Review: ‘James Dean: Forever Young’

Worthwhile for the wealth of hitherto unseen clips from many TV shows in which James Dean cut his acting teeth, "James Dean: Forever Young" is nevertheless the squarest and straightest (in both senses) possible telling of the still dazzling icon's brief life.

Worthwhile for the wealth of hitherto unseen clips from many TV shows in which James Dean cut his acting teeth, “James Dean: Forever Young” is nevertheless the squarest and straightest (in both senses) possible telling of the still dazzling icon’s brief life. Like all other Dean bios, written and filmed, this one imparts a sadness over potential unfulfilled, but it’s a heavy whitewash where his personal life is concerned. World preemed in Cannes to mark 50th anni of the star’s death, docu will mostly be seen as part of Warner Bros.’ DVD package featuring its three stellar Dean titles.

Some of Dean’s tube work has been glimpsed before, but never to the significant extent provided here. Resulting impression is of a versatile young actor testing his range and stretching into areas that went well beyond the brooding image created by his bigscreen features. Aside from nice color footage of Dean racing cars, loads of candid photographs and a re-enactment of his fatal auto accident, the rest is airbrushed biography that avoids mention of his ambidextrous sexual life or personal peccadilloes. There are no interviews, and Martin Sheen’s narration is dullsville.

James Dean: Forever Young

Production

A Warner Bros. release. Produced by Michael J. Sheridan, Marcus Winslow, Kevin J. Sheridan. Executive producers, Israel Baron, Alexandra Denman. Directed by Michael J. Sheridan. Written by Michael J. Sheridan, Kevin J. Sheridan. (Color/B&W).

Crew

Supervising film editors, Michael J. Sheridan, Jack Tucker; music, Timothy Michael Wynn. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Cannes Classics), May 19, 2005. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Narrator: Martin Sheen.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading