Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

The memorable knife fight in the 1955 James Dean film, “Rebel Without a Cause,” was famously filmed at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.  The location is so synonymous with the film, there have been many other subsequent productions, directly inspired by “Rebel Without a Cause” to also shoot at the Observatory, including “La La Land” and Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush” music video (featuring Keanu Reeves in the Dean role).

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LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

There is even a statue of James Dean at the observatory, honoring his iconic performance.

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Some of the interiors of “Dawson High” were filmed at John Marshall High School.  A regular location in film and television, it has also appeared in such movies as “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” “Pretty In Pink,” “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Bachelor Party,” “Grosse Pointe Blank,” “Grease” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” as well as such TV shows as “Boy Meets World,” “Boston Public” and many more.  It was even used in the Van Halen music video for “Hot For Teacher.”  The exteriors were filmed at Santa Monica High School (601 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405).

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LOCATION: 3939 Tracy St, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is one of the most iconic locations in Hollywood, perched atop the Hollywood Hills.  It offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and even the ocean.  The building opened in 1935 and has remained free and open to the public every since.  It has been seen in so many films, we felt it deserved an entire article unto itself.

The observatory is perhaps most famously know for it’s use in the 1955 James Dean film, “Rebel Without A Cause.”  However, the grounds have also been seen in such films as “The Terminator,” “La La Land,” “Back To The Future” and dozens more.  It has also appeared in countless television shows, such as “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “The Wonder Years,” “24” and even “The Simpsons” (as the “Springfield Observatory”).  The observatory has also appeared in music videos, such as Paula Abdul’s “Rush, Rush,” video games, such as “Grand Theft Auto V” and on album covers, for bands such as The Byrds.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the sights of Griffith Observatory.

LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Arnold Schwarzenegger could be seen walking nude in the original “The Terminator” film on the sidewalk to the right.  He is approached by some street thugs, including one played by Bill Paxton, before the Terminator makes short work of them.  The scene has also been recreated in some of the film’s sequels.

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Ryan Gosling drives his convertible, with Emma Stone in tow, down the sidewalk on the right in “La La Land.”

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A bust of James Dean can be found at the observatory, in honor of Deen’s classic performance in “Rebel Without A Cause,” where the film shot a memorable knife fight scene.

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The best views of the observatory are of course at night.

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The inside of the observatory has several interesting sights as well.  Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone can be seen dancing around this pendulum in “La La Land.”

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In the same film, the two gaze up at this mural on the ceiling of the observatory.

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The two also pause and look at this Tesla Coil.

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Overall, whether you’re a movie lover, a tourist, a science fan, or someone who simply enjoys beautiful views, the Observatory has something to offer almost anyone.