The James Dean Story

Director: Robert Altman and George W. George
Year Released: 1957
Rating: 1.5

Well-intentioned - and more than a bit fanatical - 'documentary' of Dean's life and tragic death and an attempt to explain the myth of the actor and why he appealed to so many moviegoers. Since it was made shortly after his death - and in the 50's - it never really gets to the heart of the matter (that would be tackled by biographies that would come out later) and whitewashes Dean's (well-known) demons (it never mentions his relationship with Pier Angeli, his bi-sexuality or things like that; likewise, it also neglects to mention Nicholas Ray at all). For Dean fans like myself, little is revealing, but those with a taste for bad poetry will relish the voice-over, which includes a few choice bits, my favorites being: "He looked at the ocean ... and he was jealous of its power," "People were his food ... and he ate them up hungrily" and "Success was nothing more than the concealing leaf which covered the tree of his loneliness." Take that, Pinsky.