DS, two pages, 8.5 x 11, April 2, 1955. Warner Bros. document sent to James Dean, notifying him that they have extended his term of employment for the completion of Rebel Without a Cause, and the production of his last film, Giant. In part: "The term of the extended period referred to…shall not end on the date sixty-one (61) days after you shall have completed all services required by us in connection with the aforesaid motion picture 'Rebel Without a Cause,' but shall be deemed to end on the date you shall have completed principal photography of your role in said motion picture…The motion picture in connection with the production of which you shall render your services under said contract…shall be the motion picture tentatively entitled 'Giant,' with you portraying the role of 'Jett Rink' therein…We shall be entitled to require you to commence your services in said motion picture 'Giant' on a date to be designated by us." Signed at the conclusion by James Dean and countersigned by A. J. Obringer. In fine condition, with staple holes to the upper left corner. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from JSA.
At the time Dean signed this contract, shooting had just begun on Rebel Without a Cause: the movie was in production from March 28 to May 25, 1955. Portraying Jim Stark in the classic coming-of-age film, Dean exemplified teenage angst and was recognized by Jack Warner as a rising star. At Warner's behest, what began as a black-and-white B-movie became a full-color blockbuster. The production of Giant began shortly after Rebel Without a Cause wrapped, with Dean playing a ranch hand who strikes oil in Texas. Killed in a car crash on September 30, 1955—before the production of Giant was completed—he would not live to see either premiere. While Rebel Without a Cause is now recognized as his most iconic role, it was his appearance as Jett Rink in Giant that earned him the first posthumous Academy Award nomination.
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