.:Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean:.

Director: Robert Altman

Year: 1982
Country: USA

Tagline: A cup of coffee and a side of dreams.

Production Companies: Sandcastle 5 Productions, Viacom Enterprises

Cast: Cher, Sandy Dennis, Karen Black, Sudie Bond, Kathy Bates, Marta Heflin, Mark Patton, Caroline Aaron

Writers: Ed Graczyk

Produced by: Scott Bushnell, Giraud Chester

Cinematography by: Pierre Mignot

Film Editing by: Jason Rosenfield

Genre: Comedy | Drama

Runtime: 109 min

Release Date:

30 September 1982 USA (Chicago International Film Festival)

12 November 1982 NYC, USA
4 May 1983 Netherlands

7 July 1983 Australia
11 May 1984 Denmark
11 September 1984 West Germany
30 April 2006 Sweden (TV premiere)

Budget: 850,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $22,298 (USA)

US Gross: $840,958

Worldwide Gross: $2,276,900

Filming Location: Los Angeles, California, USA



Plot summary:


On September 30, 1975, an all-female fan club called the Disciples of James Dean meets inside a Woolworth's five-and-dime store in McCarthy, Texas, to honor the twentieth anniversary of the actor's death. The store is 62 miles away from Marfa, where Dean filmed Giant in 1955. Inside, store owner Juanita prepares for another day on the job while swatting flies and listening to the radio, and also calls for Jimmy Dean by name. Meanwhile, one of the Disciples, Sissy, comes in late after helping out at the truck stop; Juanita remarks that more members could arrive at any moment. Another one, Mona, is taking a late bus.

After Sissy worries about the weather ("118 degrees in the shade"), a flashback to a stormy night in 1955 occurs. Coming inside for shelter, Sissy asks about three friends of hers: Mona, Sydney and Joseph Qualley (or "Joe" for short). Joe is busy stocking up some new issues of Photoplay magazine; Mona arrives late due to the weather. To Juanita's chagrin, Sissy, Mona and Joe go up at the counter and begin singing a doo-wop tune called "Sincerely".

Back in 1975, the sun is still shining; another two Disciples, Stella Mae and Edna Louise, make their way to the five-and-dime, bringing a red jacket that the club used to wear. Mona joins them and explains that the bus she was riding on broke down and had to be repaired. Looking at a group picture (with James Dean), she recalls the last time the Disciples, all dressed in jackets, came together. As reunion preparations continue, so does the flashback. (At this point, Sissy's friends joyfully break the news that Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean will be visiting the McCarthy vicinity to film Giant; auditions will be carried out across that area. This only prompts Mona's desires to play alongside Dean, her idol, in that film.) When Mona reveals that Dean chose her to raise his son, Juanita thinks that she is "warped and demented". Mona loses her temper when Sissy badmouths her; the latter goes outside to "cool off".

Mona and Juanita leave the shop for a while, and see a window shopper, Joanne, driving in a Porsche sports car. Joanne has arrived in McCarthy thanks to an old highway sign promoting Dean's son at the store. The Disciples learn that she had a sex change operation almost thirteen years ago, and (as Joe) was the only man in this group. In a flashback, Joe was scorned by town-dwellers after attending a high school dance in drag, and got brutally beaten in a graveyard. Hearing that story, Stella wonders whether Joanne is a hermaphrodite—"half-man, half-woman". Joanne explains she had a sex-change operation 13 years before and is a woman, showing physical proof to several of the friends.

Later in the day, Juanita tells the Disciples to brace themselves for stormy weather, after thinking she hears thunder. Instead, the loud noise comes from a sports car—Mona's son Jimmy Dean has stolen Joanne's car. As Joanne phones the local Highway Patrol to have Jimmy Dean returned, another flashback takes root: they hear the radio announcer reveal that a car accident has killed actor James Dean. They decide to hold a vigil.

Among the other secrets and revelations, Mona announces that she almost died from asthma. She claims she was an extra in Giant. As the reunion winds down, it appears that Jo/Joanne was the father of Mona's never-seen 20-year-old son, Jimmy Dean, who has stolen Joanne's Porsche. The Disciples make a pact to hold another one in the next twenty years. Mona refuses. She, Cissy and Joanne appear in front of the mirrors and sing "Sincerely" again. The film ends with shots of the decaying, abandoned five-and-dime store, while the song fades and the wind blows.



See all photos in the gallery.


- 'Cher', 'Black, Karen', and 'Dennis, Sandy' reprise their roles from the stage play that played the Martin Beck Theatre.

- The play opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theater on February 18, 1982 and ran for 52 performances.

- Robert Altman took "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" to the Montreal and Toronto film festivals in Canada, as well as those in Belgium, Venice and Deauville.

- The film received its U.S. premiere on September 30, 1982 at the Chicago International Film Festival, where it received a ten-minute standing ovation.

- Cher received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.

- Jimmy Dean won the Best Film Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, as well as a Best Screenplay Award at the Belgium International Film Festival.

- The film was shot only in 19 days.

- Director Mike Nichols invited Cher to his new project "Silkwood" with Meryl Streep in leading role when he's seen her play in "Come Back to the Five and Dime..."

- Cher played cameo roles in Altman's "The Player" (1992) and "Pret-a-Porter" (1994).

- A restored version of the film was released in 2011. The restoration premiered at the UCLA Festival of Preservation on March 3, 2011 and was screened at other North American cities in 2011 including New York City, Chicago, and Vancouver


Memorable quotes:

Juanita: Those awful things you said about my Sidney were lies, and I want you to tell everybody they were lies!
Sissy: Sidney is dead, Jo, so let's just forget it, huh?
Joanne: Gee, Juanita, I thought this night was dedicated to remembering those days... that made us all what we are today.


Juanita: Well, you ain't bringin' beer in here.
Sissy: Could you just, um, turn God off for tonight and have yourself a good time?


Juanita: I wonder what made God turn away from me like that.
Sissy: I just think, um, there's so many people in the world nowadays, it's hard for him to give the personal attention that he used to.


Juanita: You do far too much messing around. I'm going to ask my Friday Bible Club to devote a prayer session to you.
Sissy: Why dont you pray for them people in China? They need it a hell of a lot more than I do.
Juanita: We were praying for them, but it didn't seem to do much good. Now we pray for rain.


Weekend Chart Record





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Chicago International Film Festival







Gold Hugo

Best Feature
Robert Altman


Golden Globes, USA







Golden Globe

Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards






2nd place


Best Supporting Actress