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Which James Dean Film Do You Like Best?


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Which film do you like best?

 

East of Eden

Rebel Without A Cause

Giant

I like EAST OF EDEN best.  Probably because I own all Steinbeck's novels and he's my favorite American author. I think GIANT is good but my least favorite Dean flick because he is overshadowed by Hudson and Taylor. I think REBEL is fun.  And I like Dean's cameo in another Hudson film, HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL?...because you can see he is going to be famous, just sitting there at the malt shoppe counter. I think it would have been interesting if we could have seen him do THE LEFT-HANDED GUN. I don't think he would have been right for SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME. And I don't think Newman is right for it either-- it needs an Italian. 

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I am not a fan of either of the three films.  Giant is clearly the least, ponderous pseudo-social message mongering from Stevens.  The only time I saw Rebel Without a Cause I thought it was superficial (somehow James Dean's mother is too assertive).  East of Eden is not a good movie, but Dean's performance is a great one.

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I like EAST OF EDEN best.  Probably because I own all Steinbeck's novels and he's my favorite American author. I think GIANT is good but my least favorite Dean flick because he is overshadowed by Hudson and Taylor. I think REBEL is fun.  And I like Dean's cameo in another Hudson film, HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL?...because you can see he is going to be famous, just sitting there at the malt shoppe counter.

 

If I can nitpick, it was a bit part, not a cameo.

 

And yes, he does manage to interject some personality into his brief scene.

 

I think it would have been interesting if we could have seen him do THE LEFT-HANDED GUN.

 

I actually think Dean would have been better than Newman. The role is basically a variation on Dean's standard misunderstood youth.

 

I don't think he would have been right for SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME. And I don't think Newman is right for it either-- it needs an Italian.

 

Some ethnic non-whitebread type, certainly. I like Newman in a lot of things but IMHO he was often ridiculous as Rocky Graziano.

 

Needless to say, it's the part that made him a star. lol

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I like "Rebel Without a Cause." I love the relationship between Jim, Judy and Plato. I like how they form a "family" and look out for one another. My favorite part is when they explore the abandoned mansion. The end is heartbreaking.

 

I think "East of Eden" and "Giant" are great too; but 'Rebel' seems to be my "go-to" James Dean movie.

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No contest, it's his Jett Ritt character in  Giant, but none of Dean's movies make my top 500.  He seemed to have been a fine actor himself, but the rest of his fellow actors in those films left much to be desired. 

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  Giant is clearly the least, ponderous pseudo-social message mongering from Stevens. 

 

Edna Ferber was completely unqualified, inexperienced, and so unknowlegable about that subject, and she was not qualified to write the novel or have a film based on it. She should have stuck with boring stories about Wisconsin cabbages.

 

In the first place, most of the big cattle and oil baron showy Victorian estate houses were built much closer to some town and main highway, so wealthy neighbors and outsiders could more easily get to all the parties and business meetings. There might have been small expensive cottages 100 miles further inland, but not the main house. You can still ride past them on an Amtrak train today and see them just a few miles away from the train. The owners WANT all the passing train passengers to see their houses.

 

All that race stuff was nonsense, such as a daughter in law being turned out of a papa's hotel. ALL of that would be worked out and clear in advance to ALL employees. The rich guy at the end would not have stopped to eat with his family at a working-man's diner, and the poor Mexican family would have gone to a Mexican diner. They still do.

 

Rich oil and cattle men WILL go to a small diner or even a Mexican cafe, but almost always while in work clothes after being out on the range working half a day.

 

Heck, my girlfriend and I were turned away from Mama Leone's fancy and famous Italian restaurant in New York in 1965, because we weren't dressed properly. Well, that's ok. I understand. We were disappointed, but we just said "Ok, sorry", and went somewhere else. I didn't start a fist fight about it!

 

Everyone who sees this film needs to live in Texas several years to see what it is really like. It is not un-prejudiced of course, but it isn't as stupid as what is shown in the film.

 

The cattleman would NOT have rejected the oil business. He would have just hired a manager to keep it separate from his cattle business. His real business was MAKING MONEY, and whether it was made by having to put up with a lot of cow poo or a lot of greasy oil, he would do it.

 

The rich guy's wife would NOT interrupt a man's business meeting in the house, with a bunch of stupid Edna Ferber political lectures. That would be like the husband barging into a wife's lady's choir practice at her church, while drunk, and cursing all the church ladies. Neither of these things would happen without a divorce following.

 

I mean, would YOU barge into your own company's top Board of Directors meeting and start spouting a bunch of Edna Ferber political nonsense or any kind of political nonsense? Of course not. :)

Edited by FredCDobbs
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No contest, it's his Jett Ritt character in  Giant, but none of Dean's movies make my top 500.  He seemed to have been a fine actor himself, but the rest of his fellow actors in those films left much to be desired. 

 

Even though I like James Dean in EAST OF EDEN, I find Raymond Massey very irritating in that movie----especially the way he pronounces the name of his son Aron as "Ay-ron". He's the only person in the movie who does that.

 

So while my favorite James Dean performance is in EAST OF EDEN, my favorite movie of his is REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE because I also like Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo in that one.    

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All that race stuff was nonsense, such as a daughter in law being turned out of a papa's hotel. ALL of that would be worked out and clear in advance to ALL employees. The rich guy at the end would not have stopped to eat with his family at a working-man's diner, and the poor Mexican family would have gone to a Mexican diner. They still do.

 

Everyone who sees this film needs to live in Texas several years to see what it is really like. It is not un-prejudiced of course, but it isn't as stupid as what is shown in the film.

 

Well, Fred, Texas, especially the eastern part, was and is an extension of the South.  Racial prejudice in the past must have been horrific for Mexicans as well as blacks. 

 

The rich guy's wife would NOT interrupt a man's business meeting in the house, with a bunch of stupid Edna Ferber political lectures. That would be like the husband barging into a wife's lady's choir practice at her church, while drunk, and cursing all the church ladies. Neither of these things would happen without a divorce following.

 

I mean, would YOU barge into your own company's top Board of Directors meeting and start spouting a bunch of Edna Ferber political nonsense or any kind of political nonsense? Of course not.

 

I don't know much about it being a "bunch of stupid Edna Ferber political lectures", but Liz' character, as an upper-class easterner, certainly was more liberated than what was then expected of women.  I thought she made perfect sense in wanting to discuss politics, economics, current events, or whatever, instead of being relegated to staying with the women, sewing and gossiping, or whatever.  The film's views on racial matters and gender politics are pretty enlightening for the time and place, in my view.

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I don't know much about it being a "bunch of stupid Edna Ferber political lectures", but Liz' character, as an upper-class easterner, certainly was more liberated than what was then expected of women. 

 

LOL, Hey, guess what!? Edna Ferber wrote those lines, not Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor's character was from Maryland the DEEP SOUTH, and she would have already been instructed by her millionaire husband to NEVER INTERRUPT OUR MEN'S POLITICAL MEETINGS. Remember, money, money, money. Also, that part of the film was in the 1920s or thereabouts, and the husband would have assured the wife that he would never interrupt any of her ladies stuff and private ladies talks, such as he would have promised her to never be drunk around her lady friends or use any bad words around them, and to always be nice to the preacher, etc., etc.

 

And I said there was prejudice in Texas, but I said the situation about the daughter-in-law using or not using the hotel services would have already been worked out and not left to stupid chance like Ferber put in the movie.

 

The way the Ferber story is, based on the movie, it seems as if she had NEVER been to Texas.

 

I told my Mama Leone story and the DO NOT INTERRUPT A HIGH LEVEL COMPANY BOARD MEETING stories to let you know that I've been through the same thing. Most people who have been many places and done many things have.

Edited by FredCDobbs
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Her character in the film is from Maryland, which is most definitely not the Deep South.

Ok, sorry, I thought she was from further South. :)

The horse farm where they filmed her home and the horse stuff was near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Her character in the film is from Maryland, which is most definitely not the Deep South.

 

Depends on what part of Maryland you're talking about, and don't confuse 1956 with 2014.  Eight years after Giant was released, George Wallace carried 11 of the 12 Eastern Shore counties in that state's Democratic primary, winning as much as 90% of the white vote.  Maryland wasn't Deep South in the sense that it had a cotton-based economy,  and it never had the overall atmosphere of racial terror that (say) Alabama or Mississippi had, but in 1956 its was every bit as segregated as the Deep South in nearly all other respects. 

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Her character in the film is from Maryland, which is most definitely not the Deep South.

 

Depends on what part of Maryland you're talking about, and don't confuse 1956 with 2014.  Eight years after Giant was released, George Wallace carried 11 of the 12 Eastern Shore counties in that state's Democratic primary, winning as much as 90% of the white vote.  Maryland wasn't Deep South in the sense that it had a cotton-based economy,  and it never had the overall atmosphere of racial terror that (say) Alabama or Mississippi had, but in 1956 its was every bit as segregated as the Deep South in nearly all other respects. 

 

I said nothing about racism or racial segregation (which apparently to you is the same thing as being Southern).

 

Maryland is not nor has it ever been part of the Deep South.

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I said nothing about racism or racial segregation (which apparently to you is the same thing as being Southern).

 

Maryland is not nor has it ever been part of the Deep South.

 

If all you mean by "Deep South" is location on a map, then fine, by definition Maryland could never be "Deep South".

 

If you use any other identifying traits, however, then parts of Maryland (i.e. The Eastern Shore) most definitely shared many of the Deep South's social customs (and not just segregation) up through the middle of the 20th century.  This is hardly a controversial point, as countless observers have made it over the years.  The same point has been noted about Eastern North Carolina and parts of Virginia.

 

This is but one of about a million cases where it all comes down to definition, and there's no single "correct" answer.

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I said nothing about racism or racial segregation (which apparently to you is the same thing as being Southern).

 

Maryland is not nor has it ever been part of the Deep South.

 

If all you mean by "Deep South" is location on a map, then fine, by definition Maryland could never be "Deep South".

 

If you use any other identifying traits, however, then parts of Maryland (i.e. The Eastern Shore) most definitely shared many of the Deep South's social customs (and not just segregation) up through the middle of the 20th century.  This is hardly a controversial point, as countless observers have made it over the years.  The same point has been noted about Eastern North Carolina and parts of Virginia.

 

This is but one of about a million cases where it all comes down to definition, and there's no single "correct" answer.

 

I don't think what is being discuss has anything to do with a definition.    There is a correct answer in the Maryland is NOT part of the deep south as it relates to location on a map which is what the term is used for.

 

As as you noted Maryland at the time had a deep south type of mentality as it relates to race.     So all the original user of the term had to do is say 'she came from Maryland,  which had a deep south mindset at the time,,'.

 

But when one uses a term literally one should expect that term to be taken literally. 

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I have to admit an easier topic for me would be:  "Which James Dean performance in a film do you hate the least?" To me, in the "Academy of Overated Actors" he is probably at the top of the list.  He is tolerable in Giant but that's about it, IMHO.

 

Lydecker

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I don't think what is being discussed has anything to do with a definition.

 

Clearly it must, since there are competing definitions that are subject to context.  But don't worry, I'm not trying to Control+x over Maryland and then Control+v over Birmingham.  I can read a map.

 

As as you noted Maryland at the time had a deep south type of mentality as it relates to race.     So all the original user of the term had to do is say 'she came from Maryland,  which had a deep south mindset at the time,,'.

 

But when one uses a term literally one should expect that term to be taken literally.

 

The original reference was here:

 

LOL, Hey, guess what!? Edna Ferber wrote those lines, not Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor's character was from Maryland the DEEP SOUTH, and she would have already been instructed by her millionaire husband to NEVER INTERRUPT OUR MEN'S POLITICAL MEETINGS. Remember, money, money, money. Also, that part of the film was in the 1920s or thereabouts, and the husband would have assured the wife that he would never interrupt any of her ladies stuff and private ladies talks, such as he would have promised her to never be drunk around her lady friends or use any bad words around them, and to always be nice to the preacher, etc., etc.

 

That description of time and custom could just have easily have applied to Maryland's Eastern Shore as to the dew line from Georgia through Louisiana.

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