This guy is cool, and I defy anyone to deny it. I didn't know what angst was, or that as a young man, I suffered from this affliction. James Dean, in "Rebel Without A Cause", showed me that I was not alone, and the only two options existed. Buck up and plow through, or punch your own ticket. He found his life confusing at every turn, his peers a frustrating mystery, his parents a useless enigma, and no help at all, but love and friendship were within his grasp, and these were to be the things that saved him.
We were the last people I knew that owned a VCR, and for several years we owned two tapes. A colorized version of "It's A Wonderful Life", (Thanks Ted Turner, You Boob!), and a tape with "Blade Runner" with Harrison Ford, (A personel favorite, still is), "Casablanca" with my man Bogart, (THE GREATIST MOVIE EVER MADE!), and "Rebel Without A Cause", James Dean's best of the three movies he lived to appear in.
Dean did his screen test (they would film you just hanging around, talking, for fifteen minutes or so, just to determine your potential "star power".) for Warner Bros. with a very young Paul Newman. They laughed and kidded around, and smoked cigarettes. (Who didn't in Hollywood then?) I've seen clips from this famous film test, and it is interesting just to see these two powerhouses of American film just clowning around together.
Because of Dean, I have enjoyed a lifelong facination with the swithblade knife. I have a couple and have given them as gifts to most of my friends.
Dean's aggresive life style robbed American cinema of a grand star, and Dean of his life, when he wrecked his car at a hundred plus miles per hour.
So lets hoist a cold one to the man who brought us "Giant", "East of Eden", and my favorite, "Rebel Without A Cause", 'cause even though my days of angst have passed me by, I can still recall the inner churning that only James Dean could bring home.
Rest in Peace, Sir. The beer tastes good, but it would be nice to have enjoyed it with your smokin' cool.