Texas farmer Bick Benedict travels to Maryland for a prize stallion. There he meets the woman of his dreams, Leslie, and marries her. The young couple returns to their ranch, where Leslie must adjust to life in a changed environment.
The new rancher breaks the heart of Jett Rink, an oil tycoon. An already bitter rivalry between the two Texas families heats up.
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Jordan Benedict is good for everything: Rich, handsome, and romantic. He has taken the charming Leslie to a vast Texas ranch, where he has exposed her to others as a beautiful trinket. Leslie, awakening from her reverie, bravely confronted her husband, proving to everyone that she is quite an independent person, capable of serious action. Thus emboldened by her husband’s arrogance and irascibility, Leslie stubbornly decided to go against the unceasing wind of prejudice. Having found in her wise Uncle Bowley a devoted adviser, she has found an enemy – the nimble Luz, Benedick’s plucky sister, who in her brother’s absence dashingly runs things on the ranch. While the owners quarrel, driver Jett Rink stays in the shadows, unaware that fate will send him a worthless piece of land where oil will be found. Let there be blood!
George Stevens deservedly got his second Oscar for his attempt to depict the epic spirit of Edna Ferber’s work about a hereditary farmer’s fight with a street scum with the peculiarity of the Texas mentality. The main drawback of the picture should be called its unwieldiness and the inauthenticity of the characters’ behavior in the final part. Most people would probably think the movie is rather old-fashioned (for example, the clumsy make-up that ages the characters over their entire lives) and, therefore, unfit for viewing in the 21st century. But it is redeemed by the work of a single performer who, with a brilliant performance, inscribes a pretentious movie in history – the deceptively minor James Dean in the iconic role of Jett Rink is revealed in all his glory, hitting the unintentionally asleep viewer with a swipe of the wrist.
Elizabeth Taylor’s purely positive heroine and Rock Hudson’s brutal character, annoyingly either narcissistic or racist, for all their coloring, cannot compete with the sad and not lacking in rare charisma of a weak man seeking to pass himself off as someone he is not. This is the writer’s message: blessed are those who, despite adversity, know how to remain themselves. Unlike the rival Leslie and Jordan, managing to be one, Jett Rink, who can not resist the temptation of money and unexpected fame, mutilated himself beyond recognition – from a kind-hearted, gentle, sensitive man turned into a cynical alcoholic, scavenging dollars in spite of high society, childishly atoning for the deep resentment of a slave. As if following Friedrich Nietzsche’s familiar and frightening aphorism, trying his best to reach the heights, Rink is rooted more and more in the baseness of the spirit, in true evil, in the vices of the soul. Stevens tried to build the film in a moralistic direction, using contrast, closing the picture with a haunting happy ending, but James Dean, who on the set repeatedly quarreled with the director, In spite of him, he managed to portray such a heartfelt drama of the breakdown of human dignity that he overshadowed absolutely everything in the picture – down to Taylor’s radiance, Dennis Hopper’s disarming meekness, Sal Mineo’s likability and Mercedes McCambridge’s inner frenzy.
James Dean perfectly understood the street with its cruelty, injustice and indifference, felt the sharpness of social differences between the average working man and a successful businessman. It is well known that the actor adored photography, sculpture, drawing – trying to show himself everywhere, Dean gave reason to consider him a nature of passionate, in love with humanity, whose essence he timidly but accurately conveyed in all three films – “East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant”. He did not simply copied and portrayed in cinematic art the images of many strangers he had watched closely for years, memorizing the grimaces, gestures, phrases, accents that were particularly characteristic of their behavior. Behind the portraits of weak people approaching the abyss that stares at them is, above all, humanity. Why has God turned away from us? Why is the Devil not enthroned? Mankind has not learned to value itself, hiding from one another behind masks, building invisible barriers, fending off countless pretexts so as not to lose the status it has achieved. The worthless son, the lyrical rebel, the lost servant – Dean exclaims: these people were! They lived striving to win the attention of their father, of the girl they loved, of society. They died because of a strange, strange world where parents are blind, others are indifferent, and oil is all-powerful. Flash forward – the little genius crashed in a car crash, immortalizing the creations of Elia Kazan, Nicholas Ray, and George Stevens.
Standing modestly in the crowd surrounding the celestial Marlon Brando. Reading “The Little Prince” and looking confused as he put on his glasses. Playing with his Siamese cat. Laughing, hugging with unkind irony the mother of one of his friends. Representing the school in a basketball game. And he lived like a simple-minded, unpretentious Jett Rink. A car accident cut his path fast, and we did not immediately realize what the exalted fans of the young actor embodied. The kind-heartedness that the ruthless world of cinema, which turns everyone into the puppets of a cult of personality, could not steal from him.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (56.1 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.66:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: Dolby Digital Mono
German: Dolby Digital Mono
Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish (Latino): Dolby Digital Mono
English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish, Dutch.