Talk:The Spirit of St. Louis (film)

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James Dean reference in The Spirit of St. Louis (film)[edit]

I am curious where an editor found the reference to James Dean being considered for the role of Charles Lindbergh in the Spirit of St. Louis film biography. I read and reread biographies of James Stewart and could find only a reference to studio head Jack Warner offering the part to John Kerr in 1954 who turned it down. A well-known incident involving Stewart and his father making a plea to producer Leland Hayward for "Jimmy" Stewart to play Lindbergh also occurred in 1954. Stewart went on a prolonged diet to better fit the gaunt look of a younger man. Before he found out that he got the part, he had dropped so much weight that he looked ill. The role was cast late in 1954 with production shooting begun in August 1955. At that point, James Dean had just come to Hollywood to make his first film. Is this part of an urban myth? FWIW Bzuk 02:41, 4 July 2007 (UTC).

The editor claims an IMDB reference which is routinely reverted as being user-created and full of inaccuracies, of which this one is an example of an urban myth. If no other sources are found I will revert this submission in one week. FWIW Bzuk 03:04, 4 July 2007 (UTC).
Val Holley in his biography of James Dean lists the following projects that James Dean was considering at the time of his death: The films, "A Gun for a Coward" which was specifically developed for him and the biopic, "Somebody Up There Likes Me" along with a Broadway production and a TV production, "The Corn is Green." Bzuk 00:04, 7 July 2007 (UTC).
A sufficiently long time has transpired in this claim and now that IMDb has removed the note that James Dean was considered for this film, there does not seem to be corroborating evidence to substantiate the purported James Dean connection. FWIW Bzuk 19:59, 18 July 2007 (UTC).

Joyce Milton's outstanding 1993 biography of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, "Loss of Eden," mentions the film and says that Stewart was obviously too old to play the lead, and that it was a role that might better have gone to "a James Dean." Milton is in no way saying that Dean was actually considered for the role, she is simply making the observation that Dean, or a young actor like him, would have been better for the role. Maybe that's where the myth got started. (talk) 21:44, 16 September 2016 (UTC)


Recently a tag was placed on the plot section as it now displaces the word count at 1,030 words of other notable films:

  • All The King's Men: 300 words
  • American Beauty: 500 words
  • Annie Hall: 285 words
  • Around the World in 80 Days: 300 words
  • Ben Hur: 903 words
  • Gandhi: 600 words... and I could go on, but the idea behind a "Plot" section is that it provides a synopsis or precis of the film's plot, not a scene-by-scene recitation. FWiW, the section title was originally "Plot synopsis". Bzuk (talk) 16:50, 26 November 2011 (UTC).
The MOS states: "The summary should not exceed the range (700 words) unless the film's structure is unconventional, ... such as a non-linear storyline (such as the storyline in The Spirit of St. Louis), or unless the plot is too complicated to summarize in this range." A story of historical importance, told with multiple flashbacks, and based on a detailed autobiograhy falls into the latter category. I recommend not expending your editorial energies over a few hundred words. Rjaklitsch (talk) 17:04, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
See above, other films seem to be able to accommodate complex storylines. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 17:16, 26 November 2011 (UTC). On re-consideration, there has been a valiant attempt to pare down the plot, and I withdraw my objection concerns. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 17:37, 26 November 2011 (UTC).
Review the MOS for number conventions here: WP:ORDINAL. If I have the editorial prerogative to use words rather than numerals in a section of an article I wrote and am in the process of editing, and if the MOS allows for either convention, why press the issue—life is short. Regarding the plot length, I agree that most plot summaries can be written effectively within 700 words, but others cannot, which is why the MOS is flexible on the issue. Consider these plot recalcitrants:
  • Gone with the Wind: 1,813 words
  • Giant: 1,048 words
  • The French Connection: 1,040 words
  • A Man for All Seasons: 1,035 words
  • Casablanca: 971 words
  • Godfather: 984 words
  • Ben-Hur: 911 words
  • Titanic: 903 words
Rjaklitsch (talk) 18:08, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No one has "editorial prerogative"? See: use of number or words. Note the heed on most editorial page, "If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here." FWiW, I am not wedded to the use of the standard form of stating numbers, but the earliest use of a convention was already begun, see first paragraph in "lede." Bzuk (talk) 18:27, 26 November 2011 (UTC).

Now, a further caution, you cannot editwar over what is a matter of convention, and as you stated, the standard is that in the body of an article, numbers are stated as words from zero to nine, and as numerals from 10+ (the verbatim quote is: "As a general rule, in the body of an article, single-digit whole numbers from zero to nine are spelled out in words; numbers greater than nine are commonly rendered in numerals"). Is there an exception that you can see to this generally-agreed upon convention for articles? FWiW Bzuk (talk) 18:32, 26 November 2011 (UTC).


WP:ORDINAL Numbers as figures or words "As a general rule, in the body of an article, single-digit whole numbers from zero to nine are spelled out in words; numbers greater than nine are commonly rendered in numerals, or in words if they are expressed in one or two words (16 or sixteen, 84 or eighty-four, 200 or two hundred, but 3.75, 544, 21 million). This applies to ordinal numbers as well as cardinal numbers." Any questions? Rjaklitsch (talk) 18:45, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Nope, missed the first bold section. FWiW, so this boils down to you want words, I don't see the need as the numerals were used earlier. I'm now out for the day. There isn't a resolution yet to this as I characterize it, veeeery minor point of style. Bzuk (talk) 18:50, 26 November 2011 (UTC).
  • Looking at the nmbers in question...well, from a reader's standpoint, I think "forty hours" looks better; "90" days could go either way, while "24-hour shifts" reads much better. - The Bushranger One ping only 19:13, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable compromise. Keep numerals for the compound adjectives and retain the the original words for the one and two syllable numbers. Rjaklitsch (talk) 12:18, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
The problem remains that the application of an inconsistant standard would be in place, for no other reason other than it "looks pretty" or for stylistic reasons. Nothing prevents other editors from revising the article to follow the general rule of writing out numbers as words. FWiW, I wouldn't necessarily be so picayune, but with the raft of errors that were evident in the first drafts, the intention was to more closely adhere to conventional grammar and style useage in a rewrite. Bzuk (talk) 13:17, 28 November 2011 (UTC).