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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

on 10 May 2010
I always wondered why James Dean is an Icon, having never seen his films at the Cinema or properly on TV. After watching this set I certainly know why.Some of his reputation has been handed down as the Bad Boy, but inspite of his adulation of Marlon Brando, his charismatic and committed performances have a lot in common with Kirk Douglas.His first film directed by Elia Kazan from a novel by John Seinbeck-EAST of EDEN- is outstanding, and portays a youth willing to go to extreme lengths to win his father's love (Raymond Massey)and to be reunited with his mother (Jo Van Fleet).Besides the anguish and sometimes violence there is humour in his performance, and his talent was such that he was allowed the freedom to be creative with the script. It is impressive now, but imagine the impact in 1954.Julie Harris plays the girl torn between Cal (james Dean)and his brother Aron (Richard Davalos).There is excellent footage on the second disc with each of the three films in this set.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE-catapulted Dean into teenage idol status and marked Natalie Wood's transition from child to adult star.Here the famous "chicken race" towards a cliff edge echoes Dean's real life as a Circuit Racing enthusiast and Trophy winner.It established Sal Mineo as a young star also.Dean was on his way to race at Salinas in his new lightweight Porche, when on an otherwise empty dual track road a large heavy old Ford saloon turned from a layby on the right very slowly across the road to enter a junction on the left.Driving at 85mph Dean was killed instantly, but his mechanic, and the other young driver escaped with relatively minor injuries.On the footage during a TV interview he had cautioned young drivers to take care on the highways for(very cryptically)"the life you save could be mine".Director George Stevens banned Dean from driving untill the shooting of GIANT-with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson-was completed.This is a three and a half hour Epic based on a novel about the emergence of Texas Oil Barons before World War Two, and the conflict with the traditional wealthy Cattle Ranchers, and also a comment on racial intolerance over a period of thirty years.I think that the Dean character (Jet)degenerated into an alchoholic 50yr old Billionaire, would have rallied himself for a last defiant speech at a dinner celebrating his achievements, instead of sprauling drunkenly in self pity, but I do not have the mind of Geogre Stephens or Edna Ferber.24yr old James Dean was dead the day after his part was shot so I join the other mourners who wonder what greater heights he may have achieved.He vowed to "show them an Actor" and he certainly did.
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on 19 July 2005
This is not a review, because I have not bought or watched this item yet. I saw these films on TV many years ago and they were great, so there is no doubt that I will buy the DVDs. Everyone should seize the opportunity to get all James Dean's major films in one packet.
My reason for writing this is a plea to the next person who writes a real review to inform me, and others, if there are any subtitles on the UK version, English, hearing impaired or "foreign." For us, who are not native English speakers, many elderly and those who suffer a hearing defect, a subtitle is vital. Those who understand English perfectly, even drawling American from the fifties, can of course watch without a subtitle. I buy a lot from Amazon, UK, US and DE but I prefer UK because they are faster, offer in most cases cheaper shipment costs and for DVDs they are region 2 (although I can play both systems), and last but not least they are neighbours! But sometimes I have to choose Amason.com. In this case they released the James Dean Box set on May 31st and in their case there are English, Spanish and French subtitles, so if the UK version is without, I will buy the USA one. One great plus for USA is that Amazon.com is ages ahead the .UK in consumer's information. The Brits surely need to update their system. Maybe the region 2 version is with subtitles but they don't bother to mention it! So, my unknown future helper, thank you for your information. Acting like a politician, I urge everyone who reads this to "vote" and click on "Yes," if they agree with me about the importance of subtitles and more information. That might put a press on the producers. Optimistic! I give three stars, one for each film, so as not to drag them down, but the two lacking are because of aforementioned shortcomings.Thanks again.
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on 28 January 2006
Initially I saw all three of these films when I was a teenager in the late nineteen fifty's. All three are both spectacular and very impressive, but then as now, "East Of Eden" and "Rebel Without A Cause" move me the most. There is such a lot in both films that I identify with personally.
"Giant" is superb it its depiction of a family's struggles, triumphs and failures over three generations. Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor are two of my favourite actors. Both are young and demonstrate a vitality that they rarely surpassed in their subsequent films. James Dean plays a secondary role, but fundamental to the entire story.
However it is James Dean's first two films that really caught my imagination. They still have that capacity to enthrall and exite. It is quite incredible how little the films have actually dated. The acting, the story-lines and performances are on a par with the very best of to-day's films. In all three films the castings of the main characters are perfect - nowhere more so that in East Of Eden.
Raymond Massey as the judgemental father, the two brothers played by James Dean and Richard Davalos, Julie Harris as the girl-friend, who is torn between her affection for both brothers, all display great empathy with the characters of John Steinbeck's novel.
The same goes for Rebel Without A Cause. James Dean and Natalie Wood are superb in their characterization.
The emotions and feelings expressed so eloquently by the actors evoked the nostalgia and traumas of my own youth. To have these three great films with their corresponding documentaries is marvellous.
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on 17 April 2017
Excellent box set, although there are only 3 movies there are 6 disc's, each film having a disc of bonuses. I have spent nearly all day at 1 point watching giant along with the special features. If you're a fan of old movies or James Dean then you need​ to get this box set.
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on 11 May 2015
a fantastic box-set for all Dean fans. contains his three marvellous films (my favourite being the epic "giant"). The set also includes some fantastic rare documentaries which were great.

All in all a fantastic set for any Dean lover. His memory will always live on through these 3 brilliant films.
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on 18 February 2008
Jean-Luc Godard said about the director of Rebel Without a Cause "Nicholas Ray is cinema."
Well now, risking Pseuds' Corner, I wager James Dean is movie stardom personified on the strength of his three great performances in these three 1950's movies. With Dean dead for more than 50 years, this boxset underlines that the only sense we have of him is on celluloid.
Brando may have been a better actor but even before that car crash ensured Deans iconic afterlife, Dean was the more complete celebrity.
Even though these movies are classics they are dated.
My only criticism is of the movie Giant. I can't help feeling it is like a 3.5 hour episode of Dallas. Watch Dean in it as he steals every scene. Genius.
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on 8 August 2017
Really enjoyed
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on 26 February 2017
good vaule
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on 27 May 2015
This was a brilliant purchase the service we received was very good, quick and easy would recommend
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on 3 December 2015
Perfect condition
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