A biopic about the actor James Dean, whose stardom of the ultimate teenage rebel as well as the premature death made him a legend. His roles are depicted having much in common with his ...
See full summary »
Lost in his constant search for a mother he never knew and a father who spent his life as a petty criminal, James Franco as Adam Blande updates the James Dean mythical figure in this ... See full summary »
A biopic about the actor James Dean, whose stardom of the ultimate teenage rebel as well as the premature death made him a legend. His roles are depicted having much in common with his personal life, most notably the difficult relationship with his father. Written by
The label on the box James Dean sends, reads "Santa Monica, CA". In the late forties/early fifties it would have read "Santa Monica, Calif." because the two-letter state abbreviations weren't used yet. See more »
"East of Eden" came out when I was 21 and very impressionable, and from then on I was a James Dean fanatic. So were most of my friends, but we didn't see his other two films until after his death. We identified with the roles he played. Cal Trask, Jim Stark, and Jett Rink were just as mixed up and insecure as we were, and James Dean could play those guys because he was mixed up, too. After we saw "Rebel," all of us wanted red jackets like the one he wore in that movie.
In this new movie, a young actor named James Franco plays James Dean, and he beautifully conveys not only the angst and many of the distinctive mannerisms but also some of James Dean's offbeat humor. I suppose one reason Franco was chosen to play Dean is that he looks like him. Not a lot, but there is a resemblance. He could have done a caricature of Dean, but happily he didn't fall into that trap.
Some of the writing was disappointing. The actress who plays Pier Angeli is beautiful and quite good, but what can you do with lines like "You don't understand" and "My mama won't let me"? Those are not her exact lines, but you get what I'm saying.
Dean's relationship with Jack Warner is well done. Also his relationship, or rather his lack of a relationship, with his father. But I kept wishing they'd show more about the making of the films. How did he relate to Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Carol Baker, Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood? And what were the films about? If I didn't already know James Dean's films, I still wouldn't know much about them after seeing this biography. But maybe I would be inspired to check them out.
32 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?