Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean: Altman’s Version of Graczyk Play

Robert Altman directed the Broadway and screen versions of Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, a serio comedy written Ed Graczyk, extremely well acted by the entire cast.

Grade: B (***1/2* out of *****)

ome Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Three women are seen in different poses against an orange background. The one on the right smiles as she rests her hand on a jukebox; to her left, the lower one stoops before a table, next to a mask; and the one standing up is holding a glass, with a blunt look on her face. The film's title is displayed in a cursive script inside a tilted pink square.

Original theatrical poster

The female-driven ensemble starred Sandy Dennis, Cher, Karen Black, Sudie Bond, and Kathy Bates.

The tale largely takes place in a Woolworth’s five-and-dime store in a small Texas town, where an all-female fan club for actor James Dean reunites in 1975.

Through a series of flashbacks, the six members also reveal secrets dating back to 1955.

Jimmy Dean was the first of several feature adaptations of plays by Altman in the 1980s, after the director’s departure from Hollywood.

It was screened at various festivals, and won the top prize at the 1982 ChicagoFilm Festival. It was well received by critics, who praised Altman’s direction and the performances by the female cast.

This was the first release of the New York–based independent outlet Cinecom Pictures.


Sandy Dennis as Mona
Cher as Sissy
Karen Black as Joanne
Sudie Bond as Juanita
Marta Heflin as Edna Louise
Kathy Bates as Stella Mae
Mark Patton as Joe Qualley
Caroline Aaron as Martha
Ruth Miller as Clarissa
Gena Ramsel as Sue Ellen
Ann Risley as Phyllis Marie
Dianne Turley Travis as Alice Ann


Directed by Robert Altman
Produced by Scott Bushnell
Screenplay by Ed Graczyk, based on his 1976 play, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Cinematography Pierre Mignot
Edited by Jason Rosenfield

Production company: Mark Goodson Productions
Viacom Enterprises
Sandcastle 5

Distributed by Cinecom International Films

Release date: September 30, 1982 (Chicago); November 12, 1982 (US)

Running time: 109 minutes
Budget $850,000
Box office $2.3 million