- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Interesting thematic exploration
Touches on themes of loveless marriage, alienation of family in pursuit of success, the generation gap and how powerful people can throw around their influence. I say touches upon because it doesn't dig too deeply into any one of these themes. This limited ambition, combined with a too-neat and truncated-feeling ending, prevents this from being a great movie. However, there are signs of Mr. Frankenheimer's future greatness.
Rebel with a Cause
- Jarrod McDonald
The film reminds me of those afterschool specials that became so popular a few decades later on network television. 'The Young Stranger' is definitely a message movie. What makes this one work is that the conflicts are genuine and real, and it's handled in a very low-key manner. I like the fact that it tells the story of an upper-class family...it's not over-the-top and does not portray stereotypes. It is not a rip-off of 'Rebel without a Cause,' because this boy does have a cause, and that is for people to believe he's telling the truth. James MacArthur, as the troubled youth, is very good in his first leading role in a feature film. Another thing I gained from watching this: you don't need to have crackling dialogue; fast-paced action; or lavish sets and costumes to tell an interesting story on film. The scene where the boy tricks his mom at the traffic light and takes off without her was very fascinating to watch; and so was the scene with the boys mowing grass. It really held my attention and made me think about a lot of things.
No-fault divorce was illegal in 1957
Interesting depiction of dysfunctional American success in the "burbs" -- 50's-style! Stronger families succumbed to annihilation once no-fault divorce became legal. Materialism-driven success is the opium that controls this family. Fortunately: Some grandparents' half-baked efforts come seeping through the trite events and the characters realize they're still human! Egads! They can even inter-relate out of genuine instinct! [The tinman of oz hasn't yet cast his hollow spell upon these boomers...]
The acting was very good. The theme of of a teenager attempting to defend himself afrer being physically handled by an adult is so common. Unfortunately, the result of the teenager being identified as the trouble-maker and not believed by those significant in his life is also common. I wish that I could purchase a copy to use as a teaching tool. Sometimes it is good to have movies updated and remade. I would love to see this modernized a bit, but afraid that today's directors and actors would take it over the top.