents move him and their family to Los Angeles, he enrolls in a new school. The film begins with Jim being dragged into a police station for public drunkenness. When his family arrives to take him home, his situation is made clear. With parents that fight frequently, most often about Jim himself, it seems he is caught between two people who cannot agree how to raise a child.

Though he tries to fit in with other kids at school, Jim finds himself entangled with the school bully Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen). Jim is, however, able to befriend a fifteen year old, Plato (Sal Mineo), with a twisted brain, but who can relate to Jim’s problematic parents. When Jim meets Judy (Natalie Wood), he recognizes her from his evening at the police station. As part of Buzz Gunderson’s gang, she is off limits to him.

His conflicts with Buzz and his lackeys continue to escalate throughout the film. But when Buzz challenges Jim to a game of chicken, things don’t work out very well for him, as he (and his car) go over a cliff. Buzz’s gang will stop at nothing to revenge their leader’s death, putting Jim on the run with some help from Plato and Judy.

Video: Rebel Without A Cause at the IMA’s Summer Nights Film Series, Indianapolis, Indiana


The film skyrocketed the careers of the young stars featured in Rebel Without A Cause including James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Nick Adams and Dennis Hopper. Their powerful performances hit a chord with young people at the time, causing many studios to follow in the path of “troubled youth films” through the 1950s and 1960s. Many regard Rebel Without A Cause to be James Dean’s best film in his short lived career. It opened only a month after Dean’s fatal car crash.

In 1990, the United States Library of Congress adopted the film into the National Film Registry, citing it as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” To this day it is considered a classic of American film history.

Don’t miss this exciting Summer event. The movies are shown in the gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre on the ground of the IMA, facing the 100 Acres: Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. Doors open at 6:00 pm to members of the IMA and 6:30 pm to the public. The film begins at sunset.

Enjoy a full barbecue with cash bar before the Summer Nights Film Series for only $30.00 ($25.00 for members of this Indianapolis art museum). Barbecue tickets for kids at seven to ten are $19.00 for the public and $15.00 for members. For kids age four to six, tickets are $10.00. On the menu are freshly grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, black bean burger and a variety of summer salads and treats. Barbecue starts at 6:00 pm.

After the film head to the nearby Indianapolis cultural districtBroad Ripple Village, for cocktails from any of these Indianapolis restaurants or Indianapolis bars. Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City Finder.com for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis arts to Indianapolis sports and everything in between. Get out in Indy and find some fun! Make the Circle City your playground!

Rebel Without A Cause
IMA Summer Nights Film Series
Friday, June 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Indianapolis Museum of Art
4000 Michigan Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317.923.1331
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