60 years ago today, one of the most iconic cinematic depictions of youthful rebellion and alienation, “Rebel Without a Cause,” opened in theaters.
The film debuted less than a month after the premature death of James Dean (who plays troubled teen Jim Stark in the film) at age 24 in a car accident.
“Rebel Without a Cause” came out at a time when pop culture was fascinated with the juvenile delinquent, though director Nicholas Ray looked not so much to recent films about troubled youths (like 1954″s “The Wild One”). He has said that he strove for a classical tone and that he found major influence in Shakespeare”s “Romeo and Juliet,” which Ray once called “the best play written about ‘juvenile delinquents.””
Other notable October 27 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1947: “You Bet Your Life,” the radio show hosted by Groucho Marx, premiered. It was later a TV show on NBC.
• 1960: Ben E. King recorded his first solo songs, “Stand By Me” and “Spanish Harlem.”
• 1975: Bruce Springsteen was on the cover of both “Time” and “Newsweek,” becoming the first rock star to land both covers in the same week.
• 1982: Prince”s album “1999” was released.
• 1988: “E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial” was released on VHS, with record pre-sales and a shortage in stores that had many lines running outside stores the first day the videocassette was available.
• 1996: “Pop Up Video” premiered on VH1.
• 2000: Following its premiere at Cannes that year, “Requiem for a Dream” opened in U.S. theaters.
Birthdays: “Monty Python” actor John Cleese (turns 76 today), “Life Is Beautiful” writer-director-actor Roberto Benigni (63), “Almost Famous” actor Patrick Fugit (33), “Fashion Police” presenter Kelly Osbourne (31), “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman (69), “About a Boy” TV series actor David Walton (38)