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Biography - James Dean (A&E DVD Archives)


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Biography - James Dean (A&E DVD Archives) + James Dean - Forever Young + James Dean - Classic Television Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Portrait of the legendary actor who redefined the image of the rebellious teenager in the films "East of Eden" and "Rebel without a Cause". Dean was volatile and temperamental on the set and his passion for race cars led to his death at age 24, but he remains one of the great icons of American cinema. Recollections of family, friends, and colleagues, including Lee Strasberg's wife Anna and daughter Susan, Rod Steiger, and Martin Landau highlight this feature-length special. Narrated by Bill Mumy.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Dean
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009IXRJ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,175 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
89%
4 star
0%
3 star
11%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
There is little or no filler.
Daniel A Goldman
It was comprehensive, factually correct, and very interesting.
RestlessTime
I learned so much by watching it.
Esther

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By RestlessTime on September 21, 2005
Verified Purchase
It was comprehensive, factually correct, and very interesting. I'm not sure I learned anything new, but I have been a fan/collector for 50 years so it is difficult to find anything new for me. That being said, this biography kept me interested from start to finish. Impressive.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Richardson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 11, 2005
Verified Purchase
Like all the recent A&E biography DVDs A&E are misrepresenting the actual TIME ...it is NOT 100 minutes...the program actually ends at 85 minutes...and the final credits run into the 86 minute mark! The A&E Biographies marked 50 minutes are really closer to 42!

This may seem to some a picky complaint, but ask yourself this....if you send A&E 85% of the price would they send you their products? Why should they be padding their run times on their products to make them seem like better investments...the list on these DVDs is $24...pretty steep in comparison with the much superior WB DVDs on James Dean like "Forever Young" which lists for $19 and actually DOES run the advertised..90minutes...heck they should advertise 100 minutes they are closer than this A&E..and its a better DVD anyway...AND the American Masters James Dean : Sense Memories...has the nerve to say its 53minutes when it is! Why don't they take their lead from A&E and round up to whatever they want? ...okay..enough of my ranting....don't believe the run times on A&E products

this DVD is still worth owning...but buy it used.
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I have for years had a fascination with the counterculture, wanting to understand what drove people to go crazy. James Dean is the one who brought the generation gap into the open, and 85 minutes (1 1/2 times the usual length of an A & E Biography episode) was an appropriate length for someone so complex. I gained a lot of benefit from learning how his childhood left him with serious personality problems, most of which revolved around creating his own masculine identity since he was estranged from his father, and selfish ambition to be an accomplished actor. He also had a naturally strong-willed and individualistic personality, and when he used that to create his own kind of acting, he was not well regarded by some of his peers, making him celebrate rebellion as his defense mechanism. His lack of bonding with his father made it easier for him to jump from relationship to relationship for the sake of advancing his career, to the point of probably being bisexual and breaking a promise to his dad, taking advantage of his dad's money for a car but breaking his promise to enroll in the legal program at college. The New York scene, where he struggled to make ends meet financially and sought to become a better actor and get established in the movie business through Broadway recognition, was very formative for his hedonistic philosophy. He hung out with existentialist people of the Beat movement and got into jazz culture, which helped shape his off-kilter screen image and also made him more hostile to the establishment. Eventually he intentionally courted trouble while at the same time attracting sympathy from people, causing people to be semi-loyal to him while also hating the way he was.Read more ›
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By Daniel A Goldman on February 12, 2014
I have watched "East of Eden", "Rebel without a Cause" and "Giant" many times in the past. I am "culturally literate". I thought I understood who James Dean was. I did not.

I learned a lot from "Biography - James Dean - A&E". I was not any kind of expert on James Dean. But after watching this DVD, I have a lot of insight into who James Dean was, clues to his inner nature, and why his dying young was perhaps somewhat inevitable.

The DVD is quite well produced. It has a lot of footage from interviews with many people, important movie scenes, scenes from his childhood, many other video sources. There is little or no filler.

Related to the review about the DVD length: The credits start at about 85 minutes, so the DVD is indeed mislabelled. It does seem like a pretty big difference between 85 and 100 minutes. So shame on A&E. However, I chose to deduct no stars, because it does not matter to me, I would otherwise never have noticed without the other review.

I highly recommend this DVD for anyone interested in understanding James Dean.
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By Esther on January 20, 2013
Verified Purchase
I learned so much by watching it. I always thought he was a genius in his talents, but I now have less respect for the guy since they made him seem like a spoiled brat.
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