Sunday, April 9, 2017

JAMES DEAN'S FILM DEBUT WAS IN AN EASTER STORY


I had been wanting to find this and, of course, Youtube came through.  This is from the TV version of the popular radio anthology, Family Theater. The radio series adapted several classic children's books, while the TV series focused on mainly stories from the Bible (It was produced by a Catholic group - the radio show usually began with prayer).

I learned about this in an extra on the DVD of Rebel Without Cause. James Dean's first appearance on film was playing John the Apostle in a 1951 episode of Family Theater. The episode is called "Hill Number One."  It features a wrap around story of a platoon of men fighting in Korea. A chaplain brings the men coffee on Easter Sunday and begins telling them the story of the Resurrection.

Like the radio series, the TV show attracted some major actors. In this episode alone, you will see such well-known actors as Roddy McDowell (Planet of the Apes), William Schallert (Patty Duke Show), Leif Erickson (High Chaparral), Frank Wilcox (The Untouchables & Beverly Hillbillies), and Michael Anasara (Broken Arrow, Law of the Plainsman, Star Trek & I Dream of Jeanie).

When this first aired, James Dean wasn't THE JAMES DEAN. This was just the beginning of his legend.

Feel free to post this on Facebook with a overbearing, guilt trip statement like "I bet you won't share this." Maybe I'll get more hits that way.



     

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