What Makes “Rebel Without A Cause” Such A Gay Classic?

"Hey, you want to come home with me? I mean, there's nobody home at my house, and heck, I'm not tired."

When it was released in 1955, Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause wasn’t just a defining depiction of teen angst in post-war America, it was a instant gay classic.

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Critics call the relationship between James Dean’s rebellious Jim Stark and Sal Mineo’s lonely Plato the first to depict gay desire in a mainstream Hollywood film. As Judy, Natalie Wood played one of filmdom’s first fag hags

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Of course, it was mostly under the radar—unconscious even. The Motion Picture Production Code was still in effect, banning over depictions of LGBT themes.

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But do you know many straight teens who have photos of Alan Ladd in their lockers? Or tell their hunky best friend they love them?

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Below, the hosts of Logo’s Cocktails and Classics decode the film’s many gay elements.

 

 

 
Watch Cocktails and Classics: Rebel Without A Cause, July 24 at 8/7c on Logo. And enjoy it with a delicious “Stark and Stormy”—get the recipe below!

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Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery