Off Topic Messages

James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixed Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:33 am

There has been some confusion as to James Dean's motion picture debut, but I may have found it.

The majority of his acting work was done for TV and stage, with a few, mostly uncredited bit parts in film.

The first of these uncredited, wordless roles was for Sam Fuller's Korean War story, "Fixed Bayonets!" (20th Century Fox, 1951):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_Bayonets!

Dean earned $44 for a two-line minor role, but the lines were cut from the final print.

Fuller recalled Dean in his 2004 autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking:

To convey the isolation in Fixed Bayonets, a soldier yells out "Who goes there?," and all he hears is his own voice echoing over and over. The actor we cast for that part was a young, sensitive kid in his first movie, James Dean. Dean had just come out to Hollywood to find work after having studied at the Actor's Studio. I liked his face and gave him a crack. I hoped it would bring him luck.

Since the moment described was deleted, Dean's only appearance comes near the end, as an American soldier standing guard.
He hears something, and rushes to notify his commander.

This is Dean at 20, the budding young actor:


Image

James Dean - "Fixed Bayonets!" (20th Century Fox, 1951)


Dean's first starring role was as Cal in "East Of Eden" (1955), and he nailed the part, someone who burst out of the box with an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and Best Foreign Actor nods from BAFTA and Jussi.

Jimmy was posthumously nominated for another Best Actor Oscar as Jett Rink in "Giant" (1956), and won a Golden Globe Special Achievement Award for his work in the film.

He was great right from the start, a major reason his legend endures over 50 years later.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:55 am

Thank you for clearing up the confusion you caused by claiming that East Of Eden was his first movie and the inmplication he had no acting roles prior.

One should not dismiss his TV appearances as inconsequential considering the bulk of them were live performances

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:04 am

KiwiAlan wrote:Thank you for clearing up the confusion ...

You're welcome. It's no fun being confused.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:37 pm

Interesting to note that James Dean also had an uncredited part in Lewis and Martin's Sailor Beware in 1952 during the boxing scene.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:09 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:There has been some confusion as to James Dean's motion picture debut...


And your erroneous header isn't helping at all.................

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:28 pm

FIXED BAYONETS was filmed in July/August 1951 and SAILOR BEWARE in September.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:58 pm

Thanks for bringing attention to this, Doc. I am a big Sam Fuller fan, and have always thought that A Third Face was one of the most intriguing books I have read. Fixed Bayonets! isn't one of Fuller's best efforts, in fact it isn't even his best film about the Korean War, that would be The Steel Helmet, but it is an interesting milestone in Dean's career, despite the fact that he is virtually invisible in the film.

Interesting sidenote: Fixed Bayonets! director Samuel Fuller's hit novel The Dark Page was made into a motion picture (Scandal Sheet) by director Phil Karlson, who later directed Elvis in Kid Galahad.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:09 pm

Great post Doc.

Here is the clip of James Dean in the film 'Sailor Beware'.

phpBB [video]

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:24 pm

james dean also was in a 1951 christian story called "Hill number one",,he played John the baptist..not sure if it was a tv thing or a theater release

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:44 pm

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:FIXED BAYONETS was filmed in July/August 1951 and SAILOR BEWARE in September.

That is my understanding as well. So good to have you here.


KingOfTheJungle wrote:Thanks for bringing attention to this, Doc. I am a big Sam Fuller fan, and have always thought that A Third Face was one of the most intriguing books I have read. Fixed Bayonets! isn't one of Fuller's best efforts, in fact it isn't even his best film about the Korean War, that would be The Steel Helmet, but it is an interesting milestone in Dean's career, despite the fact that he is virtually invisible in the film.

Interesting sidenote: Fixed Bayonets! director Samuel Fuller's hit novel The Dark Page was made into a motion picture (Scandal Sheet) by director Phil Karlson, who later directed Elvis in Kid Galahad.

Great information!


Bodie wrote:Great post Doc.

Thanks. Dean delivers a line at about 3:49 of that YouTube clip.


joshferrell wrote:james dean also was in a 1951 christian story called "Hill number one",,he played John the baptist..not sure if it was a tv thing or a theater release

That was a made-for-TV production.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:07 am

You can also spot Duke Mitchell in that clip. He later teamed up with Sammy Petrillo and did a low-rent Martin and Lewis act in "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla."

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:25 am

KingOfTheJungle wrote:Thanks for bringing attention to this, Doc. I am a big Sam Fuller fan, and have always thought that A Third Face was one of the most intriguing books I have read. Fixed Bayonets! isn't one of Fuller's best efforts, in fact it isn't even his best film about the Korean War, that would be The Steel Helmet, but it is an interesting milestone in Dean's career, despite the fact that he is virtually invisible in the film.

Interesting sidenote: Fixed Bayonets! director Samuel Fuller's hit novel The Dark Page was made into a motion picture (Scandal Sheet) by director Phil Karlson, who later directed Elvis in Kid Galahad.

Scandal Sheet and Pickup on South Street are my favorite Sam Fuller's films. He even wrote the screenplay!

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:53 am

Jove wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:Thanks for bringing attention to this, Doc. I am a big Sam Fuller fan, and have always thought that A Third Face was one of the most intriguing books I have read. Fixed Bayonets! isn't one of Fuller's best efforts, in fact it isn't even his best film about the Korean War, that would be The Steel Helmet, but it is an interesting milestone in Dean's career, despite the fact that he is virtually invisible in the film.

Interesting sidenote: Fixed Bayonets! director Samuel Fuller's hit novel The Dark Page was made into a motion picture (Scandal Sheet) by director Phil Karlson, who later directed Elvis in Kid Galahad.

Scandal Sheet and Pickup on South Street are my favorite Sam Fuller's films. He even wrote the screenplay!


Both are great films, although Scandal Sheet is only partially a Sam Fuller film as he didn't direct. Widmark is absolutely kick-a@@ in Pickup on South Street. Have you seen Underworld U.S.A.? It's also top notch. My favorite Fuller films are The Naked Kiss and The Big Red One.
Last edited by KingOfTheJungle on Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:53 am

Fuller wrote this one, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Naked_Kiss

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:46 am

KingOfTheJungle wrote:
Jove wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:Thanks for bringing attention to this, Doc. I am a big Sam Fuller fan, and have always thought that A Third Face was one of the most intriguing books I have read. Fixed Bayonets! isn't one of Fuller's best efforts, in fact it isn't even his best film about the Korean War, that would be The Steel Helmet, but it is an interesting milestone in Dean's career, despite the fact that he is virtually invisible in the film.

Interesting sidenote: Fixed Bayonets! director Samuel Fuller's hit novel The Dark Page was made into a motion picture (Scandal Sheet) by director Phil Karlson, who later directed Elvis in Kid Galahad.

Scandal Sheet and Pickup on South Street are my favorite Sam Fuller's films. He even wrote the screenplay!


Both are great films, although Scandal Sheet is only partially a Sam Fuller film as he didn't direct. Widmark is absolutely kick-a@@ in Pickup on South Street. Have you seen Underworld U.S.A.? It's also top notch. My favorite Fuller films are The Naked Kiss and The Big Red One.


Haven't seen the others you mentioned. His only other film that I had seen was Merrill's Marauders, it was even filmed here. Classic dvds are hard to come by here in the Philippines.In fact I even bought my 8 Elvis sound tracks, legacy FEIM,On Stage etc in HONGKONG.

Going back to the topic, I personally feel that James Dean was another Brando, his early death sealed his iconic status.Kinda overrated, but that's just my opinion. If Brando would have died after On The Waterfront, oh well it would probably be Brando that will become the bigger icon.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:20 am

Nice to see shout-outs to The Naked Kiss, one of my favourite films. Shock Corridor as well.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:55 am

Frankie Teardrop wrote:Nice to see shout-outs to The Naked Kiss, one of my favourite films. Shock Corridor as well.

Very cool work from Fuller. It was a surprise to find Dean's debut was under his credit.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:54 am

Nice topic! Thank you.

I watched this movie a few months ago, and because the backcover of the R1 dvd mentions Dean's appearance, I was on the lookout. But I wasn't able to spot him, maybe because he appears near the end.

And a couple of weeks ago I watched the extra's that are on the 2-disc S.E. of the R1 'The Big Red One', included is a long interview with Fuller. A very interesting man who actually has a vision and does nothing without a reason. On YouTube are some interviews with him, and I can recommend these!
'Everyone is a coward, everyone is brave".
"He doesn't say anything, and that's one hell of an answer".

Doc, are you aware that the title of this topic is not correct?


phpBB [video]

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:52 pm

Finding out that Dean appeared in Fixed Bayonets is hardly the work of some scrutiny, nor was Fuller's 2004 autobiography the first place to have mentioned this -- as more than a few Dean biographies had discussed this years prior, e.g. Donald Spoto's superb 1996 Dean biography, Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean.

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:08 pm

Too bad you weren't here to enlighten us in Oct 2010.

Thanks for sharing!

::rocks

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:21 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Too bad you weren't here to enlighten us in Oct 2010.

Thanks for sharing!

::rocks


I 'enlightened' you about the wrong wording in your header back then, & you just ignored it..........................

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixed Bayonets!"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:31 pm

The film is available on DVD for about $13.00 USD:

Fixed Bayonets!
http://www.amazon.com/Fixed-Bayonets-Richard-Basehart/dp/B000MGBLIC

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:39 pm

ColinB wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Too bad you weren't here to enlighten us in Oct 2010.

Thanks for sharing!

::rocks


I 'enlightened' you about the wrong wording in your header back then, & you just ignored it..........................


I thought you would be used to members ignoring your posts Colin. :wink:

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixing Bayonets!"

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:53 pm

Bodie wrote:
ColinB wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Too bad you weren't here to enlighten us in Oct 2010.

Thanks for sharing!

::rocks


I 'enlightened' you about the wrong wording in your header back then, & you just ignored it..........................


I thought you would be used to members ignoring your posts Colin. :wink:


Pretty much, yeah !

Doesn't stop me mentioning it, though................................

Re: James Dean 1951 Film Debut --> "Fixed Bayonets!"

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:05 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:There has been some confusion as to James Dean's motion picture debut, but I may have found it.

The majority of his acting work was done for TV and stage, with a few, mostly uncredited bit parts in film.

The first of these uncredited, wordless roles was for Sam Fuller's Korean War story, "Fixed Bayonets!" (20th Century Fox, 1951):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_Bayonets!

Dean earned $44 for a two-line minor role, but the lines were cut from the final print.

Fuller recalled Dean in his 2004 autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking:

To convey the isolation in Fixed Bayonets, a soldier yells out "Who goes there?," and all he hears is his own voice echoing over and over. The actor we cast for that part was a young, sensitive kid in his first movie, James Dean. Dean had just come out to Hollywood to find work after having studied at the Actor's Studio. I liked his face and gave him a crack. I hoped it would bring him luck.

Since the moment described was deleted, Dean's only appearance comes near the end, as an American soldier standing guard.
He hears something, and rushes to notify his commander.

This is Dean at 20, the budding young actor:


Image

James Dean - "Fixed Bayonets!" (20th Century Fox, 1951)


Dean's first starring role was as Cal in "East Of Eden" (1955), and he nailed the part, someone who burst out of the box with an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and Best Foreign Actor nods from BAFTA and Jussi.

Jimmy was posthumously nominated for another Best Actor Oscar as Jett Rink in "Giant" (1956), and won a Golden Globe Special Achievement Award for his work in the film.

He was great right from the start, a major reason his legend endures over 50 years later.


So let me get this right. You have found the info to this life-long mystery? This information has never been a secret. have you never heard of imdb? You should, as Dean made a film before Fixed bayonets. He has an uncredited appearance in The day The earth Stood Still which was filmed earlier in 1951. Oops.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000015/