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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

James Dean, Natalie Wood, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando & others.
Studio Warner Bros.
Format 4 DVDs/Closed Captioned
DVD Encoding
Region 1: North America  (What is DVD encoding?)
UPC 883929048960
Runtime/Release Date 7 hrs 39 mins/2009
Daedalus Item Code 48123
This item is not available.
In 1955, James Dean embodied a tormented teen as only he could play one, both in Elia Kazan's East of Eden (which won Jo Van Fleet an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress) and in Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause. A luminous Julie Harris was his love interest in the first, while Natalie Wood was his girl in the second; both she and Sal Mineo were nominated for Oscars for their supporting roles. We move from boy to man in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), in which Marlon Brando blew the lid off the joint with his portrayal of the crude yet wily Stanley Kowalski. As his impoverished sister-in-law, trailing her illusions of grandeur behind her ("I don't want realism.... I want magic!"), Vivien Leigh was the perfect, tragic foil. Leigh, Kim Hunter as her sister, and Karl Malden as a prospective suitor all won Academy Awards. In 1958, another Williams play came to the screen, with Elizabeth Taylor looking impossibly gorgeous as "Maggie the cat" and Paul Newman devastatingly attractive as her alcoholic, alienated husband; both were nominated for Academy Awards for their roles. (The film was also nominated for Best Picture; Best Director (Richard Brooks); Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Richard Brooks and James Poe); and Best Cinematography, Color. All four films offer theatrical trailers and commentary tracks with actors and film historians.

"Kazan, marrying his Actors Studio method of personal, interior motivation for characterizations with Leigh's consummate skills as a film performer … creates with the actress one of the single most devastating portrayals of mental illness ever committed to the screen…. Burl Ives dominates every time he's on the screen, and he has several big scenes that play well to his persona. When Big Daddy lays down the law about 'lies and liars,' complaining about the overwhelming 'odor of mendacity' in the air, it's hard not to find sublime pleasure in a performer clearly suited to his material. Ives was a far more talented performer than he was frequently given credit for on the screen (Taylor, too, for that matter)."—DVDTalk

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