COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN is a Robert Altman space-case showcase. Good ensemble acting enhances this plotless character clutch, wherein five members of a James Dean fan club in a dinky Texas burg congregate for a two-year reunion on the anniversary of the actor’s death. Everyone is messed up; skeletons in their closets; all the truths and untruths have their airing by eves end.
Sandy Dennis does her usual blinking, halting, neurotic schtick as the most unbalanced of the group, living on her memory of encountering Dean on the set of Giant. All the stock Dennis mannerisms are unleashed: their effect will depend on your endurance for same.
The others—Cher, Karen Black, Sudie Bond, Kathy Baker— are all good, especially Cher, her timing with a wise line giving the set-confined piece some much-needed cheer. A lot of yak about absolutely nothing, but as an acting exercise, worthy of a look. Released in 1982, unspooling in 109 minutes, it twitched and sputtered its way to 118th place in earnings.