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September 30, 1955 (1977)

PG | | Drama | 6 January 1978 (USA)
When Jimmy's idol, James Dean, dies on September 30, 1955, the small-town Arkansas college undergraduate goes berserk. He and his friends hold a vigil which turns into a drunk and, finally,... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Deborah Benson ...
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Hanley (as Thomas Hulce)
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Mary Kai Clark ...
Pat
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Jimmy J.'s Mother (as Collin Wilcox)
Ben Fuhrman ...
Michael Lovell Farris ...
Edgar (as Mike Farris)
Tom Bonner ...
Radio Announcer
Glen Irby ...
Bryan Scott ...
Bush Satterfield ...
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Storyline

When Jimmy's idol, James Dean, dies on September 30, 1955, the small-town Arkansas college undergraduate goes berserk. He and his friends hold a vigil which turns into a drunk and, finally, a tragedy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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In twenty-four hours, a nice college kid named Jimmy J. robbed a liquor store, got drunk, held a séance, crawled through a cemetery, raided lovers' lane, dropped the Homecoming Queen, and went to jail. It happened on September 30, 1955, the day that shook up a generation! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 January 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

9/30/55  »

Filming Locations:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Thomas broke his leg when he drove his character's motorcycle under a parade float while filming a homecoming parade scene. See more »

Connections

References Giant (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Help Me I'm Falling
Written by Hal Blair and Don Robertson
Sung by Red Foley
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
One of the very few films to examine the power of movie stars
5 September 2005 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This autobiographical film is one of the rare American motion pictures to examine the effect that movie stars have on audiences, particularly young audiences yearning for role models during times of emotional isolation. Writer-director James Bridges ("The Paper Chase," "The China Syndrome") recalls his youth in Paris, Arkansas (called Conway here) to create a heartfelt work of escalating intensity as its impressionable hero, Jimmy J (Richard Thomas), leads his friends over the edge as they mourn James Dean. "September 30, 1955" integrates images, themes, and even the music (also by Leonard Rosenmann) from "East of Eden" and "Rebel Without a Cause," and adds resonances to both films. This little, unheralded picture needs to be seen -- as does Richard Thomas's utterly brave performance. The key to understanding this film is not to think of it as a "youth picture" but as a deconstruction of the movie star mythos.


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