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Dennis Stock: James Dean

Dennis Stock


An intimate visual portrait of the star-crossed Hollywood icon James Dean through the eyes of one of his closest friends, Magnum photographer Dennis Stock

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In the words of the Life magazine article that accompanied the first publication of these photographs, James Dean was ‘the most exciting actor to hit Hollywood since Marlon Brando’. But at the time they were taken, he was still poised on the brink of fame, a charismatic figure more isolated and alone than recognized and celebrated.

Dennis Stock and James Dean struck up a friendship in the winter of 1954–55, and the idea of a collaboration formed. It was Stock’s ambition to ‘reveal the environments that affected and shaped the unique character of James Byron Dean.’

Stock captures the essence of James Dean in a stunning series of images of the actor with family, friends and colleagues as well as alone, reading, sleeping, lost in thought, in the frozen fields of Indiana, on a rainy day in Times Square. It was an extraordinary collaboration of two people, Stock and Dean, in full command of their talents, to the extent that the project and their friendship have been dramatized in a feature film, itself called Life, directed by Anton Corbijn and starring Robert Pattinson as Stock and Dane DeHaan as Dean.

These iconic photographs taken at the dawn and high noon of a brief and brilliant career are presented with Dennis Stock’s original text and a later introduction by Joe Hyams, the author of the definitive biography of Dean.

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'The unlikely friendship between Dean and Stock was recently made into a film, with Robert Pattinson as Stock. This is better'
The Times

'A moving catalogue documenting a young man on the verge of global fame'
Amateur Photographer

Further Details


Format: PLC (with jacket)

Size: 30.0 x 23.0 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Publication date: 6 October 2015

ISBN: 9780500544518

Contents List

Introduction • The Photographs

About the Author

Dennis Stock (1928–2010) was born in New York City. He was a member of Magnum Photos from 1951 until his death in 2010. He was also a writer, director and producer for television and film and his photographs are in the collections of many major museums and galleries. J

Joe Hyams (1923–2008) was a Hollywood columnist. He wrote or co-wrote some thirty books, including James Dean: Little Boy Lost in 1992.

List of Contributors

Joe Hyams