In perhaps one of the most unexpectedly homoerotic behind-the-scene candids that I’ve ever seen, James Dean and Rock Hudson rehearse a fight scene on the set of the 1956 film, Giant.
Hudson looks nonplussed, unless this is just the “before” shot.
Contrary to rampant rumors, co-star Elizabeth Taylor insisted that the closeted Hudson and somewhat-open-secret bisexual (?) Dean did not get along, saying, “Jimmy was thoroughly ‘Method.’ Rock was riddled with an inferiority complex.”
For those with an interest in the charismatic actor, there’s an exhibition called Eternal James Dean, which opens at the Indiana State Museum from November 23, 2012, until June, 3rd, 2013.
Eternally young, sexy and intense. That’s the image of James Dean. But who was James Dean the man? Born in Marion, Indiana, Dean made just three films before his death in 1955 at age 24. Eternal James Dean will take a look at his Indiana roots, his brief time as an actor in California and New York, his films and his passion for motorcycles and racing.
After the success of his B-movie The Delinquents, Robert Altman was given the job of co-directing (with George W. George) this documentary on James Dean. The association of Altman’s surprise hit, about out-of-control kids who just “gotta have action”, and the young actor, who appealed to these troubled teenagers, was considered by Warner Brothers as too good an opportunity to miss.
Made in 1957, two years after the actor’s death, The James Dean Story is a well-constructed documentary composed from archive and photographic footage, interviews and out-takes, which gives a sense of Dean’s life and talents. The film was also a key piece in the actor’s mythologizing.
According to Forbes magazine, the James Dean estate makes $5m a year, which is more than the star made his lifetime. That his fame has lasted so long says much about Dean’s ability to epitomize that certain something generations of film-goers have identified with over the past six decades. As Dennis Hopper once said about Dean:
“He seemed to capture that moment of youth, that moment where we’re all desperately seeking to find ourselves.”
Or, as Dean himself said, in a line from Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s The Little Prince:
James Dean interviewed by actor Gig Young for an episode of the Warner Bros. Presents TV show during the filming of Giant, and just thirteen days before his untimely death at the age of 24 on September 30, 1955. It says all over the web that this is an speeding PSA, but that’s not accurate, although they do discuss the topic. Instead of saying the then popular phrase “The life you save may be your own,” Dean ad-libs the cryptic line, “The life you might save might be mine.”
This segment was never aired for obvious reasons, but was added as an extra feature to the DVD release of Rebel Without A Cause.
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