A friend reminded me that today is James Dean’s birthday, a bit coincidental considering I was watching The James Dean Story a few days ago on Hulu. There’s much to be learned from a young man that was only twenty-four at the time of his death. The narration of the video was written by Stewart Stern, who wrote Rebel Without a Cause and befriended Dean, and the story tells what most didn’t know. There are two sides to a book and unfortunately, the side no one outside his close circle ever saw was that of a lonely individual. It takes him from his humble beginnings on a farm in Fairmount, Indiana to his Oscar-nominated roles in East of Eden and Giant, films that propelled him to stardom. The release of Giant was shortly after Dean’s death and the stars were out. It was the biggest Hollywood premiere of its time with many stars appearing including Marilyn Monroe.
The documentary released in 1957, roughly two years after his tragic car crash on September 30, 1955. The narrator was a bit bland but I still think many would benefit from learning more about James Dean. Happy Birthday to the Rebel Without a Cause.
“If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.”
– James Dean, February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955