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Ronald Epstein

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I was very surprised that the film took on the subject of racism.

I would have figured in 1956, the country was embracing racist ideas and that putting out a film that addressed them would be taboo. However, I greatly applaud George Stevens for doing it.

It was also the reason why I basically said that the film seemed to fizzle out early on with its main story and then suddenly went into a different direction regarding racism in its third act. Kind of seemed odd.

It made me feel very uneasy watching those scenes for the same reason that Robert Crawford cited.

A day later, I'm still reflecting upon GIANT and how much I enjoyed it. Going to try and watch the other James Dean films possibly as early as today.
 

Will Krupp

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A day later, I'm still reflecting upon GIANT and how much I enjoyed it. Going to try and watch the other James Dean films possibly as early as today.

Ron, in my opinion, East of Eden is his performance for the ages. When you see it, you'll understand why he was considered such a break out star with seemingly unlimited potential. He manages to bring an incredible amount of vulnerability to the role and is pitch perfect throughout.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Ron, in my opinion, East of Eden is his performance for the ages. When you see it, you'll understand why he was considered such a break out star with seemingly unlimited potential. He manages to bring an incredible amount of vulnerability to the role and is pitch perfect throughout.

Will, that will be the title I watch today then. Thanks so much for helping me decide.
 

Robert Crawford

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Ron, in my opinion, East of Eden is his performance for the ages. When you see it, you'll understand why he was considered such a break out star with seemingly unlimited potential. He manages to bring an incredible amount of vulnerability to the role and is pitch perfect throughout.
His tragic death was a turning point in Paul Newman’s career.
 

JohnRice

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I jumped on the Apple $5 sale. I haven't seen this in so long, I barely remember it. Fortunately, I'm taking a four day weekend. There's only been one time in the last 14 years I've taken more than three consecutive days off. So, maybe it will give me time for a 3 1/2 hour movie. As Ron stated, I do recall being surprised with the direction the story went, but that's something I like. It's so rare to get the unexpected in movies.
 

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Make note of Jo Van Fleet’s performance in East of Eden.
And Julie Harris; and in a very small role, the great Lois Smith, still with us, performing in films and on the stage.
I saw this film in 1955 in Brooklyn, no subtitles, so I just drank those images on a huge screen. Some were etched indelibly in my memory. When I saw it again 10 years later, also on a big screen, I felt vindicated. Great film. Great performances and music.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Really enjoyed EAST OF EDEN

Jo Van Fleet was incredible, though sadly, not enough scenes with her. That being said, the scene where she talks to Cal in her office revealing why she had left his father has got to be one of the most brilliantly acted moments in cinema history.

I tell yuh, two great films back-to-back, and I have definitely become a James Dean fan. Already watched a documentary on his life.

Rebel Without A Cause is next!
 

bujaki

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Really enjoyed EAST OF EDEN

Jo Van Fleet was incredible, though sadly, not enough scenes with her. That being said, the scene where she talks to Cal in her office revealing why she had left his father has got to be one of the most brilliantly acted moments in cinema history.

I tell yuh, two great films back-to-back, and I have definitely become a James Dean fan. Already watched a documentary on his life.

Rebel Without A Cause is next!
One scene that stuck in my mind from the 1955 viewing was the moment when Dean broke into her office and she wasn't wearing her gloves. As he looked at her gnarled, arthritic hands, she reacted so violently that she yelled repeatedly: "Get out, get out" with such venomous fury. Even if I didn't understand her words, her face, gestures and tone were so vivid that it played like a silent film.
A well-deserved Oscar.
 

TonyD

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I watched the first 20 minutes today just to get a taste.
Have never seen the movie before as it didn’t appear to be anything that would interest me.
Anyway what is the timeline of those first 20 minutes?
Hudson shows up to buy a horse and the next thing that happens is he’s on the train with Taylor and married.

Seems to all have taken place in 2 days from arriving and getting on the train.
Is that right?
 

SeanSKA

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Really enjoyed EAST OF EDEN

Jo Van Fleet was incredible, though sadly, not enough scenes with her. That being said, the scene where she talks to Cal in her office revealing why she had left his father has got to be one of the most brilliantly acted moments in cinema history.

I tell yuh, two great films back-to-back, and I have definitely become a James Dean fan. Already watched a documentary on his life.

Rebel Without A Cause is next!
You've never seen any of his films before ??
 

Ronald Epstein

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You've never seen any of his films before ??

Nope. Never had any interest in James Dean

Bought the Blu-ray boxed set when it was originally released hoping to look at it someday, but it took many years later for me to even watch one of those films. The reason? 4k digital upgrade.

All it took was watching GIANT and I found myself hooked! EAST OF EDEN was pretty sensational as well. Getting ready to fire up the projector to watch REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
 

Robert Crawford

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Nope. Never had any interest in James Dean

Bought the Blu-ray boxed set when it was originally released hoping to look at it someday, but it took many years later for me to even watch one of those films. The reason? 4k digital upgrade.

All it took was watching GIANT and I found myself hooked! EAST OF EDEN was pretty sensational as well. Getting ready to fire up the projector to watch REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
I'll be interested in your comments about "Rebel Without a Cause". The movie hasn't aged well for me.
 

Will Krupp

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I'll be interested in your comments about "Rebel Without a Cause". The movie hasn't aged well for me.

I agree with you. Seeing it now I can't help but think it feels quite overwrought, with the adults all being cardboard cutouts and the kids all being drama queens, lol. I enjoy it still, but I don't "love" it as much as I do Eden, which even today feels as fresh as paint to me. As regards Giant, I love it but I've always thought Dean was the weak link in terms of acting in that one. I never felt he had the experience to make us believe him as "old" Jett Rink and I think the part is somewhat beyond his (what should have been early) capabilities.
 

Robert Crawford

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I agree with you. Seeing it now I can't help but think it feels quite overwrought, with the adults all being cardboard cutouts and the kids all being drama queens, lol. I enjoy it still, but I don't "love" it as much as I do Eden, which even today feels as fresh as paint to me. As regards Giant, I love it but I've always thought Dean was the weak link in terms of acting in that one. I never felt he had the experience to make us believe him as "old" Jett Rink and I think the part is somewhat beyond his (what should have been early) capabilities.
Yes, we have to remember that Dean was only 24 years old when he filmed "Giant". He still had a lot to learn about his craft before his tragic young death.
 

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Yes, we have to remember that Dean was only 24 years old when he filmed "Giant". He still had a lot to learn about his craft before his tragic young death.
Much as I appreciate GIANT, Dean almost ruins the film for me because of his hammy, method-acting performance which is totally out of place amongst the traditional "Hollywood" performances of stars Taylor & Hudson ( who I thought were absolutely terrific in their roles ). It's not hard to imagine why the characters in the film wanted nothing to do with him. Surprised Stevens didn't direct his performance to be more in line with the tone of the rest of the cast.
 

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Really enjoyed EAST OF EDEN

Jo Van Fleet was incredible, though sadly, not enough scenes with her. That being said, the scene where she talks to Cal in her office revealing why she had left his father has got to be one of the most brilliantly acted moments in cinema history.

I tell yuh, two great films back-to-back, and I have definitely become a James Dean fan. Already watched a documentary on his life.

Rebel Without A Cause is next!
A good film but it only captures the last part of the book.
 

DarkVader

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Much as I appreciate GIANT, Dean almost ruins the film for me because of his hammy, method-acting performance which is totally out of place amongst the traditional "Hollywood" performances of stars Taylor & Hudson ( who I thought were absolutely terrific in their roles ). It's not hard to imagine why the characters in the film wanted nothing to do with him. Surprised Stevens didn't direct his performance to be more in line with the tone of the rest of the cast.
I agree. He was good in the first part - but when he had to play older the performance just didn't cut it for me.

The less said about the makeup on all 3 of the principals the better.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Had REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE been the first James Dean film I had watched I may have never ventured further.

It was "okay."

The cast was sensational. I saw many familiar faces outside the main stars, including Jim Backus, Edward Platt, and Ian Wolfe, who I saw in many TV shows as a kid.

Think I made the right choice going with GIANT and EDEN first.

I agree. He was good in the first part - but when he had to play older the performance just didn't cut it for me.

The less said about the makeup on all 3 of the principals the better.

Agreed. Hated the makeup and the change of character
 

SeanSKA

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Nope. Never had any interest in James Dean

Bought the Blu-ray boxed set when it was originally released hoping to look at it someday, but it took many years later for me to even watch one of those films. The reason? 4k digital upgrade.

All it took was watching GIANT and I found myself hooked! EAST OF EDEN was pretty sensational as well. Getting ready to fire up the projector to watch REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.

Interesting....
I had seen those films first about 40 years ago. In the 70s, there was a lot of renewed interest in James Dean, probably due to the 20th anniversary of his death. I remember several books about him at that time. I even remember a relative had an album that featured music and dialog from his films. Dean became a cultural touchstone around that time (I was a teenager in that era)- with the Eagles song and the Richard Thomas movie "September 30, 1955" and an NBC TV movie with Stephen McHattie playing Dean. And in NYC there were still several revival houses (Thalia, Bleecker Street Cinema, Carnegie Hall Cinema, Regency, 80 St Marks, and more) and the Dean double bills of "Eden" & "Rebel" were constant features. Plus those 2 films got a lot of airplay on local NY channels (horribly panned & scanned, as we later discovered- both of those are must sees in widescreen). Interestingly, "Giant" didn't make it to television at all until the mid 70s...I guess it's huge success kept it off the small screen for so long , until NBC began airing it in prime time.

So James Dean, like Brando, Clift, Bogart, Hitchcock, Wilder, Hepburn (both), Kubrick- has been a constant factor in my movie existence ever since I became a film addict
 

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