Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

53 years ago today..............

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

53 years ago today..............

Old 09-30-08, 01:44 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Sonny Corinthos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Port Charles, NY.
Posts: 5,822
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
James Dean: If he hadn't have died at age 24......

One of the best actors ever captured on film died in a car crash on Setember, 30 1955. James Dean only 24 years old, has only made three films but IMO, all three are classics. "East of Eden", "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" are his only films we have to watch this screen legend today.

What do you think of the three films James Dean made? Do you feel they are classics, overated, or somewhere in the middle? Also, do you think James Dean would have went on to bigger and better things had he not gotten killed at such a young age?

Last edited by Sonny Corinthos; 10-02-08 at 01:23 AM. Reason: title change
Old 09-30-08, 02:30 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
sauce07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 6,462
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rebel was the first time that I personally connected with an older movie. I had always watched the classics and enjoyed them but that movie truely moved me.
Old 09-30-08, 06:33 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nightmare Alley
Posts: 17,112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love his performance in Rebel Without a Cause, one of my personal all-time favorites, but the adult characters are one-dimensional stereotypes and the ending compromised. The film still holds up today though, and Mineo and Wood turn in superb supporting turns. Credit must go to Nicholas Ray as well, arguably the finest American director of that entire decade. East of Eden is a bit heavy-handed and the dialogue overwrought at times, but Dean is mesmerizing again. I still haven't seen Giant, even though I own it. I think Dean would have went on to have a Brando-esque career: alternating bravura performances with maddeningly inconsistant ones, with plenty of self-destructive and controversial behavior in between. This thread's title is way too vague!
Old 09-30-08, 06:36 PM
  #4  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 7,982
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I gave my copy of REBEL for my friend's teens and their friends to watch.
And they said it was boring and shut the dvd off.
Old 09-30-08, 06:43 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
MBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: AUSTIN - Land of Mexican Coke
Posts: 3,920
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aw you know what that was about. One kid said it was boring and the rest followed like sheep.
Old 09-30-08, 06:54 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: chicago
Posts: 3,103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MBoyd View Post
Aw you know what that was about. One kid said it was boring and the rest followed like sheep.
no its a movie from the 50's thats what its about. my stepsons have a hard time watching movies from the earliy 90's without saying they look old. most teens arent interested in movies now days unless they are only a few years old. unless its scarface.
Old 09-30-08, 06:55 PM
  #7  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think that had he lived, he would not be nearly as highly regarded. See Dennis Hopper, for instance.
Old 09-30-08, 07:40 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
MBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: AUSTIN - Land of Mexican Coke
Posts: 3,920
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
no its a movie from the 50's thats what its about. my stepsons have a hard time watching movies from the earliy 90's without saying they look old. most teens arent interested in movies now days unless they are only a few years old. unless its scarface.
Yeah I am just trying to be optimistic. I know what you're saying. I have shown Citizen Kane in an Honors World History class a few times before. There's always a few vocal jerks that scream out that it sucks. So I just feel that if you show an older film to a group of teens, there has to be a few that like it and won't speak up because they won't be seen as "cool".
Old 09-30-08, 08:03 PM
  #9  
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Formerly known as "Solid Snake PAC"/Denton, Tx
Posts: 39,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I could almost agree to his future performance should he have lived. I don't know..a lot about Dean though. Rebel Without a Cause was in my opinion too thick in it's simple stereotypes and the story was a bit weak. I dunno...I need to see his other films. I find his acting too overblown even for the period...I dunno..again this is just me.
Old 10-01-08, 06:50 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Waterford, MI
Posts: 1,201
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
East of Eden has long been on my list of top films, and my favorite of James Dean's limited filmography - primarily because the themes are so timeless compared to Rebel and the cast is almost all outstanding (with the notable exception of Abra but I don't really know if that was the actress or the character). James Dean's acting always strikes me as a bit stilted as the movie begins but he really opens up by the middle and at the end he's got me won over completely as to his abilities.

Rebel's primary flaw is that its too mired in the look and feel of its time period. There's nothing wrong with the acting to me - sure it can be a bit over emotional, but I'd say that's more a reflection of the acting standards of the time and it IS something of a melodrama. I still love the movie though and can't help but be worked up by Plato's fate at the end of the film. This movie may not work for modern audiences simply because of its overexposure - I've seen plenty of shows over the years quote this movie or reproduce scenes for comic effect.

Giant, on the other hand, doesn't really work for me very well. It's not a bad movie and some of the scenes work with James Dean, but I've never been a big fan of Rock Hudson and I really don't enjoy watching his scenes very much in this film.

To answer the question, I'll just quote Neil Young - "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Unfortunately, I think over the last twenty years, James Dean's star has already begun to fade - I rarely see his movies mentioned except on the anniversary of his death like now. It feels like he's been relegated to that second tier of actors who are only revered by classic movie buffs - I seem to remember even when I was growing up in the '80s that many regular people remembered who he was. Unless he developed more of a real-life drama for people to take note of (like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor), I think he would likely not be even as well thought of now.

Michael
Old 10-02-08, 01:26 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Sonny Corinthos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Port Charles, NY.
Posts: 5,822
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
no its a movie from the 50's thats what its about. my stepsons have a hard time watching movies from the earliy 90's without saying they look old. most teens arent interested in movies now days unless they are only a few years old. unless its scarface.
Very true. Teens today don't watch classic films like people my age did when we were teens. If it wasn't made in this decade, you can't forget about most teen-agers watching it.
Old 10-02-08, 01:46 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PopcornTreeCt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Giant is my favorite film that he did. IMO, it was his performance.

If James Dean had lived longer, he would've been better than Brando or Bogart or DeNiro or Pacino.

Marilyn Monroe couldn't act. Elvis didn't sing good songs. James Dean was the real thing. There will never be another like him.
Old 10-02-08, 03:47 AM
  #13  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow. I just realized I've never actually seen any of those three films. I've only ever seen clips.
Old 10-02-08, 04:45 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cheyenne, WY
Posts: 781
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All three of his films are decent, but not great. East of Eden is probably my favorite and what I consider Dean's best performance.

I definitely don't consider him "one of the best actors ever captured on film", but that's just my opinion.
Old 10-02-08, 07:47 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 58,110
Received 19 Likes on 11 Posts
53 years ago today.............


........... someone would have been drug out into the street and beaten for an annoying thread title.
Old 10-02-08, 02:59 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Sonny Corinthos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Port Charles, NY.
Posts: 5,822
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
I tried changing the title of the thread when I realized that was a crappy title to a thread but it was too late.
Old 10-02-08, 05:55 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nightmare Alley
Posts: 17,112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
Marilyn Monroe couldn't act.
She certainly didn't have any real chops, but Monroe exuded an aching vulnerability that really served her well in her more dramatic fare, especially The Misfits, her finest performance. Elvis was good in Don Siegel's underrated Western Flaming Star, where he was limited to one song.
Old 10-02-08, 06:15 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I think that had he lived, he would not be nearly as highly regarded. See Dennis Hopper, for instance.
Or Ed Norton.
Old 10-02-08, 09:15 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: chicago
Posts: 3,103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Sonny Corinthos View Post
Very true. Teens today don't watch classic films like people my age did when we were teens. If it wasn't made in this decade, you can't forget about most teen-agers watching it.
its sad too. i will be watching a movie from the 90's and they say it looks old an wont watch it usually. im not into movies like many are here but i do enjoy them. i remember in the 80's i was watching hitchcock movies and loving them. sure they looked old but they were awesome. i can understand some movies do look old and they might move slowly (compared to todays movies) but the kids dont even give them a chance.
Old 10-02-08, 10:05 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Jazzbutcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NYC Burbs
Posts: 2,703
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love his films, even Rebel, which I think hasn't aged as well.

East of Eden is probably my favorite. The scene where he tries to repay his father is a heartbreaker. Nothing he does is good enough.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tkSufbaqVUg&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tkSufbaqVUg&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

I love his final scene from Giant. I think I read somewhere that he got really loaded for this scene.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yuxkb7Ws-bw&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yuxkb7Ws-bw&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
He acted circles around everyone in that movie, particularly Rock Hudson. What a stiff! What I love about Dean was that his style was so much different than those around him. Would he be doing dinner theater in Branson if he had lived? I like to think not.

...And Speaking of Dennis Hopper, he was in Giant and Rebel Without a Cause!
Old 10-02-08, 10:16 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
hasslein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sunny CA
Posts: 2,600
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
Elvis was good in Don Siegel's underrated Western Flaming Star, where he was limited to one song.
Don Seigel's whole career was vastly underrated.

I agree, I think Dean's career would have been much like Brando's.

I think all three films are excellent, Rebel the weakest, for me..
Old 10-02-08, 10:41 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,656
Received 17 Likes on 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I think that had he lived, he would not be nearly as highly regarded. See Dennis Hopper, for instance.
The big question is would he have fried his brain on drugs like Dennis Hopper did in the 60s?

It's interesting to think about James Dean would have been doing in the 60s and 70s. Would he be playing parts like Kurtz in Apocalypse Now or Sonny in The Godfather? Or would he have wallowed in self-parody and b-movie genre flicks like Charlton Hesston?
Old 10-04-08, 10:42 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 1,531
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
no its a movie from the 50's thats what its about. my stepsons have a hard time watching movies from the earliy 90's without saying they look old. most teens arent interested in movies now days unless they are only a few years old. unless its scarface.
I discovered Rebel in the very early 90's when i was 15 and i fell in love. I've said this before in other posts but it just changed my whole outlook on films. And a lot of the negative things people said about the film may be true but it is still a masterpiece in my eyes. I also became obsessed with Dean. I loved his whole attitude on acting,life, and love.
If i'm not mistaken East of Eden and Giant were either out of print at the time or just very hard to find. I eventually got a hold of them when i was 18. I loved Eden but didn't care for Giant until I picked it up on dvd almost 10 years later.
I never had a problem with older films when i was growing up, my prejudice as a teen was English films. I could not watch films with people with English accents, i have no idea why. I had nothing against the UK but the accent graded on my nerves. Then a friend turned me onto Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail and i got over it.
Old 07-01-12, 08:12 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New York
Posts: 6,410
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: 53 years ago today..............

Had James Dean lived, he would have done all the roles given to Paul Newman. I believe I read somewhere that James Dean was slated to play the role given to Paul Newman in Somebody Up There Likes Me, which gave Paul Newman his start.

Last Night, I finally saw Rebel Without A Cause for the first time (I'm 42-years old) - and thought it was "okay." I didn't like how such bonds were established in simply 24-hours...didn't buy it. However, Dean was good, as were his co-stars.

Saw Giant and East of Eden a few years back, and I think they were fine for an actor's "start." Unfortunately for Dean, his start was also his finish, and he didn't have a chance to grow. But for what he was able to give us - not so much the films, but the "attitude," the "swagger," and the "personality" - we are enriched for it, as it has been imitated over and over through the years.
Old 07-02-12, 01:13 AM
  #25  
En vacance
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,512
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: 53 years ago today..............

Dunno about East but the others are ok

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.