A nomadic farm worker looks after his dimwitted, gentle-giant friend during the Great Depression.A nomadic farm worker looks after his dimwitted, gentle-giant friend during the Great Depression.A nomadic farm worker looks after his dimwitted, gentle-giant friend during the Great Depression.
I loved this film. I even arm-twisted my two pre-teen/teenaged daughters to go with me. For the closing scene I left my chair, went to the back and cried, even though I knew what was coming.
The acting, the sets/props, the cinematography were all outstanding, sometimes brilliant. The only problem was the script--Curley's wife was softened, made into a victim instead of Steinbeck's brilliantly conceived and rendered cruel, cynical female villain. All that work, the craft, sweat and tears it took for him to create her, mutilated for the sake of profit.
But this is nothing new. Every stage and screen interpretation of OMM has done the same thing. Why? Money, of course. Women make up the majority of moviegoers (and an even larger majority of movie-going decision-making). What producer has the courage to offend a predominately female audience?
Well, American BEAUTY didn't do so badly.
It is well known that Elaine Steinbeck lobbied John to allow the Curley's wife character to be softened. She was trained in theater. She wanted the stage and film versions to be a "success."
Well, just once I'd like to see Curley's wife depicted just as John created her. Especially the scene where she barges in to Crooks' room and calls him "N****" repeatedly and threatens him with lynching.
It's cultural self-deception to pretend that women can't be just as nasty as men. Are all you producers cowards or what?
(Kudos to Ken Wales and Jane Seymour for going the distance with EAST OF EDEN!)
- Dec 27, 2011