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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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 »
I watched this film with the idea I was going to hate it as I have all other attempts to recreate the life of James Dean, especially the one starring Casper Van Dien, which was deplorable. But the new TNT won me over more times than it missed. Without being aware, I discovered an occasional tear running down my cheek. James Franco did as well as anyone could to play James Dean. The times when he lost me were when Mark Rydell had him smile, full view with a horrible set of teeth. I realize this is picky, but if something is noticeable to break your concentration, then it is wrong. I wish Ted Turner had made this a two-nighter. There were scenes that could be expanded, especially with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan. I would've like to've seen more off-camera interaction between James and Julie Harris...and later on, when he became friends with Elizabeth Taylor and an enemy of Rock Hudson, two people that played predominant roles in the final days of James' life. Mark Rydell, who also directed, was marvelous a dead-ringer for Jack Warner. All and all I'd have to give it 2 1/2 stars out of four. It skimmed James's biography and could have had more depth, rather than playing on a sordid father-son relationship based on speculation. But thank God, Mark Rydell didn't spend to whole two hours exploiting James' relationship with Pier Angeli as the Van Dien version did, just to reinforce James Dean's preference for heterosexuality. I would love for Ted Turner to put out a three or four hour version of this same movie on DVD...I bet a lot of good scenes are lying on the editor's floor. All and all...pretty good show! (but could have been great without having to trim the movie for commercials).
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