Artists in Action #492

James Dean stands on the edge


Testify said...

Picture taken by Dennis Stock, near Times Square. Stock wrote, of that time:"For a novice actor, in the fifties, New York was the place to go. The theatre was thriving, and television was alive and well. The Actors Studio, directed by Lee Strasberg, was in its many ways Jimmy felt more at home in New York than Los Angeles."

Don't know if its deliberate, subconscious or just in the nature of this blog but it seems to throw up curious links: Mr Magoo, who appears a little further down was, of course voiced by Dean's Rebel Without A Cause co star Jim Backus and Dean himself did a homage to Magoo in that movie when he says (of children)"Drown 'em like puppys"
And, now I think of it, not so long ago we were treated to a pic of Monroe entering the Actors Studio (although that may have been the LA branch, I don't know)

Tom Sutpen said...

You have very very sharp eyes, Testify.

I won't say the various links and pathways between elements in this image and that one are always intended, but you've lurched into a series of them (an incompleat one; as it's yet to be fully played out) that were indeed planted deliberately.

When I tell people that this blog is a bit more than just a bunch of images, or even an organized survey of cultural artifacts, this is what I'm talking about.

Well done, sir!

Inukshuk said...

Was wondering where this picture was taken with this French sign "Le faisan d'or"...

New-York, of course...

(Didn't have the sharp eyes of Testify... Pretty much impressing, indeed!)

Tommy O'C said...

Great connecting-the-dots, Testify.

Stock took that photograph on West 53rd Street. In the original photo, which is larger than the one presented here, the building in the background displays the faded paint of an ad for "Brute Force." Under it, an ad for a printing and office supplies business (which is visible in this version but not legible) states that its entrance is at 66 W. 53rd Street. That places this on W. 53 between 5th and 6th Avenues, a half mile from Times Square.

The theme of Dean, Marilyn, Brando, and the Actors Studio (that's the NY branch by the way; I know the building on W. 44th) is time-honored.

In Dennis Stock's "James Dean Revisited" (1978), the accompanying caption for this photo states: "We used to roam the streets of New York together, and I liked to photograph Jimmy observing others. He had a great natural curiosity about people, was a collector of street vignettes, and I was forever amazed at the oddities he would stumble upon."

On the page opposite the photo displayed here is a photo of two girls and a dog in the doorway of a store, with Dean looking at what one of the girls was holding in her hand: "What was it? A chicken head. Only Jimmy would upon such surreal situations."

Thanks for bringing up these memories, Tom.