Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

After the critical failure of Popeye (1980), Robert Altman turned away from Hollywood, directing Ed Graczyk's stage play Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. For the film, Altman made a deal with producer Peter Newman to retain David Gropman's set, which featured two identical Texas “five-and-dimes” separated by two-way mirrors that allowed the story to move back-and-forth between the past and the present. Set in 1975 and starring Sandy Dennis, Cher, and Karen Black, the story relates the twentieth reunion of “The Disciples of James Dean” fan club. They meet at the local hangout in a small Texas town, near where Giant had been shot in 1955. The soda-fountain waitress seems the same, but the fan club members have gotten older, some successful, others beaten down. Each recounts (often in flashbacks) their dreams, aspirations, and failures of the past decades. Given the focus on female fans-only one male appears in flashback-it's not surprising that the film tackles themes of feminism, gender relations, and sexuality.

Preserved by UCLA Film and Television Archive in cooperation with Sandcastle 5 Productions, and with thanks to Paramount Archives, from the original Super 16mm color negative, a 35mm CRI, a 35mm print, and the original ½-inch analog discreet mono D-M-E track.

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