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Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Episode 77th October 2023 • Film Trace • Film Trace
00:00:00 01:03:56

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In the final episode of our Set in the 1950s cycle, we cover two classics, Cool Hand Luke and Rebel Without a Cause.

We have come to the end of our 1950s cycle, and we are struggling to find a thread that weaves through all of these films. The films we covered all use the 1950s in different ways: set dressing, pastiche base layer, dreamscape, hommage, coming of age background. Each film is a creative outcome of the lived reality of its source decade. Cool Hand Luke feels like a New Hollywood film. It is filled with rebellion and American Existentialism. Rebel Without a Cause, the only film we selected that was made in the 1950s, feels vibrant and raw. Its messiness a sign of authenticity. Perhaps one theme that reoccurred through these films is one of rebellion. Rebellion against some amorphous authority: moral, masculine, or otherwise. Indeed, the 1950s has always been seen as a decade of normalcy and Pax Americana. Each of these films counter examines the assumptions we have collectively made about the years of peace and plenty.

The next season of Film Trace is coming soon: Future Wars.