Sep 4, 2009

Classic Hollywood Screen Tests, Part II

Here’s the follow-up to my collection of great screen tests from last week. This time, I’m posting tests with three of the most legendary Hollywood personalities: James Dean, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.

James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood have great loose energy together in this test for Rebel Without a Cause (1955):

Speaking of Rebel, James Dean wasn’t the first choice for the role. Here’s a taste of what Marlon Brando would have been like as Jim Stark if he had accepted the part:

Young Marilyn Monroe has yet to polish her acting skills in this early screen test, but her screen presence is undeniable:

Compare that early, mannered test to this hair and make-up test for Something’s Got To Give, her final, unfinished production in 1962. Here Monroe is a full-fledged star and, despite her personal troubles, her confidence in front of the camera is evident:

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