Tag Archives: James Dean

“Only the bad directors tell you how to read a line, how to define your character. The good ones let you do your job.” — Carroll Baker

It’s her birthday today. When you look back on your life – especially once you’re, how you say, OLD – it’s sometimes interesting to try to untangle some of the strands, the things that happened that made you who you … Continue reading

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An Acting Lesson: John Wayne and the “Reality of the Doing”

An old piece, re-posted for John Wayne’s birthday: In one lengthy scene in Hondo, filmed in one almost unbroken take, Wayne makes horseshoes in the little outdoor smith in the yard. Geraldine Page hovers nearby. He talks to her about … Continue reading

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My new column at Liberties magazine: First up: acting and film criticism and how the twain meet

I have some exciting (to me) news. I’ll be writing a regular column for Liberties – the website for the quarterly magazine – host to a daunting lineup of writers! I launched my column with a piece about being a … Continue reading

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The First Glimpse of The Guy Who Started It All

For James Dean’s birthday Age 13. Babysitting. Up later than I normally would be. East of Eden was on late-night television. I had never seen it. I don’t even know that I was aware of who James Dean was. And … Continue reading

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For James Dean’s Birthday

Some links: For Library of America: I wrote about East of Eden … an essay I had been waiting to write for almost my whole entire life. For my Substack, a re-post of the piece I wrote in 2013 on … Continue reading

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“Acting is like letting your pants down; you’re exposed.” — Paul Newman

It’s his birthday today. I am so glad I grew up in a time when Paul Newman was still a leading man (and he was a leading man up until the end). So I got to experience the pleasure of … Continue reading

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“It’s a situation I’ve never been able to fathom. One minute, it seemed I had more movie offers than I could handle, the next — no one wanted me.” — Sal Mineo

It’s his birthday today. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be a gay kid in the 1950s and see Rebel Without a Cause, particularly Sal Mineo’s performance as “Plato,” the lonely teenage boy, with a picture … Continue reading

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Happy 92nd Birthday, Lois Smith

Lois Smith made her film debut in 1955, playing the young prostitute at the bar in East of Eden. She has a small scene with James Dean, and then exits the film. But she makes a huge impression. The memory … Continue reading

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Substack: “You can wake up now, the universe has ended.”

For James Dean’s birthday: posted to my Substack the piece I wrote in 2013 about Rebel Without a Cause. No paywall.     Thank you so much for stopping by. If you like what I do, and if you feel … Continue reading

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I approve of this bathroom decor

From Jean-Luc Godard’s 1957 short film All the Boys are Called Patrick.

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