Friday, January 14, 2011

EAST OF EDEN Video Critique in Today's NY Times

New York Times Film Critic, A.O. Scott talks, today (on video), about the classic 1955 film, EAST OF EDEN. A film based on John Steinbeck's epic book, it starred the immortal James Dean (Scott himself calls Dean 'immortal') who, as we all know, was killed in a horrible automobile accident at the age of 24 after making only three films.

It still seems almost impossible for me to believe that he died so young and so awfully long ago. What an utter waste. But at least we have the three films: EAST OF EDEN, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and GIANT, to remember him with. But, goodness, think what he might have done.

Of the three, EAST OF EDEN is my favorite and I remember weeping in the theater, when I first saw it. The sountrack itself is enough to make me teary. At the time, the film was so different from anything I'd ever seen, Dean's performance so unique, that the impression it made is still alive in me today. I must mention too, that Julie Harris, in my view, more than kept up with him. The love scenes had such a tenderness to them, such a quality of mixed emotions.

I'm glad to see that A.O. Scott, one of the few critics whom I occasionally pay attention to, appreciates EAST OF EDEN and featured it today in one of his video critiques. It was a nice surprise.


  1. I saw this article! I've always loved Steinbeck's books. I recently saw "Rebel Without a Cause" and Dean's character in it was so innocent, almost naive, according to today's standards of how a rebellious teen/young adult would be portrayed.

    I always enjoy visiting your blog, Yvonne!

  2. Pat, remember when I called you 'Nan' by mistake? Now we're even. HA!

    I'm Yvette. ;)

  3. And of course, thank you for the kind words. Have you seen EAST OF EDEN? If not, you should.
    Great book. Great film. Though the film only covers part of the book.

    I liked REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, but I was never a major MAJOR fan, becAuse it was a bit too stylized for me. Then when I learned that Nicholas Ray, the director and much OLDER man was having an affair with teenage Natalie Wood, there was an ugh! factor for me - if true.

    It's amazing to think that all the leading actors in the film had terrible deaths.


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