Archives for posts with tag: James Dean

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Lois Smith made her film debut in East of Eden, based on the John Steinbeck novel, where she shared the screen with James DeanWarner Brothers released the movie in April 1955, about six months before Dean’s death in a car crash.

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More than a half century later, in 2012, Lois Smith starred on Broadway in Heartless, the Sam Shepard-penned drama, where she played Mable, a woman partially paralyzed because she fell out of a tree while watching East of Eden on a drive-in movie screen.

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While shooting Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Dennis Hopper and James Dean became good friends. (Hopper was 19 and Dean was 24 when they shot the movie during the spring of 1955.)  Dean served as an artistic mentor to his friend — and gave Hopper his first camera, encouraging him to take it everywhere and shoot everything. Rebel was released in October 1955 —  a month after James Dean’s death in a car crash. Hopper was devastated by Dean’s passing — but paid tribute to his memory by applying himself to the art of photography. And a fine photographer he was, as evidenced by the above 1965 self-portrait. Hopper passed away in 2010 at age 74.

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A COUNTRY PATHWAY (Excerpt)
by James Whicomb Riley

I come upon it suddenly, alone —
A little pathway winding in the weeds
That fringe the roadside; and with dreams my own,
I wander as it leads.

Full wistfully along the slender way,
Through summer tan of freckled shade and shine,
I take the path that leads me as it may —
Its every choice is mine…

(Read the entire poem at poemhunter.com)

PHOTO: Actor James Dean (1931-1955), an Indiana native, reads from THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS OF JAMES WHITCOMB RILEYJames Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), born in Greenville, Indiana, was known as the “Hoosier” poet.  (Indiana is nicknamed the Hoosier State — and “hoosier” is a term for someone from Indiana.)

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A COUNTRY PATHWAY (Excerpt)
by James Whicomb Riley

I come upon it suddenly, alone–
A little pathway winding in the weeds
That fringe the roadside; and with dreams my own,
I wander as it leads.

Full wistfully along the slender way,
Through summer tan of freckled shade and shine,
I take the path that leads me as it may–
Its every choice is mine…

(Read the entire poem at poemhunter.com)

Photo: Actor James Dean (1931-1955), an Indiana native, reads from THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS OF JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY. James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), born in Greenville, Indiana, was known as the “Hoosier” poet.  (For the record, Indiana is the Hoosier State — and “hoosier” is a term for someone from Indiana.)

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Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members Gary Sinese and John Malkovich starred as George and Lennie in the 1992 film adaptation of John Steinbeck‘s Of Mice and Men.

With a pitch-perfect screenplay by Horton Foote — 30 years after winning an Oscar for adapting To Kill a Mockingbird — the film is a faithful adaptation of one of Steinbeck’s most moving books.

Other successful novel to film translations of Steinbeck’s work include The Grapes of Wrath (1940) starring Henry Fonda, Of Mice and Men (1939) with Lon Chaney, Jr., East of Eden (1955) featuring James Dean, and Of Mice and Men (TV Movie, 1981) with Robert Blake as George.

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Lois Smith made her film debut in East of Eden, based on the John Steinbeck novel, where she shared the screen with James Dean — or more aptly, he shared his sizzling screen presence with her. Warner Brothers released the movie in April 1955, about six months before Dean’s death in a car crash.

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Now, 57 years later, Lois Smith is starring in Heartless, the Sam Shepard-penned drama that opened in New York earlier this week, where she plays Mable, a woman who is partially paralyzed because she fell out of a tree while watching East of Eden on a drive-in movie screen. Somehow, this begs the expression “fearful symmetry.” (A nod to William Blake.)

Break a leg, Lois. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that. Have a great run, Lois. No, let me rephrase that. Enjoy the fearful symmetry of your full-circle experience, Lois.

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While shooting Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Dennis Hopper and James Dean became good friends. (Hopper was 19 and Dean was 24 when they shot the movie during the spring of 1955.)  Dean served as something of an artistic mentor to his friend — and gave Hopper his first camera, encouraging him to take it with him everywhere and shoot everything. Rebel was released in October 1955 —  a month after James Dean’s death in a car crash. Hopper was devastated by Dean’s passing — but paid tribute to his memory by applying himself to the art of photography. And a fine photographer he was, as evidenced by the above 1965 self-portrait.