James Dean – the First American Teenager

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Connolly's catch-all compilation follows the trail blazed by Joe Boyd's Hendrix movie: lotsa clips of the Star in action (including obscure TV footage and a 'rare' screen test), lotsa glossy interviews with those who loved or hated him, as much rock music as possible, and fragments of memorabilia like a hilariously stilted road safety commercial. The most lucidly evasive contribution comes from Dean's long time 'mentor' Leonard Rosenman; the most affably stoned from Dennis Hopper. But Connolly makes his reliance on the original movies a real problem: when someone mentions Dean getting into a car, for instance, we're shown a clip from Giant of him doing just that...and so the film constantly reinforces the Hollywood 'image' it purports to question. And the dismal coyness about Dean's sex life means the movie scarcely makes it even as gossip.

Release details

Duration: 80 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ray Connolly
Screenwriter: Ray Connolly
Cast: Carroll Baker
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