...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next set of magnets is from the fridge of my brother-in-law and his wife.

My brother-in-law and his wife have a dog that looks like Toto.

* NEW *

Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.

I'm gone--but you guys chat amongst yourselves, please!


I'm a Stranger Here Myself

Bill Bryson

I enjoyed his Australia book so much, I decided to try the one about this country.


Rebel without a Cause

and lots of Animal Planet

That's it for today!


27 May 2001

There are those movies that I saw in my youth, which Iíve seen several times, which have become classics, and which, when I actually sit down to watch them closely, I realize that I never really remembered at all.

I sat and watched Rebel Without a Cause today. I think I watched it because James Dean was Daveís favorite actor (and in an odd twist of irony, they both died in automobile accidents at the age of 24).

I know Iíve watched at this movie many times over the years, but never really sat down and gave it my attention. I saw a lot of different things in it.

In the opening scenes in the police station, one officer, Ray Fremick (played by Ed Platt, better known as the Chief in "Get Smart") seems to be the only person who really listens to the kids. A lot of latter-day child psychology involved here, as Natalie Wood agonizes over her fatherís change of attitude toward her, and James Dean gets angry at his weak father and his overbearing mother and controlling grandmother. Platt says all the right things to draw the kids out and the issues we hear work today.

Iíd never noticed the obvious homosexual issue with Sal Mineo, who has a picture of Alan Ladd in his locker, and who is obviously smitten with James Dean (was there I time when I was so naive I missed this?)

This was an age when (some) boys wore suits and ties to school. I snickered at that, comparing the age to what I see parading past our house. Each age has its own statement, I guess. Iím trying to figure out what statement is made by pants that hang down so low that youíre walking on the wide bottoms all the time, but Iím an old fart and who am I to criticize.

The relationship with the kids and their parents in Rebel is so sad. Natalie Woodís father is so hung up on her blossoming sexuality that he canít stand to show her any affection and gets angry with her for being who she is. Sheís shut out while Dad hugs and plays with her younger brother, the way he used to do with her.

Deanís father is such a wimp he will neither discipline his son, stand up to his wife or make waves anywhere. Itís killing his son who has no sense of direction.

Mineoís father is gone and his mother has left him in the care of a caretaker while she goes off--we never discover where. He desperately wants a family, so he creates one by adopting Wood and Dean briefly later in the movie.

The movie begins to lose credibility about the time that Buzzís car goes over the cliff. Thereís been all that establishment of male superiority and the two guys decide to play chicken with the cars. Buzzís jacket gets caught on the handle of the door and he canít roll out, so his car goes over the cliff.

Does anybody panic? Does anybody get upset? Nope. They all look over the cliff and then without a word, they get into their cars and leave. Natalie Wood, who has been Buzzís girlfriend somehow manages to get home, but immediately attaches herself to Dean, whom she professes to love within hours after she loses Buzz. No tears. No nothing.

The kids decide they have to get away, so they break into a mansion. Mineo finds them and there is a nice little business of the three of them building their own family unit. But then Mineo shoots one of the guys who comes looking for Dean, thinking heís gone to the police about the accident.

To get away from the gang, Mineo breaks into the Griffith Observatory by breaking one pane of glass, reaching inside and opening the door. Yeah. Right. Try that today!

In the end, the police find the kids, thinking Mineo is armed, they shoot and kill him. An ambulance just happens to be on the scene while theyíre trying to get him to come out of the observatory. (would that be premeditated murder?)

And after theyíve loaded Mineoís body into the ambulance, everybody gets into the cars and drives off, leaving the guy whoís arriving to open up the observatory walking up the road to the door, no explanations offered by the police. Huh?

OK. Itís suspension of disbelief and thatís not the purpose of the movie, but those things kind of hit me while I was watching it.

I also had the sad realization that all three stars of this classic film died premature tragic deaths.

Iím not sure why the movie hit me so strongly yesterday. It just did. Itís been a long time since I sat down and actually watched a movie.

One Year Ago:
The funny side of death

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can be found at
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Created 5/27/01 by Bev Sykes