Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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.
tribute, acting, music, one-against-odds