The Last Frontier (1955, USA, Mann)
Westerns are full of frontiersmen and soldiers, but the ones in this movie are among the first that actually feel like the sort of undisciplined, independent men you’d expect to find wandering about in the great American wilderness, and the kind of tough, disciplined murderers you’d expect to find in an army. Watched it all. This is one Mann western that doesn’t feature James Stewart, and it’s better for it.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955, USA)
One way of looking at Rebel is as the first in a proud tradition of dramas about teenagers behaving badly & sadly, (the standard of which today is defined by the UK version of Skins). Another way of looking at it is as the parents of 1955, who grew up during the Depression and the Second World War, might have looked at it: As a story about a generation of ungrateful whiners who wouldn’t have lasted five seconds in the War. I’m not saying that’s the right way of looking at it, but it’s more fun than the usual one, especially the scene where Dean berates his father for not knowing what it means to be a Man. Why, his father probably stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima, and murdered hundreds of Japs with his enormous flame thrower. Watched it before, and again now.
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