Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean


1h 50m 1982
Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Brief Synopsis

A mystery woman reveals the secrets of fan club members in a small Texas town.

Film Details

Also Known As
Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
1982

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m

Synopsis

1975 in McCarthy, Texas inside of a five-and-dime store, a reunion takes place for the members of a local 1950s James Dean fan club. An odd assortment of women attend, revealing hidden secrets. Mona is a disturbed woman who, in the '50s, got a job as an extra on the Giant shoot and nine months later gave birth to a son, who she claims is James Dean's child. There is Sissy, a wisecracking waitress, and Joanne, who has a shocking secret that is revealed at the reunion.

Crew

Robert Allen

Song

Stephen Altman

Props

Stephen Altman

Set Decorator

Marlene Arvan

Assistant Director

Diane Asnes

Assistant Editor

Fidelio Delia Bartolomeo

Hair Stylist

John Brigleb

Stage Manager

Scott Bushnell

Costume Designer

Scott Bushnell

Producer

Sammy Cahn

Theme Lyrics

Jack Chandler

Technical Director

Giraud Chester

Executive Producer

Doug Cole

Production Coordinator

Hans Engleman

Song

Greg Fauss

Wardrobe

Dorothy Fields

Song

David Craig Forrest

Makeup

Alan Freed

Song

Harvey Fuqua

Song

Keith Gardner

Sound

Tom Glazer

Song

Mark Goodson

Producer

Ed Graczyk

Screenplay

Ed Graczyk

Play As Source Material

David Gropman

Production Designer

Tom Grunke

Key Grip

Jo Ann Harris

Song Performer

Celeste Hines

Assistant Editor

Ivory Joe Hunter

Song

Sal Izzo

Song

Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra

Song

Luca Kouimelis

Script Supervisor

Jean Lepine

Camera Assistant

Michael Levine

Camera Operator

Mosie Lister

Song

John Jacob Loeb

Song

Carmen Lombardo

Song

Robert Q. Lovett

Sound Editor

Jimmy Mchugh

Song

Pierre Mignot

Director Of Photography

Al Nahmias

Sound Editor

Bob Perper

Song

Fred Rauch

Song

Gina Roose

Assistant Editor

Jason Rosenfield

Editor

Harthman Sherwood

Song

Carl Sigman

Song

Frank Stettner

Sound

Larry Stevens

Song

Al Stillman

Song

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Music

Charles Tobias

Song

Harry Tobias

Song

Henry Tobias

Song

Stella Unger

Song

James Van Heusen

Music

Richard Vorisek

Sound

Tom Walls

Song

Sonia Webster

Production Manager

Sonia Webster

Assistant Director

Benjamin Wilson

Wardrobe

Jeffrey Wilson

Song

G Winkler

Song

Victor Young

Song

Film Details

Also Known As
Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
1982

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m

Articles

Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean


Adapting a play to the big screen isn't the easiest task in the world of moviemaking. Movies based on plays can appear stage bound and static and it's a delicate sensibility that understands how to make it work. It helps tremendously if the talent at hand has a passion for both the theater and the cinema and has worked on the play in question. All of that was the case when Robert Altman, film directing genius behind M*A*S*H and Nashville, decided to adapt the play he had directed on stage, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean was written by Ed Graczyk and directed by him on stage at the Player's Theater in Columbus, Ohio in 1976. The play, and movie, concern the story of a group of James Dean fans, The Disciples of James Dean, who meet on the twentieth anniversary of the death of James Dean. They come together, as the title suggests, at a five and dime where some of them used to work in a small Texas town a few miles outside of Marfa, where the James Dean classic, Giant, was filmed. One of the fans even had a part as an extra in the filming of Giant, or so she says. The fan club had one male member, Joe, who surprises the rest of the fans by arriving, in 1975, transformed through a sex change operation into Joanne. The story takes the friends back and forth in time as they tell their stories and come to grips with who they are, what the made of themselves, and what their futures hold.

Ed Graczyk got the inspiration to write the play years earlier while working at a community theater in Texas. He went out to Marfa one day and saw the old, battered, and worn down façade of the ranch used in the making of the movie Giant. Barely standing and supported by rotting telephone poles, the isolation, loneliness, and dying past on display before him, contrasted with the community around it, led him to write a play about characters connected, however tenuously, to that decaying monument and the memory of James Dean.

Robert Altman had both an interest in James Dean and the theater which led him to helm the play's eventual Broadway production. Altman had worked on a documentary about Dean back in 1957, The James Dean Story, in which still photographs were used with pans and zooms, an effect later made famous by Ken Burns. The documentary examined Dean's life a mere two years after his death and, in many ways, Graczyk's play examined his death two decades later by examining the effect it had on his fans and their lives. The play and movie aren't actually about Dean, of course, but his present is felt throughout. Altman was very interested in exploring the lives of lonely individuals in an isolated environment, both geographically, in a desolate and remote area of Texas, and architecturally, within the confines of the five and dime that represents their work, home, and common ground.

The casting of the play and movie, since the casts overlapped, was instrumental to its success. The great Tony and Oscar winning actress Sandy Dennis took on the central role while Altman found someone unlikely as the character that acts as an anchor for the others, Sissy. He had planned on going with Shelley Duvall, an actress he had worked with before but when Cher expressed interest in the play, he told her to read for it. Cher wasn't known as an actress yet, still thought of primarily as one half of the famous singing/variety show duo Sonny and Cher. After she read for it, Altman was convinced he'd found his Sissy and cast her in the role. Later, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for it and her illustrious, and eventual Oscar winning career as an actress, was off to a fantastic start.

The play and movie also touched on themes of youth and regret. Dealing with this in flashbacks, Altman chose to have the actors, without any makeup or costume changes, simply revert to playing themselves younger for the flashback scenes. While that seems confusing, it is handled expertly by Altman and his cinematographer, Pierre Mignot, with surprising success. The only character that does actually change for the flashbacks is Joe/Joanne, played by Mark Patton as a young man in the flashbacks and Karen Black as an adult woman in the present day.

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean wasn't the success Altman hoped it would be, either on stage or film. The low budget film, mainly distributed into art house cinemas, got a tepid response from some, like Vincent Canby in The New York Times, and raves from others, like Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times. Altman thought it was his best work and in many ways, it just may be. Certainly, it's a different work for Altman. Gone are the familiar scenes of overlapping dialogue and multiple, shifting points of view with characters drifting in and out of the plot. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is more rooted in dramatic monologues than overlapping dialogues but, like most Altman, it challenges and illuminates rather than plays for the easy connections. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean meets the viewer halfway because, like all Altman, it expects the viewer to complete the journey. And when the viewer does, Altman , as always, provides a rewarding destination.

By Greg Ferrara
Come Back To The 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Adapting a play to the big screen isn't the easiest task in the world of moviemaking. Movies based on plays can appear stage bound and static and it's a delicate sensibility that understands how to make it work. It helps tremendously if the talent at hand has a passion for both the theater and the cinema and has worked on the play in question. All of that was the case when Robert Altman, film directing genius behind M*A*S*H and Nashville, decided to adapt the play he had directed on stage, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean was written by Ed Graczyk and directed by him on stage at the Player's Theater in Columbus, Ohio in 1976. The play, and movie, concern the story of a group of James Dean fans, The Disciples of James Dean, who meet on the twentieth anniversary of the death of James Dean. They come together, as the title suggests, at a five and dime where some of them used to work in a small Texas town a few miles outside of Marfa, where the James Dean classic, Giant, was filmed. One of the fans even had a part as an extra in the filming of Giant, or so she says. The fan club had one male member, Joe, who surprises the rest of the fans by arriving, in 1975, transformed through a sex change operation into Joanne. The story takes the friends back and forth in time as they tell their stories and come to grips with who they are, what the made of themselves, and what their futures hold. Ed Graczyk got the inspiration to write the play years earlier while working at a community theater in Texas. He went out to Marfa one day and saw the old, battered, and worn down façade of the ranch used in the making of the movie Giant. Barely standing and supported by rotting telephone poles, the isolation, loneliness, and dying past on display before him, contrasted with the community around it, led him to write a play about characters connected, however tenuously, to that decaying monument and the memory of James Dean. Robert Altman had both an interest in James Dean and the theater which led him to helm the play's eventual Broadway production. Altman had worked on a documentary about Dean back in 1957, The James Dean Story, in which still photographs were used with pans and zooms, an effect later made famous by Ken Burns. The documentary examined Dean's life a mere two years after his death and, in many ways, Graczyk's play examined his death two decades later by examining the effect it had on his fans and their lives. The play and movie aren't actually about Dean, of course, but his present is felt throughout. Altman was very interested in exploring the lives of lonely individuals in an isolated environment, both geographically, in a desolate and remote area of Texas, and architecturally, within the confines of the five and dime that represents their work, home, and common ground. The casting of the play and movie, since the casts overlapped, was instrumental to its success. The great Tony and Oscar winning actress Sandy Dennis took on the central role while Altman found someone unlikely as the character that acts as an anchor for the others, Sissy. He had planned on going with Shelley Duvall, an actress he had worked with before but when Cher expressed interest in the play, he told her to read for it. Cher wasn't known as an actress yet, still thought of primarily as one half of the famous singing/variety show duo Sonny and Cher. After she read for it, Altman was convinced he'd found his Sissy and cast her in the role. Later, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for it and her illustrious, and eventual Oscar winning career as an actress, was off to a fantastic start. The play and movie also touched on themes of youth and regret. Dealing with this in flashbacks, Altman chose to have the actors, without any makeup or costume changes, simply revert to playing themselves younger for the flashback scenes. While that seems confusing, it is handled expertly by Altman and his cinematographer, Pierre Mignot, with surprising success. The only character that does actually change for the flashbacks is Joe/Joanne, played by Mark Patton as a young man in the flashbacks and Karen Black as an adult woman in the present day. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean wasn't the success Altman hoped it would be, either on stage or film. The low budget film, mainly distributed into art house cinemas, got a tepid response from some, like Vincent Canby in The New York Times, and raves from others, like Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times. Altman thought it was his best work and in many ways, it just may be. Certainly, it's a different work for Altman. Gone are the familiar scenes of overlapping dialogue and multiple, shifting points of view with characters drifting in and out of the plot. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is more rooted in dramatic monologues than overlapping dialogues but, like most Altman, it challenges and illuminates rather than plays for the easy connections. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean meets the viewer halfway because, like all Altman, it expects the viewer to complete the journey. And when the viewer does, Altman , as always, provides a rewarding destination. By Greg Ferrara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States August 1982

Released in United States Fall September 1982

Shown at Montreal Film Festival August 1982.

Shot in Super-16mm

Released in United States August 1982 (Shown at Montreal Film Festival August 1982.)

Released in United States Fall September 1982