Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Allegorically Yours

Continuing right along with my James Dean obsession, I have now seen all of his three film features. This one was a Steinbeck novel made movie in 1955. I never had to read this in high school like so many others did, so I was a blank slate heading into the film.

James Dean, East Of Eden

If you know the story of Cain and Abel, you know the basic plot of East Of Eden. I didn't realize at the film's beginning that screen brothers Cal(James Dean) and Aron would be playing out a story of biblical proportions. In fact, it wasn't until almost the end when Dean says "I'm not my brother's keeper" that it dawned on me.

Cal constantly battles and competes with his brother, Aron for some scrap of love or approval from their father. While Aron can do no wrong, has the purist of intentions and is generally the good son, Cal is somewhat haphazard, rebellious and unsure of his lot in life. This is the same allegorical good vs. evil match as Cain & Abel, that this story is set against a WW1 backdrop only serves to underscore the tone, albeit more modern.

Even if you know the basic story or you've read the book, you must see this. You'll still enjoy the interpretation through the director's vision, the interesting filming style (considering it is over 50 years old) and most importantly, to see James Dean in a heartbreaking role, which IMHO was his best.


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Blogger purpletwinkie said...

Hmm James Dean fetish. I don't believe I've ever seen this film. I think I'd remember.

My old film actor fetish is Steve McQueen. ((drool))

9:18 PM

Blogger Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I've been told he had a huge willie. And wasn't it in East of Eden that he had what is considered one of the great kisses in film history(With a woman, no less). That's great acting.

11:27 PM

Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

I don't think I've seen this one.

9:00 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Good choice in old film ator fetish Scott!

9:50 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Daniel, you might be thinking of "From here to eternity", that was a kiss!

Dean does a good job at the screen kiss but considering he was a notorious womanizer, he was probably just doing what came naturally.

9:54 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Get busy Steve :)

9:55 AM

Anonymous Jason said...

I love James Dean. I always wondered how his career would have been had he lived, which well known movie roles would have had him attached.

I really have a thing for old Paul Newman movies. It must be those damn blue piercing blue eyes...

5:25 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Right Jason, condering Dean would have been in his 70's now. Oh yeah, Newman and those eyes, definitely riveting!

9:13 AM


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