How did Jules Dassin use this film to help break the blacklist? Are the criminal protagonists here easy to like? How do they so effectively amp up the tension in the robbery? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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Possibly James Dean’s most iconic role, Rebel Without a Cause hit theaters in the fall of 1955 – less than a month after Dean’s tragic car crash that took his life – and immediately found its audience. The movie was a success, thanks in a large part to all of the teens that connected with the characters and the story, seeing more of themselves on-screen than they had before. Dean’s death made the film something to talk about, but the fact that the film had something to say too has made it a classic. Join us as we continue our James Dean series with Nicholas Ray’s 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause.

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James Dean was the lead in only three films released in 1955 and 1956. He died tragically in a car crash on September 30th, 1955, only ever getting to see one of his three films finished. What he never got to see is how the performances he gave in those three films left an indelible impression on cinema, creating a voice for teenagers of the day and a cult icon for decades since. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we look back at James Dean’s career, kicking it off with Elia Kazan’s 1955 film East of Eden.

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Alec Guinness’s Professor Marcus really meets his match with Katie Johnson’s Mrs. Wilberforce in Alexander Mackendrick’s 1955 Ealing Studios comedy “The Ladykillers,” what some call the last great comedy from the studio. Where he plots and schemes to rob a bank truck, she makes tea and makes sure her guests act like gentlemen – even when those men are thieves. It’s a great premise for this film, and one that makes at least half of us on the show laugh. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Sir Alec Guinness series with “The Ladykillers.”

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Charles Laughton is most known for his larger than life performances in films from the 30s through the 60s, but he did have one chance to direct which came in the form of 1955’s The Night of the Hunter, a film he also co-wrote with James Agee based on the novel by Davis Grubb. Unfortunately for him, the film was a huge flop. Luckily for us, this quirky anomaly of a film has not only survived but has thrived — it is now critically praised and generally considered to be a classic film.

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After writing his teleplay for “Marty,” it wasn’t long before Hollywood asked Paddy Chayefsky to adapt his script for a feature film. And it’s a good thing he did too — he won his first Oscar for his screenplay. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish our Paddy Chayefsky series with Delbert Mann’s 1955 film “Marty.”

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays, movie nerds! Tonight, in the spirit of the season, we talk about Michael Curtiz’s curious gem of a Christmas comedy from 1955, “We’re No Angels.”

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