James Dean (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

James Dean (2001)



Critic Consensus: James Franco's uncanny portrayal of James Dean keeps this biopic engrossing, even as it emphasizes the Hollywood icon's myth over his more nuanced life story.

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Movie Info

During his all-too-short career (three starring roles in two years), James Dean helped to radically redefine the way teenagers were portrayed onscreen (and in popular culture in general), and the expressive naturalism of his performances did more to establish the "method" school of acting in the public mind than any other actor outside of Marlon Brando. James Dean is a made-for-cable biography that looks at the star's short but troubled life, his years of struggle before his sudden rise to fame, and the car crash that took his life at the age of 24. James Franco stars as James Dean, with Michael Moriarty as Winton Dean and Valentina Cervi as Pier Angeli, the actress Dean loved. Produced for the TNT cable network, James Dean first aired on August 4, 2001.

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James Franco
as James Dean
Michael Moriarty
as Winton Dean
Valentina Cervi
as Pier Angeli
Enrico Colantoni
as Elia Kazan
Edward Herrmann
as Raymond Massey
Amy Rydell
as Christine White
Mark Rydell
as Jack Warner
Joanne Linville
as Hedda Hopper
John Pleshette
as Billy Rose
Kyle Chambers
as Young James Dean
Barry Primus
as Nicholas Ray
David Proval
as Daniel Mann
Israel Horovitz
as Louis Schurr
Sam Gould
as Martin Landau
Wendy Benson
as Julie Harris
Karen Kondazian
as Mrs. Pierangeli
David Parker
as James Whitmore
Craig Barnett
as George Stevens
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News & Interviews for James Dean

Critic Reviews for James Dean

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (9)

For Freaks & Geeks' James Franco, James Dean is a major breakthrough. He not only looks like him, but his mannerisms and his whole persona are startlingly real. This movie rests on his thin, hunched shoulders, and he carries it off.

May 11, 2020 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The movie itself is rarely adventurous, but it could prompt viewers to watch the actual Dean performances again. Credit for that would go mainly to Franco, who excels at playing this odd, conflicted figure.

May 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Franco's metamorphosis into Dean ranks as one of the great TV performances of the year. And it would have been enough to earn James Dean a rave, but it's only one of several performances that set this movie apart.

May 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Sick of movie-star biopics? Then there's little to change your mind in this one... It's worth seeing, though, because James Franco uncannily channels the sulky, sexy, short-lived heartthrob.

May 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Franco could have walked through the role and done a passable Dean, but instead gets under the skin of this insecure, rootless young man.

May 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Re-creates Dean's life and times with what might be called stunning adequacy... Franco's performance is easily the best thing in the movie, conveying Dean's essence and angst without ever becoming a mere impersonation.

May 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for James Dean

It's rare to see such a good television production, mostly due to the Franco's portrayal of James Dean. Although the film was detailed, it wasn't accurate.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

three stars

MisterYoda ?
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

Really liked it. Maybe a little dramatic in parts but James Franco does a pitch-perfect job!

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

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