6.6/10
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9 user 3 critic

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

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

Features East of Eden (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Jailhouse Now
Written by Jimmie Rodgers
Sung by Webb Pierce
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Too Melodramatic For It's Own Good
20 March 2004 | by rwintSee all my reviews

4 out of 10

The title represents the date that the legendary and truly great actor James Dean died in a car crash. His death has an adverse effect on a group of teens in a small southern town.

Thomas is the main character who , along with his girlfriend Billie Jean, seems to get the most upset. Although some of his actions may seem fanatical it is really not as extreme or as a fanatical as you may think it would be or could have been. At no time does he become so immersed in it that he loses sight of reality. At times it really becomes more of a story of lost young souls looking for an identity than it does on celebrity worship.

The story itself is pretty slow and has a lot of long drawn out takes. There are times when the drama gets just a little too heavy. The ending is especially unsatisfying as it doesn't even give us a hint as to whatever became of these characters who are all left in unfinished scenarios. In the final analysis this thing is nothing more than another one of those sappy 70's teen romance tragedies.

Beyond the poor structure there are indeed some good things going on here. One is the just the chance of seeing such budding young talents working together and carrying a film. The other is director Bridges who shows some really good insight into Dean's mystic and why he made such a strong connection with the youth. You have the feeling that Bridges himself was a really big Dean fan. He also makes a good statement about just how many lost, lonely souls there are out there and the stifling nature of small town life especially during that period. He also recreates an excellent 50's flavor maybe some of the best you will ever see. The interactions between the characters seems very real and there is good historical accuracy. Bridges is honest with his assessment of the 50's and yet is not condescending to it like with a lot of other movies. He digs beyond just the period detail. You really feel, at least during the first hour, that you are right there and a part of the 50's experience, which is interesting and fun.

Overall Bridges shows signs of being a serious up and coming filmmaker. Unfortunately he tries a little too hard here. It seems too labored and trapped by the sensibilities of it's era. It is also completely humorless, too talky, and an eventual bore.


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