MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 11,921 this week

The James Dean Story (1957)

6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 365 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

This documentary, which was undertaken soon after James Dean's death, looks at Dean's life through the use of still photographs with narration, and interviews with many of the people ... See full summary »

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 2118 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
a list of 4145 titles
created 22 Oct 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 21 Feb 2012
 
a list of 276 titles
created 11 Mar 2013
 
a list of 1067 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The James Dean Story (1957)

The James Dean Story (1957) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The James Dean Story.

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself ('East of Eden' screen test footage) (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

This documentary, which was undertaken soon after James Dean's death, looks at Dean's life through the use of still photographs with narration, and interviews with many of the people involved in his short life. Interviewees include the aunt and uncle who raised him after his mother's death (when James was 9), his fraternal grandparents, a cabdriver friend in New York City, and the owner of his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. James's father, who was alive when the film was made, does not get a single mention. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1957 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The James Dean Story  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

All the members of Dean's family who consented to participate in this documentary only did so after stipulating that 5% of the film's profits should be donated to the James Dean Memorial Foundation. See more »

Connections

References Curucu, Beast of the Amazon (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Let me be loved
Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
Performed by Tommy Sands
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Feeding the Myth Monster
31 July 2008 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

"The James Dean Story" is introduced as "A different kind of motion picture," explaining, "The presence of the leading character in this film has been made possible by the use of existing motion picture material, tape recordings of his voice and by means of a new technique

  • dynamic exploration of the still photograph." The only "tape
recordings of his voice" noteworthy is one short recording Mr. Dean make while visiting his family in Indiana; he wanted to record any family recollections of his great-grandfather Cal Dean, intrigued because he played a similarly named "Cal" in "East of Eden". Dean asks if Cal Dean was interested in art, and learns the relative was an auctioneer. James Dean was interested in art and had warm relationship with his family, obviously. That's the only 100% accurate revelation in this documentary. James Dean was interested in art and had warm relationship with his family.

An amazing "screen test"/"outtake" from "East of Eden" appears near the film's end. It's a black and white scene between Dean (as Cal Trask) and co-star Richard Davalos (as Aron Trask). Dean is at his mesmerizing best. If this scene appeared only here, and no "East of Eden" film was completed, this documentary would be an essential, high rated film. But the scene, a perfect "10" in isolation, should be considered an "East of Eden" extra. Dean's "Traffic Safety Film" is also worth seeing.

There are the expected interviews with family and friends. My favorites were the guy (Lew Bracker) going through a box of stuff Dean left with him, and Dean's family. There wasn't enough from Aunt Ortense and the letter from Dean to his little cousin was very nice. More reading of Dean's letters would have been welcome. Dean's unidentified writer friend seemed to have a better thesis for the film; filmmakers might have considered developing it as a main focus.

Robert Altman's direction of Martin Gabel's reading of Stewart Stern's script is dreadful. What were they thinking? Perhaps, filmmakers can be forgiven due to the closeness of Dean's passing. Don't expect "The James Dean Story" at all. This movie is more about Dean's effect on people (both the fans and filmmakers) than the man. It is very clearly an early piece of the James Dean myth-making "legend". Tommy Sands sings "Let Me Be Loved". The narrative refers to Dean as "He" with a god-like air. The shots of Dean's family seeming to "know" the moment he dies are truly wretched.

** The James Dean Story (8/13/57) Robert Altman ~ James Dean, Martin Gabel, Richard Davalos


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good film, bad DVD. laaksonen-rj
Liz Sheridan? zz_ruthie_zz
Discuss The James Dean Story (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?