Birth of a Legend
Kristine Frailey | 01/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hill Number One was James Dean's first appearance on TV. Dean got his start in early television productions like this one. In Hill Number One, a religious production for Father Payton's Television Playhouse, Dean plays the Apostle John the Beloved. It's a small part, and yet one can see in this early performance the earnestness and charisma that were James Dean. Dean was still a student at UCLA when this production was filmed.
I'm a Fool is one of my favorite early Dean performances. It was filmed in Hollywood shortly after Dean completed East of Eden. It pairs him for the first time with Natalie Wood with whom Dean would again star in Rebel Without A Cause. Dean is wonderful in this stylized little drama especially because it gave him a chance to display his remarkable physicality as an actor--the mime scene is a gem--and he is believable as the naive misguided farm boy. One can see glimpses of future and evolving performances in Dean's work. In one scene he hangs his bowler hat on his foot, a piece of schtick he used again in Giant a year later. This is a rare opportunity to see one of the most unique actors of all time in an early TV production. Go for it!"
Vikram Balagopal | India | 11/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD consists of 'Hill number one' and 'I am a fool', none of which are unenjoyable. Since they were made for TV they are not that clear, but you can still get a hold of Dean's peformances. James Dean become famous after his death after which his three only films were released. Hill number one was his first televised performance. It has an impressive cast consisting of Roddy McDowell, Michael Ansara, Leif Erickson and Ruth Hussey. Natalie Wood co-stars with James Dean in I am a fool which was aired in 1953. There is an introduction by Ronald Reagan. This interesting, well staged film marks one of Dean's first starring roles but yet exhibits the star power that made him an American legend."
Hill Number One is one of the best Catholic movies I have se
David Obeid | 09/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nobody should have a Catholic movie collection without "Hill Number One" in it. Quite simply, it is beautiful.