“Oh he’s real abstract. He’s…different.”*
Tomorrow (Friday) is James Dean day on TCM–so set your DVR! And wait–they aren’t showing the usual three movies–the only ones he made before dying at age 24. They are presenting a selection of performances that he gave on live television that are rarely seen. All the programs are TCM premieres.
Born in Indiana, Dean moved to New York City in 1951 to study at the Actors Studio. While in NYC he performed in stage and TV dramas, and these are the roles to be showcased. They include a thief who finds redemption in Something for an Empty Briefcase (1953) for NBC’s “Campbell Soundstage”; an accused murderer in Sentence of Death (1953) for CBS’s “Studio One”; an ex-convict struggling for a new life in the Rod Serling teleplay, A Long Time Till Dawn (1953) for NBC’s “Kraft Theatre”; the restless son of a farm couple (Dorothy Gish and Ed Begley) in Harvest (1953) for NBC’s “Robert Montgomery Presents”; a waiter suspected of stealing in Run Like a Thief (1954) for NBC’s “The Philco-Goodyear Playhouse”; a lovestruck stable boy in Sherwood Anderson’s I’m a Fool(1954), with Natalie Wood, for CBS’s “General Electric Theater”; a “hepcat” killer in The Dark, Dark Hours (1954), with Ronald Reagan, for the “General Electric Theater”; and a wealthy man accused of robbing his family in The Thief (1955), with Diana Lynn and Mary Astor, for the ABC “United States Steel Hour.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait! (My apologies and regrets to those of you who do not get TCM or have DVR capabilities. So it goes. Why not watch Rebel Without a Cause–always a fine idea!)
*Buzz Gunderson in Rebel Without a Cause