Jim Backus

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Rebel Without A Cause Review


Excellent
Rebel Without a Cause, the second of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death, is the movie that made him an instant legend. Released just 27 days after his fatal car crash, the film froze him in time and later took on even more legendary proportions when his co-stars, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, also died premature deaths. (Amazingly enough, Dennis Hopper, who appeared in two Dean movies, is still alive.)

Nicholas Ray's study of the epidemic of juvenile delinquency that terrified post-war parents in the '50s is still compelling today even if the delinquency depicted -- leather jackets, switchblades, drag racing -- seems positively quaint by today's shoot-up-the-school-with-an-Uzi standards. Dean takes the role of Jim Trask and runs with it, chewing up the scenery when the script demands it and then throttling back into profound stillness in his moodier moments.

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Man Of A Thousand Faces Review


OK
This dutiful biopic tells the life story of early screen legend Lon Chaney, from his deaf-mute parents to his Vaudeville acts to his crazy first wife to his fame in Hollywood to his death from cancer. The problem is that James Cagney, in the title role, doesn't have 1,000 faces. He has one face, and it isn't Lon Chaney. Reportedly this film plays it fast and loose with the facts, which is unfortunate, because getting some insight into the actor is really the only reason you'd want to watch the movie, apart from Dorothy Malone's nice performance as Chaney's nutjob of a first wife.
Jim Backus

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Jim Backus Movies

Rebel Without a Cause Movie Review

Rebel Without a Cause Movie Review

Rebel Without a Cause, the second of the three films James Dean starred in before...

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