"East of Eden" and "Rebel Without a Cause" The legendary James Dean, who died tragically in a car crash at the age of 24, had a difficult relationship with his own father. And that love/hate bond between father and son followed him on the big screen in his first two films that were released in 1955. In "East of Eden" (pictured), for which he received an Oscar nomination for lead actor, Dean plays Cal Trask, the moody rebellious son of a strict Bible-quoting father (Raymond Massey). Cal's father, Adam, doesn't shy away from the fact that he prefers Aron (Richard Davalos), Cal's twin goody-two-shoes brother. In this adaptation of John Steinbeck's updating of the Cain and Abel story, Cal tried desperately to win his father's love. Massey, who supposedly didn't get along with his young co-star, and Dean pull out all the stops during Adam's birthday party sequence. And in "Rebel Without a Cause," Dean's troubled teenager Jim Stark despairs that his father (Jim Backus) wears the apron in the family, as the man is bullied and dominated by his wife. The best scene is the one in which Jim confronts his father and tells him to "stand up" for himself.
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