- Director Elia Kazan got James Dean drunk before filming the rooftop scene between Cal and Abra.
- James Dean and Paul Newman screen tested together for the parts of rival brothers for this movie.
- James Dean would provoke Raymond Massey off-camera so that the elder actor would hate him and he could get into character easier.
- In the scene where Adam refuses to accept Cal's money, the script called for Cal to turn away in anger from his father. It was James Dean's instinct to embrace him instead. This came as a surprise to Raymond Massey who could think of nothing to do but say, "Cal! Cal!" in response.
- James Dean refused to attend the premiere party, which almost cost him the lead in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
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