With Trisa yesterday, watched Rebel Without a Cause. The director, Nicholas Ray, had a definite agenda to put forth his perhaps not invalid theory about the destructive, dysfunctional relations of the family, and the young person's inability to find the familial solace he or she desperately needs. Sometimes, it worked; the characters' of Jim and Judy's respective parents were intriguing and very believable. Other times, it didn't work--Plato, Jim's tag-along-buddy, with his psychotically tinted need for his dead parents, wasn't very believable or interesting, consequently making his character a little annoying.
But James Dean, as Jim, was a very effective thing. His aura of chaotic, cool vulnerability added a sort of credibility to scenes. You really felt for this guy. The action sequences, particularly the knife fight, were the best parts of the movie because Dean looks like a guy who might get cut. I liked the movie.
Later in the evening, I watched a movie I enjoyed a little bit more; Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace, with Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, and Peter Lorre. No big message with this one, just a screwball comedy about an anti-marriage playwright who gets married (Cary Grant), a psychopath named Jonathon who hates when people point out he looks like Boris Karloff, a fake doctor named Einstein (Peter Lorre), a bugle player who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, and two little old ladies who put Arsenic in the eldeberry wine as a public service, certainly not to murder, and that's why there're twelve bodies in the cellar, of course.