September 30, 1955

For those who aren’t James Dean aficionados, the title of this sophomoric movie refers to the day the 24-year-old actor was killed in a car crash. The story focuses on the angst-ridden antics of one particularly devastated fan (Richard Thomas, fresh from The Waltons). The angry young man is so grief- stricken that he strips to his underwear, fashions an Oscar out of mud, and conducts a séance to contact Dean’s spirit-all this before he gets really upset. On video, this film seems like a demented, time-warped Waltons episode. A rebel without a pause, Thomas (or is it John Boy having a breakdown?) rants and raves, trying hard to effect an earnest, misunderstood demeanor. He ends up seeming simply pathetic. Even a baby-faced Dennis Quaid in a small supporting role isn’t enough to make you want to keep a date with September 30, 1955. D-

September 30, 1955
  • Movie
  • 101 minutes