See Review: ‘Sal’ is James Franco’s fantastic take on Sal Mineo CLICK HERE
James Franco’s Sal chronicles the final day in the life of actor Sal Mineo (Val Lauren), 1950s teen idol
and an Academy Award® nominee for his roles in Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus.
Almost two decades later, Mineo is no longer the marquee sensation he had once been — but he has become open
about his homosexuality and is finding his way to becoming the actor and director he has always wanted
to be. Featuring a magnetic performance by Lauren, Franco’s intimate portrait finds the human details in a
larger-than-life Hollywood story.
Sal Mineo had a successful relationship with women. In fact, his brother notes:
While filming the classic film epic, “Exodus,” Sal fell in love with his co-star, actress Jill Haworth, and the couple began a romance that lasted for many years.
Here is a direct statement by actor/director James Franco:
In 1976 Sal Mineo was murdered in front of his apartment on Holloway Drive, one block away from
Sunset Boulevard, in the heart of Hollywood. Sal was thirty-seven when he was murdered, and was on the
cusp of a new upswing in his career. He had started as a child star and when he was fifteen acted opposite
James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, for which they were both nominated for Oscars® (Dean
posthumously). As a young performer, Sal was incredibly successful, as both an actor and a singer, and
then in his twenties, for a variety of reasons both in and out of his control, he lost the recognition he had
enjoyed as a young man. He struggled through his twenties and thirties to work, never again achieving
the level of success he once enjoyed.
He lived the common tragedy of so many creative people who are passionate about what they do and
don’t have an outlet for their work. But unto the end, Sal was fighting for freedom of expression, and for
ways to create work that was exciting and new. When he was murdered the tabloid magazines
groundlessly hinted that the murder might have involved drugs or a gay lover, and ever since the
memories of Sal has been tied to such erroneous conjecture in bad faith. This film is a portrait of a
sensitive and kind artist in his last hours. Its intent is to show a whole life in the course of one day, the last
day of Sal Mineo’s life.
See a trailer above, and a review (link below) as well as a photo essay and behind-the scenes pictures.