Dean Stockwell in the The Careless Years
I recently streamed the film, The Careless Years (1957) on Netflix and discovered three things:
- Santa Monica High School is used as the high school in the story. Cool!
- The version of the film on Netflix - the last 30 minutes of the movie is from a completely different film! About three quarters of the way into the movie, a scene fades to black and then the ending of a whole different movie fades in - so I didn't even get to see the real ending. Not cool!
- Third, Dean Stockwell had a striking resemblance to James Dean as a teenager.
The film centers around a couple of high school students. Dean Stockwell plays Jerry, a boy from a poor family who falls in love with Emily (Natalie Trundy), a girl from a wealthy family. Jerry can't control his hormones and wants to make love to Emily, but she isn't ready to go all the way. Jerry proposes to Emily, but it seems more like a proposition to get under Emily's skirt than for sincere marriage reasons. This is a 1950s film, so all the action is very PG, Leave it to Beaver fashion. In fact, the mother of Emily is even played by Barbara Billingsley, the mother from Leave it to Beaver! That's the gist of the film and again, I was unable to see the ending.
Here are some comparisons of Santa Monica High School as featured in the film compared to how it appears today.
Santa Monica High School as seen in The Careless Years (1957)
Santa Monica High School. Photo (c) Tony Hoffarth
Natalie Trundy in front of Santa Monica High School
Dean Stockwell in front of Santa Monica High School
Entrance to Santa Monica High School. Photo (c) Tony Hoffarth
The courtyard in front of Santa Monica High School.
Aerial view of Santa Monica High School.
Dean Stockwell and James Dean.
Dean Stockwell and James Dean not only share the name "Dean" but they also share a striking similarity in appearance. In the photo above Dean Stockwell is seen as he appears in The Careless Years and on the right is an image of James Dean from the time of Rebel Without a Cause. I can't get over how much they look a like - the hair and hairline, squinty eyes, eyebrows, and overall facial features. Then when you see them both in blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt, they look like they could be brothers. What do you think? A bit of trivia: James Dean also filmed scenes in front of Santa Monica High School. In the film Rebel Without a Cause Santa Monica High School stood in for Dawson High School.
The contemporary images of Santa Monica High School I found from a Flickr page by Tony Hoffarth. He's got many great photos of Los Angeles area locations. You can visit his page by clicking here.