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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 »

Director:

James Bridges

Writer:

James Bridges
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Thomas ... Jimmy J.
Susan Tyrrell ... Melba Lou
Deborah Benson ... Charlotte
Lisa Blount ... Billie Jean
Tom Hulce ... Hanley (as Thomas Hulce)
Dennis Quaid ... Frank
Mary Kai Clark Mary Kai Clark ... Pat
Dennis Christopher ... Eugene
Collin Wilcox Paxton ... Jimmy J.'s Mother (as Collin Wilcox)
Ben Fuhrman Ben Fuhrman ... Coach Haynes
Michael Lovell Farris Michael Lovell Farris ... Edgar (as Mike Farris)
Tom Bonner Tom Bonner ... Radio Announcer
Glen Irby Glen Irby ... Band Director
Bryan Scott Bryan Scott ... Dickie
Bush Satterfield Bush Satterfield ... Charlotte's Father
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

9/30/55 See more »

Filming Locations:

Conway, Arkansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film production shut down for five months after Richard Thomas fractured his ankle, resumed filming in September 1976. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Phillips: Hey, what you kids doin' down there?
Frank: We're just havin' a little picnic. Just havin' a little weenie roast.
Mr. Phillips: Looks to me like you're trespassin'.
[Frank recognizes Mr Phillips, and talks his way out of the situation by offering him a cold beer]
Hanley: We're not trespassin' any more.
Pat: Wish we had some weiners.
Hanley: I got one, Pat. Big, nice, fat one.
Pat: Did you buy some? Where'd you get some?
Pat: [Hanley giggles, and she realizes just what he's saying] ... nasty. You know that's nasty!
See more »

Connections

References Rebel Without a Cause (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Hurt Anymore
Written by Don Robertson and Jack Rollins (as Walter E. Rollins)
Sung by Red Foley
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the very few films to examine the power of movie stars
5 September 2005 | by nataloffSee 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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