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Star Legacies: Remembering James Dean

Michael Dwyer

on 15 June 2011

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Transcript of Arcadia

Star Legacies:
Remembering James Dean
Michael D. Dwyer
Dean in the 1980s
Johnny Cougar
Selling an Icon
Seventeen, March 1983
John Cougar, "Jack & Diane" American Fool. Riva, 1982.
the "real" Dean
The Original Rebel
"Dad, stand up for me." Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Inheriting the Legacy
Stock photos, 1955
Pop Nostalgia in the Reagan Era
Madonna, "Material Girl" (1985)
“We wanted something uniquely American, something hot and wild. Johnny Indiana was one of our choices, Puma, Mustang--but nothing was as hot as Cougar!”
--Tony DeFries, to Seventeen (3/83)
watercolor on cardboard, 1984
Sadie Benning
Matt Dillon
Mickey Rourke
Christian Slater
Footloose (1984)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
“In Rebel Dean played himself—a mumbling, arrested-development adolescent—to perfection. Feeling mightily sorry for himself as a victim (of insensitive parents), his character prefigured the whiny, alienated, nobody-understands-me pouting that the self-absorbed youth of the sixties considered a political stance."
--George Will, "The Roaring 50s." 10/14/1993
Dean, Back from the Dead
Morrissey, "Suedehead." Viva Hate. Sire, 1988.
“I saw Rebel Without A Cause quite by accident when I was about six. I was entirely enveloped. His entire life seemed so magnificently perfect. What he did on film didn't stir me that much but as a person he was immensely valuable.... At school it was an absolute drawback because nobody really cared about him. If they did, it was only in a synthetic rock and roll way. Nobody had a passion for him as I did.”
--Morrissey, June 1984
Rampage, 1986
"Although the star persona functions as the catalyst that initiates the fantasy, the pleasure here is that of the participant, guided not exclusively by the series of primary narrative texts (there are, after all, only three and no more) but also by extra-cinematic discourses that extrapolate from the onscreen persona." (Deangelis, Gay Fandom & Crossover Stardom, 89)
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