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Movie Release : The Hay 's Code

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It’s impossible to properly dissect the portrayal of queer stories in Rebel Without a Cause without talking about the biggest form of cinematic censorship at the time of the movie release: The Hay’s Code. Films were highly censored ever since the birth of the industry. During the Great Depression, homosexuality was seen as a threat to masculinity especially because men were having a more difficult time being breadwinners (Mislak). Throughout history, the rules only got stricter and positive depictions of homosexuality were almost unheard of. But that didn’t stop directors, producers, and writers from showing gay characters all together. Instead, they found other ways of portraying gay characters by painting them as villains (Mislak). But…show more content…
When Judy asks about Jim, Plato tells her that they’re best friends and even knows little details about him like his nickname “Jamie”. But we later learn that Plato and Jim have only known really each other for less than a day. When Jim offers him his iconic red bomber jacket for Plato’s gun, Plato without hesitation takes the offer and hugs the jacket. We see him having a moment with the jacket, putting it to his face on it and caressing it. Though he fails numerous times, Plato demonstrates desires to defend Jim from Buzz. He also takes on the role of the quintessential female counterpart watching his man in the sidelines in a “sword fight” at the planetarium with a face full of fear and worry. Yet, it is never explicitly revealed to us if he’s actually gay. There were also a handful of moments in the film where the dividing line between Plato’s desire for a paternal figure and his homosexual desires for Jim were cloudy. He also never explicitly professes his feelings for Jim in the film. Although Plato’s homosexuality was clear and unquestionable, it’s done skillfully without having to explicitly mention about it. His homosexuality is only revealed when reading between the lines of the script.
There is also a bit of phallic imagery in the film. Plato is first shown at the juvenile division at the police department having issues with his gun, shooting a litter of puppies with it. Towards the end of the film, Plato’s gun is what ultimately
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