Big movie night!
While I made beef stew for my dad and I for dinner--I splurged on some bleu cheese since I like my beef stew over bleu cheese on toast points--I watched Help, the Beatles movie. John Lennon was so dreamy, no? After Help, our friends at public television were showing Rebel Without A Cause. I've read about the movie, but I never saw it before. Vito Russo treated it pretty extensively in his classic The Celluloid Closet.
I was totally unprepared.
It's sort of the bastard love child of Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Lee Strasberg.
With apologies to the late, great Vito Russo, I don't think Sal Mineo's Plato was a homo. However much I'd like to believe that. I think that what Plato wanted was a Dad, not a boyfriend. Still, how touching is it when Plato asks James Dean to stay over night? Awwwww...
Teenagers with switchblades spouting existentialist koans got to be a little much at times. Same with the Master Thespian ACTing going on. But every time it started to get to me, James Dean would take off his shirt, and that made it all okay.
And omigosh! That's Mr. Howell! And that's Maude's housekeeper Florida! And is that Dennis Hopper?
And here we are, teenagers, poised in a moment between oblivion and obliteration, looking to make friends.