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East of Eden


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I agree with you about James Dean in East of Eden.  Although I wrote this a few years ago, I still feel the same way about this movie............

 

I will watch this everytime, not just for the great actors, but for the gorgeous depictions of classic central and northern California scenery. Anyone who has read John Steinbeck knows how his descriptions of that area are vivid and so real that you can see it, especially if you have ever been to Monterey, Salinas, King City or Big Sur.

The ocean, wildflowers, fields, mountains, and colors all come alive in this movie. You can almost feel and smell the air. I grew up reading John Steinbeck and two summers ago went on a pilgrimage to his birth place in Salinas and the National Steinbeck Center there. A dream come true. Many hands-on recreations of his books and the films made of them. *The Red Pony* (which I got to sit on) from *The Long Valley* , *Of Mice and Men*, *Tortilla Flat*. They even had his truck and camper from *Travels with Charley*.

Anyhow, the scenery is wonderful, and makes me want to visit again.
 

 

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Although I do like the movie, I have to say...

 

The story in Steinbeck's novel is so mammoth  and the movie only covers the last third of it, and so we miss out on many other incredible stories and characters that would make us understand all the character's natures and how they got that way.

 

They did a TV "mini series" of it back in the '70's that covers all the ground the Dean movie didn't.  And it was pretty good.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I don't find that Dean's films are played much at all...compared to the endless films shown over and over of John Wayne, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and several others......

 

Dean was only in 3 films.     Those 3 films are on TCM often compared to films from other actors that were in, say,  60 or more films.

 

So one can't really compare an actor like Dean with actors like the ones listed that were in way, way more films then Dean.

 

TCM can't show an unknown 'gem' Dean film since there are none.    But they can for actors that had careers spanning many decades.      E.g.   Pre-Code Davis,  Bogie, or Wayne films were they are not the lead (like the film I just watch,  The Life of Jimmy Dolan that had a bit-part for Wayne.

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Well, for a loooong time EAST OF EDEN was unavailable. I think it's been 15 years now but I remember ordering a VHS of it off of Amazon.

 

It's a great film, but one that repeated showings of highlight its flaws/oddities/liberalities with the story ie: The oddness of some of the dialogue, the weak performance of Richard Davalos, the underwritten characters of Jo VanFleet and Albert Delker and Burl Ives, the stiffness of Ray Massey's performance...unsatisfying resolutions....Timothy Carey....

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Well, for a loooong time EAST OF EDEN was unavailable. I think it's been 15 years now but I remember ordering a VHS of it off of Amazon.

 

It's a great film, but one that repeated showings of highlight its flaws/oddities/liberalities with the story ie: The oddness of some of the dialogue, the weak performance of Richard Davalos, the underwritten characters of Jo VanFleet and Albert Delker and Burl Ives, the stiffness of Ray Massey's performance...unsatisfying resolutions....Timothy Carey....

 

What Ray Massey stiff?    Well who can blame him after playing Lincoln and doing a Karloff impersonation.

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Dean was only in 3 films.     Those 3 films are on TCM often compared to films from other actors that were in, say,  60 or more films.

 

So one can't really compare an actor like Dean with actors like the ones listed that were in way, way more films then Dean.

 

TCM can't show an unknown 'gem' Dean film since there are none.    But they can for actors that had careers spanning many decades.      E.g.   Pre-Code Davis,  Bogie, or Wayne films were they are not the lead (like the film I just watch,  The Life of Jimmy Dolan that had a bit-part for Wayne.

They can show Has Anybody Seen My Gal, if only to have us laugh at Dean's wardrobe:

 

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Wow. That is bad. Is there some kind of Hebrew writing on the pant leg?

He's only onscreen for about five seconds. I can't make out what the writing is, even when I enlarge the photo. I do agree one word looks like "riot," but beneath it are just some squares or other symbols.

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