South Pasadena Library continued it’s string of fantastic events Thursday evening with a screening of the classic film Rebel Without A Cause. Actor Dean Ghaffari, who does a one-man show as Sal Mineo, thrilled the gathered audience with a performance of a portion of the show as an introduction to the film. Sal Mineo played the pivotal role of Plato in Rebel when he was only 16 years old and it obviously changed his life. He idolized James Dean and through the filming became close to him only to be devastated by his death just as the film premiered.
Ghaffari set the tone beautifully, walking in as an older Sal Mineo reminiscing about meeting Dean for the first time, auditioning with him and then shooting the film. He re-enacted the moment he found out about Dean’s fatal car crash and then cut to an older Mineo talking about how actors never die. He put his 70’s sunglasses on, took a drag on a cigarette, slowly walked off stage to thunderous applause as the screen flashed the opening credits to Rebel Without A Cause.
What a fantastic film to re-visit; the film that put teenagers front and center, with three gorgeous movie stars at their pinnacle; James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. From the first scene it’s obvious why they were stars. The stunning beauty. The charisma, in all their Technicolor glory. The audience ranged in age from teenagers up to folks in their seventies for whom this was their era. It was a terrific night of a bit of theatre and an iconic film.
The next film night will be Thursday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. featuring a Halloween-time screening of “Damien: Omen 2”, starring Lee Grant and South Pasadena’s William Holden (1918-1981). Holden was one of the biggest box office stars of the 1950s through the 1970s and the film is considered to be one of the best horror film sequels ever. The very special introduction will be made by extraordinary actress Stefanie Powers, the Executive Director of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation.