General Electric Theater: Season 3, Episode 8

I'm a Fool (14 Nov. 1954)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
7.4
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A man tells the story of his coming to adulthood when he left home at age 18 and learned the consequences of telling a lie to impress a girl.

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(short story), (adaptation)
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Narrator
...
The Boy
...
Lucy
Roy Glenn ...
Burt
Eve March ...
Mother
Leon Tyler ...
Wilbur
Gloria Castillo ...
Elinor
Fiona Hale ...
Mildred
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself - Host
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Storyline

A man tells the story of his coming to adulthood when he left home at age 18 and learned the consequences of telling a lie to impress a girl.

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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14 November 1954 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Narrator: Well, I always say: Put up a good front and the world is yours, you know?
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Connections

Version of I'm a Fool (1977) See more »

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Bragging Rights and Wrongs
1 August 2008 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In this short drama, James Dean takes on Sherwood Anderson's restless Ohio youth. Writer Anderson's "I'm a Fool" originally appeared in his collection "Horses and Men"; and, the author is known to have influenced John Steinbeck, who authored of "East of Eden". Mr. Dean completed the film version of writer Steinbeck's "Eden" over the summer (it was not yet released). Natalie Wood appears in this "Fool", cast as the young woman Dean falls in love with. Ms. Wood would soon start filming "Rebel Without a Cause"; so, this is almost a "try-out" for "Rebel". In a completely unrelated event, "Fool" was re-made for PBS, in 1976, with Ron Howard and Amy Irving; although, Ms. Irving appeared almost simultaneously in William Bast's biography "James Dean".

In "I'm a Fool", Dean plays "The Boy" aka "Walter Mathers" alongside Eddie Albert's on-screen narration of the same character. It's an interesting, but not altogether successful, juxtaposition. Although each performs well, Dean and Albert do not truly seem like the same character. The play is also "impressionistic" in technique; for example, you will see characters walking around partial and painted sets. This does, at times, distract from the story, which concerns the consequences of Dean's lying to impress Wood's "Lucy Wessen". Wood performs exceptionally well with Dean, and they look great together; this was not a commonly found feature with Dean's female TV co-stars. Wood was wisely signed to appear with Dean on the big screen.

Though rendered slightly inaccessible in its state and style, the story is a good one. Albert and Dean convey the tragedy of foolishness. Roy Glenn (as Burt) is terrific in his supporting role. When this teleplay was repeated, on November 18, 1956, then host Ronald Reagan appeared in a new introduction, which included him saying "those of us who worked with Jimmy Dean." It seems like a foolish enough claim to include in the script; but, Mr. Reagan did co-star with Dean, in another television drama.

****** I'm a Fool (11/14/54) Don Medford ~ James Dean, Eddie Albert, Natalie Wood, Roy Glenn


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