The story is about three teenagers, each from dysfunctional families, longing to find a fatherly figure. One of them has a ?chicken? father, and another has a father who does not accept her. They both have parents while the last one has neither a mother nor a father figure in his life. They find comfort in each other. The death of one of them has an impact on all, especially the two remaining teenagers who become ready to enter adulthood.
Jim?s desire is to see his weak father, who is always ?hen-pecked? by his mother, to stand up to his mother. Jim (James Dean) does not want to become a ?chicken? like his father. Jim becomes filled with rage when someone calls him a ?chicken? because it reminds him of his coward father. Jim tells Officer Ray that his mother eats him alive and that if his dad had the strength to stop his mom?s nagging his mother would be happy.
The scene where him and his parents are on the stairs, the camera shows us this scene from a low angle, making his mother, who is on the top of the stairs, the dominant one. Jim mistakes his father for his mother because his father is wearing an apron over his tie and suit. At this time, Jim?s father had spilled food on the carpet and was readily cleaning up so that he won?t have to face his wife.
Judy (Natalie Wood) on the other hand, has a father who rejects her from entering adulthood. When, she wears lipstick her father calls her a tramp and smears the lipstick. When Judy?s father said, ?It?s just the age.? He meant that since she has grown up he could no longer see her as his little girl. He doesn?t want to...