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So much curious attention is paid to his body (an extended work-out scene, a bathing suit pool scene no one forgets and his dance with Juliet Prowse, Mineo wearing tight pants and a shirt that shows off his midriff) that it becomes an independent point of discussion rather than the mere gazing of a beautiful young man.Mineo takes it so much further in this bold performance – you’re thinking about beefcake and violence and sex and then sex messing up a traumatized character’s mind.He also wanted to play Michael Corleone – with his Sicilian heritage he found himself exactly suited for the story. The film was considered a low rent trashy curio, now something of a cult classic, though Mineo was given some fine notices (as he have).He is brilliant in the picture, which lives in a kind of Warholian universe, downtown pulp with a gritty artiness to it – you could imagine the Velvet Underground showing up somewhere or Edie Sedgwick walking into the frame.It was tough for Mineo to transition, or to be allowed to.
As much as I adore Natalie Wood in the picture, it’s Dean and Mineo bewitching the viewer with their shared gaze – and not just because Dean was so captivating – but because Mineo was so poignant and mysterious.
To some, he was viewed as frozen in time, forever that teenager, a relic of the 1950s.
Of course he absolutely was not that but as often in Hollywood – they don’t like their child stars to grow up, even if they grow up into fascinating actors.
Sal’s career struggles makes one angry and disheartened at the industry’s lack of imagination an uptight homophobic world – Mineo should have been allowed more work and more time. Though their alienation likely only deepened his performance as Plato and his bond with Dean.
That’s not saying he didn’t continue to create interesting work – he did – from stage to TV to movies. [Sal later stated he was bi-sexual] He was very precious – no fun at all.’ [I doubt he was ‘precious’] Now, however, she admits, ‘We could have been nicer.’” Indeed, Ms. As Frascella continues: “The other cast members may have been somewhat jealous of the attention that Dean paid to Mineo.
And you’re even thinking about Mineo himself, the character’s he’s running away from, as if Plato is all grown up, still gorgeous but manlier, and now totally deranged. And yet, you still feel for him, you still find a point of identification.