Ed here: I'd lost interest in James Dean over the years. His movie acting now struck me as labored and self-conscious and all the mythology about him overwrought. But last night I watched the cable documentary based on the lat five years of his life and he became interesting to me again. A sad strange guy and a real loss.
Then by coincidence, not at all looking for it, today I ran across this article about some of director Nicholas Ray's original plans for Rebel Without A Cause. Here are pieces of the long New York Times article by
Reclaiming Causes of a Filmmaking Rebel
By PATRICIA COHEN
Published: June 16, 2010
When Nicholas Ray, the pathbreaking filmmaker and director of “Rebel Without a Cause,” died from lung cancer in 1979, he left behind a substantial collection of artifacts that had never, or rarely, been seen. There is, for instance, the original typed treatment for “Rebel” with a bizarre twist that had Plato (played by Sal Mineo in the 1955 film) shoot Jim (James Dean) and commit suicide by falling on a live grenade.
“Rebel Without a Cause,” an emblem of adolescent disaffection, was his best known work. Though the grandiose ending in the treatment was scrapped, a series of 8 ½-by-11-inch storyboards — 53 of them — on which Ray scribbled notes in red ink about dialogue changes and camera positions reveal that his ideal finish was still different from the one that thrilled audiences.
Ray planned to have Plato shot by a sharpshooter from the roof of the planetarium. A close-up sketch of Dean’s face as he hangs onto a ladder and watches the body plummet head first shows the dramatic tension Ray sought to capture in the final frames.
Michael Chaiken, a film archivist, said this ending would have been much more expensive and difficult to shoot, and so Ray changed it at the last minute. Mr. Chaiken is working on the sale of the Ray material with the New York rare book dealer Glenn Horowitz.
for the entire article go here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/movies/17ray.html?hpw