But imagine if things had gone differently, that somewhere, in an alternate universe not so very different from our own, it was Brando who had the lead in “Rebel Without A Cause,” smouldering all over the screen. He came close enough to screen test for the role, which you can take a look at below.
Well, almost. In truth, this is a screen test from eight years before Nicholas Ray started shooting “Rebel Without A Cause,” and it uses a script that never made it to the screen. Still, this is a fascinating artifact, both for a look at the 23-year old Brando, showing an awkwardness and even nervousness never evident in his actual performances, and for reminding us that even though we consider 'Rebel' a film perfectly cast and perfectly of its mid-50s moment, it had been on the cards for about a decade and gone through a cascade of casting options. Why the Brando version never made it into production we don't know, but presumably they made Brando an offer he could refuse. (Sorry.) [Reddit]