You know what? F George Stevens. I've only seen two of his movies now -this and Shane. And neither one is very good. And this one was long, long, long - 3 hours and 20 minutes. But I stuck it out. I wanted to see it after having been in Marfa, TX (where this was filmed) earlier in the month. And, believe it or not, I've never actually seen a James Dean movie.
The first hour was slow, the last hour not so good. But there definitely were pleasures to be had in the other 80 minutes. The rise of James Dean's character Jett Rink from a nobody to a rich bastard is pretty great. The five minute sequence of Dean striking oil and fighting Rock Hudson after hitting on Elizabeth Taylor on the porch is amazing. The acting throughout was great. Dennis Hopper, Hudson, Taylor, Dean. Dean was pretty damn smoldering as the young Jett. The older Jett though didn't even look good in a moustache and SHR loves most 'staches.
But it was too damn slow, too melodramatic. I will give credit though to the message of tolerance for those with darker skin. For 1956, an interracial couple must have been something else.
SHR kept commenting that different actors looked like a variety of today's stars. Some were plausible - Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Thompson... But James Dean as Ichiro. Really? Ichiro?
What do you think?
Directed by George Stevens
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