Monday, February 08, 2021

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

 ... you can learn from... 

East of Eden (1955)

Cal: I've been jealous all my life. Jealous, I couldn't even 
stand it. Tonight, I even tried to buy your love, but now 
I don't want it anymore... I can't use it anymore. 
I don't want any kind of love anymore. It doesn't pay off.

James Dean was born 90 years ago today.

3 comments:

joel65913 said...

I know it's not a wide choice but this is by far my favorite James Dean movie and performance. Most people go on and on about Rebel Without a Cause but frankly I think that film is just okay and the best performance comes from Natalie Wood. But here he gets under Cal's skin and you feel the torment that he feels at always being second choice, if that in his father's affection. The picture as a whole is big and involving with that super cast-Julie Harris is exactly right as Abra-but if Dean wasn't compelling the whole thing would collapse.

It helps I guess that the source novel is my favorite book ever. If I was a purist I'd be upset that they had cut the first half of the novel out completely in this version, but if I need a fix of that I can watch the Jane Seymour mini-series from the 80's which encompasses the entirety of the text. It's got some problems-Timothy Bottoms' weak take on Adam Trask is the biggest one-but Jane is absolutely riveting in it, capturing the warring pieces of Catherine/Cathy/Kate beautifully until she turns herself completely over to evil. She's perfection. There is also some career best work by Lloyd Bridges as Samuel Hamilton and Soon-Tek Oh as housekeeper Lee (the character was cut from the Dean film).

Jason Adams said...

Agree totally, Joel -- this is def. my fave Dean performance

Anonymous said...

I had a huge James Dean phase the first time I watched East of Eden. Heartbreaking and iconic performance.