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newclassicfilmfan1

East of Eden

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I see TCM is showing East of Eden tonight.  Great film.  This is my favorite film and performance by James Dean.    He really played the part of Cal Trask exceptionally well.  I think James Dean was one of the best looking men and actors too.....

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It's not as if Rebel Without a Cause is very good.

 

I actually haven't been able to sit through Giant in its entirety.

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It's not as if Rebel Without a Cause is very good.

 

I actually haven't been able to sit through Giant in its entirety.

 

I agree.   Best acting performance by Dean isn't a very high bar. 

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I love this film too. A great performance by James Dean. You have to watch the whole film from beginning to end to get full effect of the performance. If you watch the scene where he breaks down and cries to Raymond Massey as just a stand alone clip, it looks over the top. But if you see it within the context of the film, it works.

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Yes - that scene where Dean backs up Massey to the wall and starts crying on his shoulder was totally unscripted.....Massey looked stunned and the scene was left in the film.   I also love the ferris wheel scene....the whole film was great - and Dean's performance was excellent.

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I agree.   Best acting performance by Dean isn't a very high bar. 

 

i've only seen GIANT once, but I actually recall thinking Dean's work in it was maybe his best.

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EAST OF EDEN was for many years out of circulation, only showing up on DVD and TCM in the mid-2000's although it did get a VHS release in the 90's, it was more or less "unseen."

 

i kind of wish it would go back to obscurity...

 

that's not a dig on the film, really, it's just in such heavy rotation on TCM- picked as an essential and  prime time/ weekend afternoon showings and during 31 DAYS....

 

and the thing is, GOOD AS IT IS, it is NOT a film that benefits from repeat viewings...its shortcomings- the truncation of Steinbeck's story and Van Fleet's character; the odd acting at moments; the curious ending- they weaken each time i see them- and i get such an ample opportunity because the film shows something like 20 times a year.

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I passed last night.  Not that I don't like it, but like Lorna pointed out, it's ON so many times, and so closely spaced it was(for me) too soon to sit through it again.

 

And, as It's adapted from one of my favorite books, and actually only tells one THIRD of the novel's story, I feel a bit short changed after watching it. 

 

The 1981 TV miniseries covers all the ground and actually was very good.

 

"Eden", like REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, Dean's 2nd film(and a performance that rivals his "Eden"  effort)  was also heavy on the frequency of late, late show  offerings in the '70's and pre-cable early '80's.   Seemed either one or the other was scheduled every time you turned around.

 

 

Sepiatone

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i've only seen GIANT once, but I actually recall thinking Dean's work in it was maybe his best.

 

He's ok until he completely goes over the top in his non-stop hysteria scenes at the end of the film.  Get a grip, JD!

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I love this film too. A great performance by James Dean. You have to watch the whole film from beginning to end to get full effect of the performance. If you watch the scene where he breaks down and cries to Raymond Massey as just a stand alone clip, it looks over the top. But if you see it within the context of the film, it works.

 

While I have watched the entire East of Eden,  I may indeed be viewing that breakdown scene out of context (I.e. I single it out and it is what I mainly remember about the film).   I saw EoE and Rebel within the same sitting and all of those, what look to me to be, over the top crying, left me with an unfavorable impression of Dean and these films.    

 

Of course one persons over the top POV is another persons great dynamic performance. 

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The first time or two I saw this movie, I didn't much care for it.  I found it to be somewhat dull, and James Dean's "tortured soul" screen persona I could never get into.  But the film has grown on me, I like it much better now.

 

Still not a favorite, but better.  I still prefer "Rebel Without A Cause", mostly because of the cinematography and players.  "Giant"?  I have to pass on that one.

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julie harris' character is sickening by totally lacking in any sympathy for cal's brother aaron.

 

if anybody's a victim in this movie it's him.

 

leave it to steinbeck to write off the good son in favor of the bad son.

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leave it to steinbeck to write off the good son in favor of the bad son.

In the words of Mae West, "When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better."

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I tend to shy away from these Old Testament parallel flicks.

Usually way over the top. EOE isn't too bad, but not one of

my favorites. I agree that James Dean sometimes overacts,

especially in the self-hugging department, but in general I

still like him. I believe Dick Davalos was a Smith's "cover

star." Dean likely was too.

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Every time I hear or read someone refer to him as JIMMY Dean, I can't help but wonder....

 

Had he lived, what WOULD he think about country singer JIMMY DEAN and his BREAKFAST SAUSAGE?  ;)

 

Maybe ask him for a cut of the ACTION?  :D

 

 

Sepiatone

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people always focus on the oddness of Dean's performance at the expense of discussing the very genuine oddness of DICK DAVALOS'S performance in the same movie; and it is at times very odd.

 

...and, like Dean's, it's maybe not an entirely successful performance, some of the lines and line readings are downright q u e e r in either sense of the word (as when he asks Abra in the ice house "do you love him? I do.") And his final scene is bizarre.

 

it's interesting that he didn't go on to better and bigger roles (insofar as i know), because- again like Dean- while he doesn't give a flawless performance, he does give a unique and memorable one.

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