The James Dean Story (1957)




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Movie Info

A cut above the usual cheesy paste-up "tribute", The James Dean Story is imbued with a modicum of style thanks to fledgling film-director Robert Altman. Most of the film consists of clips from Dean's three starring pictures (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant), with tantalizing glimpses of his pre-star career. One such glimpse, a snippet from the 1951 TV religious special Hill Number One, has popped up in virtually every Dean retrospective since. Altman's inherent cinematic gifts are evident in the impressionistic "re-enactment" of Dean's fatal auto crash. Narrated by Martin Gabel, The James Dean Story isn't terribly deep, but it's a good shorthand overview of one of the most powerful screen presences of the 1950s.


Lew Brocker
as "Dean's Friend"
Mr. Carter
as "Dean's Friend"
Mr. Dean
as Dean's Grandfather
Adelaide Hall
as Dean's Drama Teacher
Robert Jewett
as "Dean's Friend"
John Kalin
as "Dean's Friend"
Louis de Liso
as "Dean's Friend"
Lili Kardell
as "Dean's Friend"
Billy Karen
as "Dean's Friend"
Patsy D'Amore
as "Dean's Friend"
Arnie Langer
as "Dean's Friend"
Jerry Luce
as "Dean's Friend"
Officer Nelson
as Highway Patrolman
George Ross
as "Dean's Friend"
Arline Sax
as "Dean's Friend"
Big Traster
as "Dean's Friend"
Christine White
as "Dean's Friend"
Marcus Winslow
as Dean's Uncle
Markie Winslow
as Dean's Cousin
Ortense Winslow
as Dean's Aunt
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Critic Reviews for The James Dean Story

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

... a ludicrous 1957 memorial of passing interest only because it was Robert Altman's first film...

Feb 5, 2018 | Full Review…

The movie gropes for pat answers, but Altman already feels the value of human mysteries

Dec 8, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The James Dean Story


If you're not a James Dean fan don't bother. Melodramatic and contrived.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

The James Dean Story Quotes

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