A correction was made to this article on Feb. 10, 2005.
Warner Home Video announced Tuesday the details of a yearlong tribute campaign marking the 50th anniversary of James Dean’s death.
At a press conference held at the Grove in Los Angeles, Warner Bros. said it will release a DVD box set of Dean’s three completed films May 31. Set includes restored and digitally remastered versions of “East of Eden,””Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant.”
Move marks the first time “East of Eden” will be available on DVD and 10 years since a version of the film will be available to consumers. “Rebel” and “Giant” are offered in special editions.
Also included is new feature-length docu “James Dean: Forever Young,” written and directed by Michael Sheridan and narrated by Martin Sheen. It will make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May and will be showcased at festivals in the U.S., Canada, England and Japan throughout the year.
On hand at the event was Wayne Seybold, mayor of Marion, Ind., Dean’s birthplace. Marion will host the inaugural James Dean Festival June 3-5, and Seybold expects close to 120,000 visitors to make the pilgrimage. Large outdoor screens will be set up at the Marion airport. (Town’s motto: “Where cool was born.”)
The spirit of James Dean will also be making its way across the country with the Rebel on the Road Tour, a caravan of customized commemorative vehicles including a big rig filled with merchandise and a replica of Dean’s famous Porsche Spider.
Also showing up to tout Dean’s legacy were photographers Dennis Stock and Phil Stern, responsible for almost every iconic image taken of the actor; actress Jane Withers, who shared the screen with Dean in his last film, “Giant,” and was one of the last people to speak to him before he died; Earl Holliman, who also co-starred in “Giant”; “Rebel” co-stars Frank Mazzola and Corey Allen; Dean’s cousin Marcus Winslow Jr.; and Dean’s close friend Martin Landau.
(Suzanne Ault contributed to this report.)