James Dean (February 19, 1976)

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James Dean
 

Released on February 19, 1976: The amazing story of iconic actor James Dean, written by his best friend, screenwriter William Bast.

Produced by William Bast and John Forbes

Directed by Robert Butler

The Actors: Michael Brandon (William Best), Stephen McHattie (James Dean), Brooke Adams (Beverly), Julian Burton (Ray), Candy Clark (Chris White), Dane Clark (James Whitmore), Meg Foster (Dizzy Sheridan), Katherine Helmond (Claire Folger), Amy Irving (Norma Jean), Robert Kenton (mechanic), Jayne Meadows (Reva Randall), Heather Menzies-Urich (Jan), Jack Murdock (Judge), James O'Connell (Mr. Roberts), Leland Palmer (Arlene), Christine White (secretary), Robert Foxworth (psychiatrist), Wes Parker (unknown), Rita Taggart (unknown)

 

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What is Essential, Is Invisible to the Eye . . .

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of actors who left a footprint larger than life as a result of their craft, but there are very few who were and are the unique icons who cannot be compared to anyone else . . . unique and special . . . only a few . . . Like James Byron Dean. He starred in only three motion pictures, and died before two of them opened, and yet he left a footprint larger than most iconic actors. I won't tell you the plot of the story, you can enjoy that for yourself, but I will share some items that may entice you to watch if you don't realize who James Dean was. An evolutionary step forward for motion picture and stage acting happened when the Actor's Studio was founded in 1947 by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis. Marlon Brando was one of the first members who went on to legendary fame using the new and revolutionary 'Method' acting system created and taught at the Actor's Studio. Today as I write this the co-Presidents of the Actor's Studio are Al Pacino, Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel, and there have been few legendary actors since 1947 that have not been touched by the Actor's Studio . . . The Actor's Studio only accepts a few novice actors to become members . . . In this movie James Dean and his girlfriend Christine White finally get an audition to become members . . . now you should know that the real Christine White became an actress, appearing three years before this story in "Magnum Force" with Clint Eastwood. She made a cameo appearance in this story as a secretary . . . Ms White passed on April 14, 2013 . . . extra points if you can spot her final big screen appearance in this motion picture. After you watch this story, told by James Dean's best friend, if you want to see the real James Dean in action, here are some public domain television episodes that he appeared in:
Robert Montgomery Presents, Harvest, with James Dean, Dorothy Gish and Ed Begley - 1953
Armstrong Circle Theatre, The Bells of Cockaigne, with James Dean and Gene Lockhart - 1953
Sit-com The Trouble With Father, with Stuart Erwin, June Collyer and James Dean - 1951
G.E. Theater, I'm a Fool, with James Dean, Natalie Wood and Eddie Albert - 1954
Family Theater, Hill Number One, with James Dean, Roddy McDowall and Regis Toomey - 1951

Stephen McHattie as James Dean as he leaves on his final car trip
Stephen McHattie as James Dean as he leaves on his final car trip
Amy Irving
Amy Irving
Brooke Adams and Michael Brandon
Brooke Adams and Michael Brandon
Brooke Adams and Stephen McHattie
Brooke Adams and Stephen McHattie
Candy Clark
Candy Clark
Candy Clark and Stephen McHattie
Candy Clark and Stephen McHattie
Candy Clark
Candy Clark
Dane Clark
Dane Clark
Heather Menzies-Urich
Heather Menzies-Urich
Jack Murdock
Jack Murdock
Katherine Helmond
Katherine Helmond
Katherine Helmond
Katherine Helmond
Leland Palmer
Leland Palmer
Meg Foster
Meg Foster
Meg Foster and Stephen McHattie
Meg Foster and Stephen McHattie
Meg Foster and Stephen McHattie
Meg Foster and Stephen McHattie
Meg Foster
Meg Foster
Michael Brandon
Michael Brandon
Michael Brandon and Brooke Adams
Michael Brandon and Brooke Adams
Michael Bdrandon and Heather Menzies-Urich
Michael Bdrandon and Heather Menzies-Urich
Michael Brandon and Julian Burton
Michael Brandon and Julian Burton
Michael Brandon and Stephen McHattie
Michael Brandon and Stephen McHattie
Michael Brandon
Michael Brandon
Stephen McHattie
Stephen McHattie
Stephen McHattie and Michael Brandon
Stephen McHattie and Michael Brandon
Stephen McHattie
Stephen McHattie
Stephen McHattie
Stephen McHattie