Restoring with a Cause

5 Nov 2013 - By TW Staff

(Above: Leonardo DiCaprio opens the worldwide premiere of the newly restored Rebel Without a Cause).

Last Friday, Warner Bros.' iconic 1955 drama Rebel Without a Cause returned to the screen for its world premiere as a newly restored 4k digital film.

The restoration project was spearheaded by Martin Scorsese's The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Foundation, Gucci and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The film was restored from its original camera negative – which sustained heavy physical damage due to the movie's popularity and large number of theatrical re-releases – at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging to correct and enhance features such as color imagery.

A scene from Rebel Without a Cause

A scene from Rebel Without a Cause

Directed by Nicholas Ray, Rebel Without a Cause tells the story of a troubled teen (played by James Dean) who moves to a new town and quickly becomes enemies with a local high school gang.

“Nearly sixty years after his tragic death, James Dean remains an icon and a timeless cult favorite. Rebel Without a Cause represents one of the most influential performances in movie history and even today still makes a powerful impact. We are very proud to be working with all our partners on this historic restoration,” said Jeff Baker, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s (WBHE)  Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, in the announcement. WBHE has included the new Rebel restoration in their recent Blu-Ray debut of the James Dean Ultimate Collector’s EditionThe set  also contains Elia Kazan’s East of Eden and the George Stevens' production of Giant, both of which were also restored and remastered.

The premiere, which was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Bing Theater, opened with an introduction by  Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio was also the co-chair of LACMA's third annual Art+Film Gala the following evening, which honored Martin Scorsese and David Hockney.

To learn more about the film restoration process, click here.

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Gucci