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James Dean Story
James Dean Story
Actors: Martin Gabel, James Dean, Lew Bracker, Marvin Carter, Patsy D'Amore
Directors: George W. George, Robert Altman
Genres: Documentary
NR     1999     1hr 21min

Shortly after James Dean died in a car crash, Robert Altman and George W. George (son of Rube Goldberg) set out to document the young star's brief life. The results are mixed. The narration (written by Stewart Stern, wh...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Martin Gabel, James Dean, Lew Bracker, Marvin Carter, Patsy D'Amore
Directors: George W. George, Robert Altman
Creators: George W. George, Robert Altman, Stewart Stern
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography
Studio: D3k
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 11/30/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1957
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1957
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 21min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
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Movie Reviews

Rebel without a review ...
Daniel C. Storm | Los Angeles, CA USA | 04/14/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Looks like I'm the first review here ... well ... let's get started.The James Dean Story is an interesting look into the life of James Dean, told by the people who knew him best, his family and friends. The story is told in a 50's documentary style that is a little boring and the narration is very dry and not at all what it should be, but the information on this dvd is pretty good.You get a real sense of what it was like to be friends with James Dean or just to know James Dean. This dvd consists of interviews with his Family, relatives, teachers, friends, ex-girlfriends, college school mates, friends from his acting class and even the bartenders who served him drinks regularly. And the interviews were done not long after his death, so all their stories are still fresh in their minds.There is also a lot of "sightseeing" of Fairmount, Indiana where Jimmy grew up. You get to see where he went to school, where he played, where he grew up, the stores he used to go into, and just the places he frequented and the people he hung out with. The story is told using some still photography as well and included quite a few photos of James that I had never seen. Photos that only his relatives had. There's some great stuff in here. There's also a few snippets of rare home videos of James at one of his car races, some footage from the premiere of GIANT after James' death, behind the scenes snippets from Rebel Without a Cause and even a "traffic safety" PSA that James shot while on the set of Giant. The interviewer asked James if he had anything to say to the young people out there that are driving and James responds "take it easy driving ... the life you might save might be mine". Very ironic considering James' tragic death in an auto accident. There are a couple other great little gems that I will let you discover for yourself.Now a short review of the BELLS OF COCKAIGNE. This is actually a touching little story about Joe (James Dean) who is trying to get enough money for his child who is sick. He tries to gamble for it which doesn't work and then he "finds" a lucky dollar bill with a certain serial number on it, which the newpaper in town will pay $500 for. You get to see the early work of James Dean here and you really start to see the spark of light that eventually made him a star. The show was shot LIVE in the 50's so that in itself was interesting to see. I could even see some of his character CAL from East of Eden in this character.I found this dvd very enjoyable, just a little slow at times. I recommend this to any James Dean enthusiast or even the casual fan. A chance to see a piece of history with James Dean's earlier work ...ENJOY!"
For all of us who love Jimmy
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 07/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Everything the other reviewers have written is true: this documentary of Dean's life is slow-paced, dry, old-fashioned and dated. If you're one of those people who prefer the colorized versions of classic Black and White films, then this film will probably not be to your liking. But I look at it another way: where else can you view interviews with people who actually knew Jim and knew him well? Most of these were filmed shortly in the aftermath of Dean's death, and therefore, their recolections were contemporary. Time hadn't faded their recollections of this amazing young man. You also get to see a many scenes of Dean's childhood in Indiana: his home, High School, roads he traveled, places he visited. If you're a fan of James Dean, you eat this sort of stuff up; I know I do!A weakness is that the entire production is in black and white, so the clips they show of his color movies are not in color. It's a little disconcerting to see various scenes of "East of Eden" shown in black and white, but you'll grow accustomed to it. As for the second half of the movie, the short TV drama Jimmy made in 1954, "The Bells of Cockaigne," it is excellent and showcases yet again his amazing talent and his beautiful ability to rivet an audience. The quality of this movie is poor, and it does detract from the viewing experience. The quality of the documentary portion is excellent.If you love James Dean, this is a must have DVD for your collection. Despite its flaws, it's still riveting because of the interviews with intimates who really knew him."
Invaluable to anyone who wants to know more about James Dean
Candace Scott | 09/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"the information from this documentary is invaluable and the insight from his family and the people who saw him on a regular basis gives a glimpse of Jimmy that not many people saw. it is one more facet of a brilliant diamond that shone for too brief a time.one word of caution to anyone with asthma,high blood pressure,heart disese,or tramatic stress disorder,the reenactment of his fatal car crash combined with pictures from the actual crash site are a little too graphic for some.watch at your own risk."
A must have for any James Dean fan!
G. Crofford | Oakley, California United States | 07/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary was made right after the rebels death and success. Which is interesting because you get to hear what people who are not alive now had to say about him and see the way the world was at the time of Jimmys death and stardome. It catures the feel of the legacy he left behind. Not only that, it also includes interviews with his family and friends who are dead now along with a recording of James Dean talking with his family and a deleted scene from "East of Eden." Though the documentary was creepy and haunting, as its first image was, it was also heart felt."