I went into this film last night with high hopes, leading only to disappointment. This is my first film I've seen with James Dean, and I think this was the first disappointment. I've always been confused about the significance of "method acting", because every time I see it, it's too obvious. I see exactly what they're doing, and it's really not convincing. It's more melodramatic and campy regardless, and it really showed with Dean in this picture. The over the top acting took me out of the picture, and I felt that I never really got back in. I felt like everyone was a stranger to me, and that we never got to know them.
Also, the story had many points of interest, that went no where, or was wrapped up too quickly to be satisfying. For instance, I liked the dynamic of the beans market, and Cal trying to get this investment going, but, it sort of just... happened. Also there's a scene where the other brother is clearly against the war, and thinks it's immoral, but there's no real reason or explanation as to why. I guess it's just supposed to be accepted since he's a good kid? But then later he's upset, and decides to just join the military anyways, so he just gets upset, and is okay with killing now?
This movie suffered from both sides of the story. I felt it was too short for the story that could have been better fleshed out, but too long for the one it told. It felt constantly dragged out, which could have been resolved with a longer runtime. Overall the story isn't as interesting as I'd hoped, and the acting from Dean was too obvious and campy. Perhaps it's worth watching if you like seeing James or if it's been on your list for a while, otherwise, there are better movies to waste time with.