“Gratification comes in the doing, not in the results”
– James Dean
Tag Archives: James Dean
Happy Birthday to the legendary James Dean (08 February 1931 – 30 September 1955)!!
“James Dean with his Bolex camera on location for “Giant” in Marfa, Texas, 1955″ (IMDb)
Photo by MPTV
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, and live as if you’ll die today”– James Dean
Give a look in this commercial of an investment company called Allan Gray which was released in South Africa in the year of 2009.
On this advertising, it was told a fictional story about how could be the James Dean’s life if he wouldn’t die in 1955. Then, was made a retrospective about his life, starting with an old Dean on a farm. After we can see him running on a professional race, receiving an award, directing a movie, protesting against the Vietnam War and doing humanitarian works in Africa. After this, in the year of 1955, his car accident is reconstituted and Dean survives. So the campaign slogan appears “Given more time, imagine the possibilities”.
What do you think about it?
Hello Darlings!! Today will be a Dramatic day…
Calm down! I’m talking about the movie genre of today: DRAMA.
I have to confess this is one of my favorite genres because I love watching a good drama (I’m also a fan of Mexican soap operas!!). Then I will give you some options of drama movies of 50’s and I hope you enjoy some of them (or all of them!).
To start, lets see some scenes of a movie which was recognized as one of the greatest classic movies from Hollywood and was selected to preservation by Congress Library from USA: “All About Eve” (1950), starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders and Celeste Holm – with an apparition of Marilyn Monroe:
Another big movie of 1950 is “Sunset Boulevard”, starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson, directed by Billy Wilder. This movie also won some awards: 03 Academy Awards (Best Art direction – Black and white; Best Soundtrack and Best Screenplay); 04 Golden Globe Awards (Best Movie – Drama; Best Director; Best Actress – Drama [Gloria Swanson] and Best Soundtrack); and 01 Bodil Award [Dinamarca] in the category Best American Movie.
Talking about William Holden, he acted in the movie of 1953, “Stalag 17“, also directed by Billy Wilder, which is considered one of the best movies about POW camp in the World War II.
He also acted beside Grace Kelly (*-*) and Bing Crosby in the movie “The Country Girl” (1954), which was indicated to seven awards and won in the categories “Best Actress” (Grace Kelly) and “Best Screenplay”.
In 1956 was produced an adaptation based on the work by Leon Tolstói, “War and Peace“, starring Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer and Henry Fonda. The movie was a co-production between USA and Italy. It received some nominations in the Academy Awards and BAFTA, others in the Golden Globe Awards, winning in the category “Best Foreign Movie” and it won two awards in Italy in the categories “Best Scenography” and “Best Soundtrack”. In my opinion, it should have won the awards for “Best Photography” and “Best Costume” because these two items are very beautiful and outstanding in the movie… Give a look in some publicity pictures:
About this kind of Drama, involving War and a little [or a lot!] of Romance, there is a movie of 1953 very famous especially by a kiss scene… Do you remember? “From Here To Eternity”, starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr and Frank Sinatra, and having Pearl Harbor like background. This movie won several awards, including: 08 Academy Awards, 02 Golden Globe Awards, 01 BAFTA, 03 NYFCC Awards and 01 special award in Cannes Festival. Look the famous scene that I said:
In 1957, Deborah Kerr appeared in a romantic but also dramatic movie beside Cary Grant: “An Affair To Remember” (one of my favorites!), which shows a romance in a cruise and it was a remake of “Love Affair” (1939), movie directed by the same director Leo McCarey. It also inspired the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993). See the trailer:
In 1958, Alfred Hitchcock directed the movie considered as his masterpiece: “Vertigo”, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. In this movie have Drama, Romance and, of course, Thriller:
Returning to Audrey Hepburn, in 1959, she acted in “The Nun’s Story”, directed by Fred Zinnemann, this movie was indicated for several categories in the Academy Awards and, unfortunately, it didn’t win any one. For me, as Audrey’s fan, in this movie she did one of her best performances as Sister Luke.
To conclude, there is one actor who did his carreer on the 50’s and, in special, in drama movies: James Dean. Like I said in another post, he acted in 07 movies (in 04 of them, he wasn’t credited), between 1951 and 1956. So his movies were:
- 1955 – “East of Eden”, a rereading of the biblical History of Caim and Abel / “Rebel Without a Cause”, which shows a teenager revolted with his family;
- 1956 – “Giant”, also starring Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, it showed the racial intolerance.
So, this is it, I hope you enjoy! See you soon!! 🙂
The Hollywood’s golden era lasted about 20 years, between these two landmarks: the talkies’ appearance (which left the silent film in crisis) and the television’s popularization (which worried all the film industry). This period had its peak between the 40’s and 50’s, especially in this last, when the Star System was very strong in the society through the several artists whose studios used to use in its productions. This made a lot of movies reach the maximum of popularity and success.
As mentioned before, one of the main characteristics of this period in the cinema is the movies’ subdivision in genres, each one presenting a series of constant elements which show the function and characteristics of each movie. It’s also visible that, with the movies’ subdivision in genres and the Star System’s power, the artists often stayed stuck to only one genre, what created the stereotypes as for the artists as for the movies. This practice is very common until nowadays, because it creates the identification with the public and, consequently, the consumption, what makes the studios and all the film industry keep making money.
With the talkies’ appearance, all the film industry had to change, adapting itself to this innovation. So, with the possibility of using the sound, why not to use the music? Then, the Musical genre arises in the movies, with some iconic artists who keep representing this genre until today, as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. And, this genre had its peak in the 40’s, when some memorable movies were produced.
Another big genre stood out in this decade was the Film noir:
Movie’s style primarily associated to thrillers, which portrays their main characters in a cynical and antipathetic world. The Film noir is derivative from Big Depression epoch’s suspense novels and from 30’s horror movies’ visual style. The first Films noirs appeared in the beginning of 40’s decade. The “Noirs” were historically filmed in black-and-white and they were characterized by high contrast, with roots in the characteristic cinematography from German Expressionism. [WIKIPEDIA, online].
Also, one of the most known genres of the American movies is the Western, and especially in the classic period, this was a popular one. The golden age of this genre has like maximum exponent the job of the director John Ford, who boosted the John Wayne’s career.
Besides the movies of these genres, there were other important and famous movies in the beginning of 40’s decade like: “The Grapes of Wrath” (1940); “Citizen Kane” (1941); and “Casablanca” (1942).
Focusing on the 50’s decade this was a prosperity time for USA and the production from Hollywood because the leisure had become an important part in the American life and the cinema was an essential part in this leisure. According to Wasson (2011): “It was the 50’s and the United States apparently on vacation. […] In these postwar years, the industry of the anxiety’s relief peaked unprecedented, increasing more over the decade”. (WASSON, 2011, p. 39).
In this period, as in the 40’s, it was produced unforgettable Musical movies, some Films noirs and also some Westerns…
On the other hand, it was another genre that stood out in the 50’s decade: the Comedy, more specifically, the Romantic comedy. And, if in the 40’s decade, the actors who dominated the movie screens, in the 50’s, the actresses who commanded. It was in this decade that stood out a phenomenon called Marilyn Monroe, who is the first actress remembered by a lot of people when it is asked something about the 50’s movies. However, as mentioned before, in the classic period of American cinema, especially in the 50’s decade, there was an extreme dialectic to women. So, in the contrary side of Marilyn Monroe, appeared Audrey Hepburn, in movies where she acted in more behaved roles.
Another recurrent genre of the 50’s is the Drama, sometimes involving a Romance, others involving a War, but always with the drama as background.
The 50’s also was the career’s decade of two actors: Grace Kelly and James Dean.
Grace Kelly – Monaco’s Princess – considered the 13th legend of world cinema according to American Film Institute, starred 11 movies between 1951 and 1956 and received 10 nominations for the main awards in the film industry, which won 06 times. James Dean, considered a cultural icon, representing the youth of the 50’s decade. He acted in 07 movies (where in 04 of them, Dean wasn’t credited), also between 1951 and 1956. He received 02 posthumous nominations for Academy Awards (1956 / 1957).
– In the next posts I’ll
talk write more specifically about some movies of this golden period. See you soon!
CINEMA western. Wikipedia. Available in: <http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western>. Access in: 2014, May 25th.
FILM noir. Wikipedia. Available in: <http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_noir>. Access in: 2014, May 25th.
GRACE Kelly. Wikipedia. Available in: <http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Kelly>. Access in: 2014, May 25th.
JAMES Dean. Wikipedia. Available in: <http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dean>. Access in: 2014, May 25th.
STUDIO System / Star System / Gêneros [Genres]. Slideshare. 2009. Available in: <http://pt.slideshare.net/guestcda059/studio-system-star-system-gneros>. Access in: 2014, May 25th.
WASSON, Sam. Quinta Avenida, 5 da manhã: Audrey Hepburn, Bonequinha de luxo e o surgimento da mulher moderna [Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the dawn of the modern woman]. Translated by José Rubens Siqueira. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2011. Cap. 01.