James Dean (film)

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I don't want to be just good. I want to be great.
See I'm an actor cos it's the best way I know how to express myself, I'm not very good with talking. I think you can tell.

James Dean is a 2001 biographical television film based on the life of the actor of the same name. The film stars James Franco as James Dean, Michael Moriarty as his father Winton Dean, Valentina Cervi as Pier Angeli, Enrico Colantoni as Elia Kazan, and (director) Mark Rydell as Jack Warner.

Directed by Mark Rydell. Written by Israel Horovitz.
Too fast to live. Too young to die. (taglines)

James Dean[edit]

  • [voice over, opening lines] My mother made me promise to be an artist. She taught me that imagination can take a person anywhere. Mine took me from Indiana, to Broadway, to Hollywood. She was right.
  • I don't want to be just good. I want to be great.
  • [voice over] I decided to move to New York. Every actor I cared about, Brando, Clift, even Whitmore, all worked in New York. New York was big and lonely. I loved it. Being a struggling actor in New York in the nineteen fifties was the best, it was the right place at the right time. Stop worrying about my mother and father for a while. I was dead broke, didn't matter, cause I was home.
  • I'm playing the drums! Go to hell!
  • [to Pier Angeli] Tell Vic Damone and your crazy mother, to stay out of our lives!
  • [to Julie Harris, after the filming for East of Eden is finished] It's over. You know, this- this is like my family, and... I can't just let that go.
  • I'm not even interested in this glitzy glamour crap! All right! If you wanna wear monkey suits! That's fine! Not me!
  • [on the set of Giant] You know, you keep me waiting hours preparing for some scene. You never even get around to shooting. So I ain't working today. And you do it again, I'm gonna take two days, and then three.

Dialogue[edit]

New York was big and lonely. I loved it. Being a struggling actor in New York in the nineteen fifties was the best, it was the right place at the right time. Stop worrying about my mother and father for a while. I was dead broke, didn't matter, cause I was home.
[on the set of East of Eden]
Elia Kazan: [after Dean insults Raymond Massey] What the hell were you thinking in there? Raymond Massey is a highly respected actor and you've deeply offended him.
James Dean: [playing a flute] He said I offended him?
Elia Kazan: Of course you deeply offended him.
James Dean: Good. [continues playing his flute]
Elia Kazan: [angrily grabs the flute off him] Why good?
James Dean: Cos I need him to hate me.

Martin Landau: What's your name?
James Dean: I can't decide.
Martin Landau: What are your choices?
James Dean: I've got James Dean, Jimmy Dean, Byron Dean.
Martin Landau: Which one's your real name?
James Dean: James. Byron's my middle name.
Martin Landau: Go with your real name.
James Dean: You think?
Martin Landau: I know. Jimmy's an eight year old boy, and Byron's a dead poet with a crooked foot.
James Dean: James is king. [laughs] What's your name?
Martin Landau: Martin Landau.
[they shake hands]
James Dean: Where are you from?
Martin Landau: Why? Do you wanna come home and meet my mom?
James Dean: Yeah, can she cook?
Martin Landau: You like matzo ball soup?
James Dean: My favourite.
Martin Landau: You're invited. Where you living?
James Dean: Some dirt-hole rented room.
Martin Landau: What number you got?
James Dean: 231.
Martin Landau: 1216. Let's cut out, man. Cattle calls are for losers.
James Dean: They are?
Martin Landau: Unless you got an agent sending you in, you're kidding yourself.
James Dean: All right.
[Landau and Dean leave]
James Dean: You got an agent?
Martin Landau: If I had an agent, would I be blowing my time with a goof like you? Come on!
James Dean: Hey, whose Brando's agent in New York?

Martin Landau: [about an audition] You never know. I mean look at me; when I tried out for "Tennessee Williams" I thought I was terrible.
James Dean: You were terrible... you didn't get the part.
Martin Landau: Just a detail.

Elia Kazan: Have a seat.
[James sits down]
Elia Kazan: Tell us about yourself, Jimmy.
James Dean: Well, [pauses] you know, there's not much to tell. I was born in Indiana and moved out to California when I was five, till I was nine. My mother died, and then I was sent back to Indiana to live with my aunt and uncle.
Elia Kazan: What was it like living on a farm?
[pauses, takes out a switch blade from his pocket, fiddles with it]
James Dean: I wasn't much of a farmer. I rode on a motorcycle. [laughs] I used to chase the cows, they'd start running and others swinging from side to side.
Elia Kazan: [smiles] How about your father?
James Dean: Well, we don't really talk much. We don't like each other. [starts jabbing the knife into his chair] In fact we hate each other. See I'm an actor cos it's the best way I know how to express myself, I'm not very good with talking. I think you can tell.

Nicholas Ray: Always knew I was gonna get an actor like you for Rebel. I think... divine fate calls the shots for a director like me. You know what I mean? Brando. What, are they kidding? Brando is too old, man. You are fresh. You are perfect for this part. Perfect! We just gotta... We gotta find somebody... somebody great for the girl. What about Natalie Wood? Huh? [Dean shrugs] No, really, what do you think of her, huh? I wanna know. I really wanna know. Because, Jimmy, it's just you and I. We are on this quest together, baby. All the way down the line. Huh, what do you think?
James Dean: She's a child star, man.
Nicholas Ray: Child star, huh? Jimmy, this girl is seventeen years old, and she is built like the Pieta. I know. She doesn't look it, right? But I'm telling you that underneath those simple little childish cotton frocks, she is built like a marble masterpiece. Jimmy. Jimmy, listen to me.
James Dean: What?
Nicholas Ray: You're young. You're wonderful and you're young, but if you'd have been there for the start of Helen Hayes' career, you would know what I see in this girl. Genius. Pure genius. That's what I see in you, Jimmy. Genius! Man, Rebel Without a Cause is gonna be the first visionary movie ever made about teenagers. You mark my word. Mark my word! You like jazz?
James Dean: Yeah, I like jazz.
Nicholas Ray: Chet Baker mean anything to you?
James Dean: Yeah.
Nicholas Ray: He's playing down on the beach tonight. You want to go?
James Dean: Yeah, I'd love to.
Nicholas Ray: Solid, baby. Solid.

Jack Warner: [on the 50 Spyder race car] You know that uh, car racing is for idiots. Well, you're working for me, and I say "no racing cars". [looks at Dean who smiles] You find that funny, huh? [Dean nods] I'm signing a deal that would pay you a million dollars and for a millions dollars I'm telling you, no more racing cars.
James Dean: When I'm not shooting...
Jack Warner: Beg your pardon?
James Dean: When I'm not shooting, I'm on my own, Jack. If you don't like that, you can take...
Jack Warner: [stops Dean] Oh, oh, oh, oh. You're gonna say something you're gonna regret.
James Dean: Smile, Jack.
Jack Warner: Why? [notices a photographer wanting to take their picture] Oh.
[after the picture is taken]
Jack Warner: [on the car] Get rid of it.

Jack Warner: I love you and I hate you.
James Dean: I hate you, and I hate you.

George Stevens: Jim, we're ready to shoot.
James Dean: Not me. Not today.
George Stevens: Come on, son, let's go. The well's rigged, we're losing the light, let's get out on the set.
James Dean: You know, you keep me waiting hours preparing for some scene. You never even get around to shooting. So I ain't working today. And you do it again, I'm gonna take two days, and then three. [goes back to his trailer]
George Stevens: All right. Put Dean's clothes on his stand-in, we're shooting without him.

Winton Dean: So, it's you, huh?
James Dean: I need to talk to you.
Winton Dean: Ethel's waiting for me.
James Dean: Well, then why don't you let her wait?
Winton Dean: Now, hold on, young man. Don't take that attitude with me.
James Dean: No, I need to talk to you right now!
Winton Dean: But I don't have to...
James Dean: No, look! Everybody thinks I'm great except you!
Winton Dean: Well, fine, listen to them...
James Dean: Don't you read the paper?! I'm in the papers! Everybody wants to meet me except you! Why?! Why is that?!
Winton Dean: The stupidest mistake you've ever made...
James Dean: No shut up and listen to me! Why don't you talk to me?! You're my father! Please! [grabs his father by the shirt]
Winton Dean: I deserve some damn respect...
James Dean: Dad, I was nine years old! Nine years old! Now open your mouth and talk to me!
Winton Dean: Just calm down.
James Dean: [grabbing his father] You talk to me! Dad, please! [tearfully] Please... Talk to me, please!

Winton Dean: Beautiful view.
James Dean: This is uh, where my house is gonna be. And I own that land over there, too.
Winton Dean: Nice car.
James Dean: Yeah, it's aluminum. They only made 30.
Winton Dean: Must have cost a lot.
James Dean: Well, I got a lot.
Winton Dean: Yeah, this town is yours, isn't it?
James Dean: I'm doing pretty good. You like LA, father?
Winton Dean: Do I like LA? Hm. Well, I'll tell you something, young man, if I could find the edge of this town, I'd leave it. But you're the edge of this town now. And you are everywhere.
James Dean: Why'd you do it, father? Why - Why'd you send me away? Why didn't you come to mother's funeral? [short pause] Just talk to me.
Winton Dean: Yes, but I don't have to talk to you.
James Dean: You're my father.
Winton Dean: No, I'm not. I'm not your father, and your mother told me that. Yeah. Your mother, my wife, told me that I'm not- Well, I might not be your dad. Told me just before she died. She wanted to set things straight, I guess. See, when she was eighteen years old, she started seeing this other guy. He was married with kids and... she couldn't break it off, I guess. A couple of weeks after we were married, she found out that she's pregnant with you. And not knowing, I was the happiest man alive... for about nine years. But then, she just had to tell me the truth. And I just couldn't live with that. Yeah, you know, your mother was brave. Telling me the truth like she did. And I was... too prideful. I couldn't find the damn courage to forgive her. And so I got cheated out of my wife, and I cheated myself, out of having you as my son. And I'm proud of you, Jim. And I'm sorry that I acted so bad to you all these years.
[James stands, embraces his father]

Taglines[edit]

  • Too fast to live. Too young to die.
  • The stars that burn brightest burn quickest.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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