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Noon Edition

The James Dean Story

In 1957 a young Robert Altman (future director of Nashville, MASH, and The Player) co-directed a documentary about James Dean, with a soundtrack written by Leith Stevens (who also scored The Wild One, subject of a previous Night Lights program). The soundtrack was recorded by a group of West Coast jazz musicians led by trumpeter Chet Baker and alto saxophonist/flutist Bud Shank; we'll hear selections from it, as well as dialogue clips from Altman's film.

The website James Dean in Death offers all sorts of information about Dean's final day (9/30/55); you can even take a virtual trip that parallels his movements that fateful morning and afternoon.

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