rebel vintage

The character of Plato in Rebel Without A Cause (1955) was supposed to be subtly but definitely understood as gay. Although the Production Code was still very much in force and forbade any mention of homosexuality, director Nicholas Ray, co-star James Dean and the actor who played Plato, Sal Mineo, all worked together to insert restrained references to Plato’s homosexuality and attraction to Jim, including the pinup photo of Alan Ladd on Plato’s locker door, Plato’s adoring looks at Jim, his loaded talk with Jim in the old mansion, and even the name “Plato,” which is a reference to the Classical Greek philosopher. For that mansion scene, Dean suggested to Mineo that Plato should “look at me the way I look at Natalie.” (x)