Rebel Without a Cause has always hit close to home. I mean, it is pretty much the story of Ch’en’s life..the new kid in town (LA), causing trouble everywhere and now Ch’en needs to prove himself to his peers in switchblade knife fights and “chickie” games in which he pug rockets towards seaside cliffs… I mean it is hard out there for a pug!
Now, I love going to Griffith Observatory. It’s been in dozens of films and Rebel Without a Cause made this location a film landmark. It is absolutely beautiful. You can see pretty much all of LA, and it helps one to appreciate the city…when you’re far away, car is parked, and you’re standing above the smog.
Nathan Rabin from AV Club stated it perfectly; “Los Angeles can feel like an endless expanse of smog-choked traffic jams, sketchy marijuana dispensaries, and massage parlors offering rub and tugs to discreet businessmen. But high above the din and infernal stink of the streets stands Griffith Observatory, an otherworldly haven for dreamers, cinephiles, and star-gazers of all stripes. It earned a permanent place in the pop-culture pantheon for the role it plays in the 1955 youth-gone-wild melodrama Rebel Withuot a Cause. ” Ding Ding Ding!
The 3,000 acres of land surrounding the observatory was actually donated to the City of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith (easy to remember) back in 1896. In Griffith’s will, he donated funds to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and a planetarium on the donated land. He wanted the general public to have access to astronomy equipment during a time when the existing idea was that observatories should be located on remote mountaintops and restricted to scientists. Lame.