I saw ABC's very thorough adaptation of Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN when it was first broadcast--in a censored and shorter version--when I was 12. And I had the goddamn biggest crush on Jane Seymour for a while after this, till she killed that with DR. QUINN. Hell, you tell me who looks better in those kind of clothes, and only Helen Mirren has a better evil smirk. I think I've always crushed on both for many of the same reasons, come to think of it.
But Jane Seymour as Kathy is one of the sexiest villainesses ever. And she is pure, total evil in Steinbeck, quite explicitly--but here you come to understand(without justifying) why she goes down the road she does, even if she does do evil things to get there. It's more nuanced. And to this day this miniseries is one of my favorite things.
I only saw the better-known Elia Kazan version with James Dean much later, and could not understand why it was considered a classic except that it was one of James Dean's only films. And I still like Sam Bottoms (sadly now deceased) better as Cal. The whole cast is great, and the sweep and scope of the thing is mythic and yet down to earth. This one more or less IS the novel, while that other one is about the last sixth of it, and not really very good.
"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791 Questionable
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