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TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romantic Dramas (East of Eden / Cat on a Hot Tin Roof / A Streetcar Named Desire / Rebel Without a Cause)
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REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE In one of the most influential performances in movie history, James Dean plays the new kid in town whose loneliness, frustration and anger mirrored those of postwar teens and still reverberate today. Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo were Academy Award nominees for their achingly true performances. EAST OF EDEN A wayward Salinas Valley youth (James Dean) vies for the affection of his hardened father (Raymond Massey) with his favored brother (Richard Davalos). Julie Harris and 1955 Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Jo Van Fleet co-star in this adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel. CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Tennessee Williams Pulitzer Prize play thunders across the screen in a powerful film adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor as frustrated Southern belle wife Maggie the Cat and Paul Newman as her disillusioned ex-athlete husband. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE: THE ORIGINAL DIRECTORS VERSION Four Academy Awards including three for acting! Elia Kazan directs the landmark movie of Tennessee Williams Pulitzer Prize play about the clash between brutish Stanley Kowlaski (Marlon Brando) and his dreamy sister-in-law Blanche Dubois (Vivien Leigh).]]>
Top Customer Reviews
I only have 2 real complaints about the product. The first is that the discs are dual sided, instead of one per film. I know this isn't earth shattering but it's much easier for the disc to get scratched. TCM could have chipped in the extra $2 or whatever it is so each film would have been on a separate disc.
The other problem I have is the video transfer. Overall the transfers are okay but none look that great. Rebel Without A Cause was a big disappointment as many parts of the frame during scenes are blurred, pigmented, and have colors fading/warping. I understand this is usual for older films but a restoration would have been nice.
In conclusion, if you are a film buff I would recommend this. I got mine elsewhere for only $16, making it only $4 a film so it was a steal. Any classic film buff or James Dean fan will love this set.
Dean's character is ashamed of his father who in his eyes is hen-pecked and cowardly and he insists upon good answers from his father as to why he is feeling the typical hormone-induced depression that most teenagers go through and when that is not forthcoming, he rebels in an attempt to hurt his parents. Wood's character is similar in that she also has communication problems with her father who is uncomfortable with physical closeness now that his daughter has become an attractive teen perhaps in an over-reaction to his own incestual desires? Confused at his behaviour Wood's character believes her father hates her and so she too rebels in an attempt to hurt him. Mineo's character is the most pitiful and perhaps most deserving of sympathy; his parents are divorced and they truly appear not to care about him at all leaving him alone with a live-in maid as sole companion. This film is truly touching for me as I can personally relate based upon my own experiences growing up with many of the issues portrayed here.
The dvd is also a treat as the bonus features contains a couple of good behind-the-scenes documentaries and except for a few minutes at the start, the picture quality is very good and the sound quality has been remastered very well in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround making this the best old movie picture and sound quality-wise that I've seen on dvd to date.
A very good film and a very good dvd version of it; highly recommended!
Nicholas Ray directed Rebel Without a Cause and also co-authored the script. Working with an exceptionally talented cast, he succeeded so well with evoking great performances from that cast that Dean, Wood, and Mineo have since become icons for teenage malaise. They brood, they pout, they withdraw, they whine, they whimper, while feeling totally misunderstood by adults. They especially resent their parents' inability to "get it" even without knowing what that "it" is.
I saw this film again recently, again impressed by the quality of the acting but, probably inevitably, much of the film now seems dated to me even as it retains much of its innocence. Some scenes remain quite vivid, such as when Judy stands proudly out in the field, bathed in automobile headlights, before "officially" starting the "Chickie Run" contest; also when Jim urges his Mitty-like father (Jim Backus) to stand up to his (Mr. Stark's) badger-like wife (Ann Doran). It is probably not realistic to expect young people in relatively comfortable circumstances to have a "cause" except to be accepted, respected, and loved on their own terms. This is a "classic" of sorts. When seeing it now, I have the feeling that I have opened a time capsule from 1955 and the film is among the items contained in it.