A Screening of the classic 1955 blockbuster Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, and Dennis Hopper will be presented on Thursday, October 5 at 7 p.m. in the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room. The legendary film, which made James Dean an overnight sensation, will be introduced by actor Dean Ghaffari, a South Pasadena resident, in the persona of Sal Mineo.
Dean Ghaffari is the writer and performer of the virtuoso one-man show Rebel With a Cause: The Sal Mineo Story that recently enjoyed a two week run at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. In 2014, Ghaffari performed as Mineo at the South Pasadena Library where he received a prolonged standing ovation by the enthusiastic full house audience. Ghaffari brings to life Sal Mineo and a host of characters instrumental in his journey in a historical backstage view of one of America’s misunderstood actors from the golden age, and gay icon. Sal Mineo is best remembered for his portrayal of Plato alongside James Dean in the class Rebel Without a Cause, a two-time Oscar-nominated actor, a gold record-selling pop singer and a trailblazing figure for gay rights before his life was tragically cut short.
In Rebel Without a Cause, Mineo perfectly complemented Natalie Wood and James Dean in the landmark film that helped give American teenagers a much greater cultural identity in the Fifties. The talents of Mineo were brilliantly showcased in the most unforgettable scene of the film, the knife fight at Griffith Park Observatory. That scene gave the observatory immediate international recognition as a symbol of the City of Los Angeles.
In 1955 Natalie Wood was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and Sal Mineo was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for their powerful portrayals in Rebel Without a Cause. Mineo was the first teenager nominated for an Emmy and an Oscar in the same year. Natalie Wood went on to become one of most popular actresses in the world for several decades and James Dean became a timeless cultural hero, even though he died tragically after only three films.
Rebel Without a Cause opened the door for youth oriented films that has continued to widen ever since. The film has permanently attained iconic status and James Dean was recently honored with the installation of a bust on the west end of the Griffith Park Observatory. The movie’s most famous scene shot at the Griffith Park Observatory was also used in the 2016 blockbuster LA LA Land.
The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and no tickets or reservations are necessary. Refreshments will be served. The free event is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library.