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A plague of hate crimes threatens to provoke the city to race riots. Posing as high school troublemakers, two detectives, Frank and Don - one white and the other Latino, trade their badges for switchblades in an effort to infiltrate and bust the ethnic youth gangs suspected of instigating the savage violence. Don is quickly recruited into the Royals, a dope-dealing gang of white boys, but Frank's efforts to get into the Latino gang, The Caballeros, are met with failure due to his increasingly amorous intentions toward sultry Lola, the sister of head Caballero, Manuel. A vicious triangle of hatred and desire forms between Lola, Frank, and her bloodthirsty brother Manuel. Manuel's pathological hatred of white men, and the chip on his shoulder from a life of poverty, fuels his menace with an explosive fury that threatens to bring down the entire city. This Rebel Breed features intense, sexually charged performances by two actresses on the verge of career breakthroughs. Rita Moreno won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar the very next year for her dazzling work in the film version of West Side Story (1961), followed by a very successful career in film, stage, and TV. Dyan Cannon (billed here as Diane) followed this feature with a tempestuous marriage to Cary Grant, during which she put her career on hold. One year after divorcing Grant in 1968, Cannon garnered an Oscar nomination for her role in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. She earned another nomination in 1978 for Supporting Actress in Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty. Despite the seductive power of these future luminaries, and the able acting of co-stars Mark Damon, Gerald Mohr, Jay Novello and Al Freeman, Jr., the film had mixed success on its initial 1960 release. Producer William Rowland made the questionable decision to re-release the film five years later with a handful of incongruously inserted and exploitative nude scenes. The new version appeared in drive-ins and grindhouses as Black Rebels.

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ALP5107 This Rebel Breed DVD (1960/Rita Moreno/Dyan Cannon) $5.99