Well, I guess there’s really only one thing to discuss for 1955 — James Dean.
Not necessarily Dean himself, though he did have an amazing, brief career, with three all-time classics as his only features in which he starred. We need to talk about both what he represents — method acting, the teen culture of the 50s — and also how it relates to the big cultural film of the year: Rebel Without a Cause.
The 50s started to represent a societal disconnect between adults and teenagers. This was the first time the term generational gap became a thing. Here you have adults that were raised on wholesomeness and here are these teens that are listening to rock ‘n’ roll, smoking cigarettes and all this other stuff. The disconnect between parents and children would be a major theme of the next few years. You can’t discuss 1955 without James Dean and the generational gap being front and center.
Outside of that, there are some real classics we’re gonna talk about here. There are heavy hitters all over the board, across every genre. (more…)