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 ...
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Documentary of the brief but memorable career of the now iconic James Dean. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film focuses much attention on his early work for television, and utilizes a ... 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
James Franco became so immersed in playing James Dean that he went from being a non smoker to smoking two packs a day (he has since quit), as well as playing the guitar, the bongos, and learned to ride a motorcycle. See more »
Near the beginning of the movie, when James Dean grabs a paper out of the typewriter, the number of pages he is holding changes from three to one, and then back to three again. 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.
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