I think James Dean made the greatest impact overall, I mean don’t get me wrong, Marlon Brando influenced many Im sure, especially the motorcycle culture and what not. But for James Dean, he influenced a specific group of people, adolescents perhaps. There is that certain set generation who Jimmy captivated so delicately through the way he lived his life, could be because his life was so short, or because people will always see him as the rebel, an eternal teenager, one man who just about anyone can look up to and just say, “Man, I want to be just like him, he’s so cool!” Back in the day and today. There is just something about him that you never want to shy away from, its kind of impossible.
No. Not that I know of.
East of Eden (1955) dir. Elia Kazan
…it’s awful not to be loved. It’s the worst thing in the world. Don’t ask me how I know that. I just know it. It makes you mean and violent and cruel. And that’s the way Cal has always felt, all his life. I know you didn’t mean it to be that way, but it’s true. You never gave him your love. You never asked him for his. You never asked him for one thing.
Dean seemed to thrive on dangerous stunts, and he used his motorcycle as his instrument more than once. I always refused to get on the back of it when he drove. “Why,” he would ask, “Yuh scared?”
"Yes, Jim, I’m scared," I once answered. "You take too many chances."
We were in front of my place, and he gunned the motor and took off. I would have stopped him and gotten my camera for some shots, but he was already zooming towards Park Avenue. I went inside. About fifteen minutes later my doorbell rang. I hadn’t heard any loud crashes, but was still relieved to see Jimmy when I opened the door.
"That was a short trip," I said and smiled. "Glad to see you back alive." He headed for the couch and settled in for an argument. He talked about the exhileration of taking chances and how great that felt. I am by nature more cautious, do our discussion was lively. We finally wound around to bullfighting and Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon.
His eyes lit up and he leaned forward as he insisted that “Old Hemingway squeezed the juice out of life.”
"I’m not going to live past 30," he said, and smiled, looking intently at me.
Jimmy could be vulgar in a little boy kind of way. He had this tire iron in his hand and came over to where I was sitting on the car and said to me, “Here, hold this,” and handed me the iron. So I said, “Okay,” and took it. Then he looked at me and said, “Have you ever felt anything so hard?” And everybody just cracked up. I wanted to die! I don’t remember what I said - “Wouldn’t you like to know” or something like that and threw it back at him. Jimmy could be so rotten, but then so cute, that I just couldn’t stay mad at him. - Beverly Long
James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.