Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Careless Years (1957) - Film Locations

Dean Stockwell in the The Careless Years

I recently streamed the film, The Careless Years (1957) on Netflix and discovered three things:
  1. Santa Monica High School is used as the high school in the story. Cool!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.


Bambi Cottage said...

I never noticed the similarities between Dean stockwell & James Dean before but those pictures side by side made me realise just how alike they were.
That's ridiculous having a different ending to the film! Hope you complained!

Raquel Stecher said...

Is there a reason Netflix switched to another movie towards the end?

I love your posts! It's very cool to see the before and after shots.

Robby Cress said...


Until I saw those film, I didn't realize the similarities either. The first image of Stockwell that comes to my mind is him when he was older or as a younger child actor.


I don't think it was intentional. I'm sure whatever company provided Netflix with the film simply provided Netflix with a screwed up master, which nobody caught, and in turn that's what Netflix has available for streaming. I'll let you know if I hear what happened!

Silver Screenings said...

I loved this post, with the then-and-now photos. Good work!

I'm another one who didn't realize how similar Dean Stockwell and James Dean looked. Very interesting!

Cee said...

Soon as I saw Dean S on a Alfred Hitchcock episode I said wow, he looks so much like James Dean...period!


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