Marlon Brando Screen Tests for Rebel Without A Cause (1947)

Dur­ing the 1940s, Warn­er Broth­ers bought the rights to Robert Lind­ner’s book, Rebel With­out a Cause: The Hyp­no­analy­sis of a Crim­i­nal Psy­chopath, and began turn­ing it into a film. A par­tial script was writ­ten, and a 23-year old Mar­lon Bran­do was asked to do a five-minute screen test in 1947. For what­ev­er rea­son, the stu­dio aban­doned the orig­i­nal project, and even­tu­al­ly revived it eight years lat­er with a new script and a new actor — James Dean, of course. Dean’s own screen test for Rebel With­out a Cause appears here.

Down the road, you can find the Bran­do clip in our col­lec­tion of 275 Cul­tur­al Icons, which fea­tures great thinkers and artists appear­ing in orig­i­nal video & audio. Tol­stoy, Sal­vador Dali, Geor­gia O’Ke­effe, they’re all part of the mix.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The God­fa­ther With­out Bran­do?: It Almost Hap­pened

The James Dean Sto­ry by Robert Alt­man (Com­plete Film)

Paul New­man and James Dean Screen­test for East of Eden

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