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East of Eden (1955)

PG | | Drama | 10 April 1955 (USA)
A wilful young man contends against his brother for the attention of their religious father while reconnecting with his estranged mother and falling for his brother's girlfriend.

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Writers:

(novel), (screen play)
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4,782 ( 194)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Anne
Harold Gordon ...
Gustav Albrecht
Nick Dennis ...
Rantani
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Storyline

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at every turn, from his reaction to the war, to how to get ahead in business and in life, to how to relate to estranged mother. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Of what a girl did . . . what a boy did ... of ecstasy and revenge! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Steinbeck's East of Eden  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (35 mm optical prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints) (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Multiple cast members, and particularly director Elia Kazan, remarked that James Dean was frequently unprepared on set and didn't know his lines. Dean would deviate considerably from the script in multiple takes, many of which were emotionally charged and ultimately used in the final cut of the film. Raymond Massey was incensed by what he considered to be Dean's lack of professionalism and grew to despise the actor during the making of this film. See more »

Goofs

Aron's hair changes from the shot when the sheriff is on the Albrecht's porch (just after the fight) to the next, when he asks Abra "Where were you?" See more »

Quotes

[refusing Cal's gift of money]
Adam Trask: If you want to give me a present, give me a good life. That's something I can value.
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Crazy Credits

Cards during opening credits: In northern California, the Santa Lucia Mountains, dark and brooding, stand like a wall between the peaceful agricultural town of Salinas and the rough and tumble fishing port of Monterey, fifteen miles away. AND "1917 Monterey, just outside the city limits" See more »

Connections

Featured in East of Eden: Art in Search of Life (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't She Sweet
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Played when Cal is at the shooting gallery
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Spoiled Brat Whines and Skulks About
20 June 2010 | by (New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Even though I've never read the book, I find this adaptation miserable. Let me make a disclaimer here. I've started this movie several times, but never have been able to get to the end although it was obvious where it was going to end up. It disgusts me at almost every level.

I've also never understood the attraction of James Dean. He only seems to play this character - the scion of an overly wealthy family who, seeing poverty all around him - finds no reaction except whining and bleating about his lofty position in society. Well, more to the point, he whines constantly about how his mommy or daddy or both don't love him enough.

In this loser flick, there is a scene where Dean finds his soul mate - or so I suppose it'll turn out. She is giggling about having thrown away a $3,000 ring her dad, a widower, gave to his new bride. Then she says she forgave him for remarrying. Dean and she find this episode hilarious. Note that this is set during WWI where that $3,000 is enough to support three farm worker families for a year. Such is the movie that it only looks at life from these ignorant bitchy teens' point of view that this violent wasting is overlooked or used as a plot device to weld these characters to each other.

Throughout the entire movie, Dean speaks in a weasely nasal whine and slinks around half folded up which I suppose is spoiled 50's American body language for being beaten down by immense wealth. The movie is constantly sympathetic toward this miserable brat excusing him running roughshod over anybody and anything to feed his own narrow needs.

For example, when he decides to make a device to harvest more efficiently, he steals a vital part from some hard working poor people. This either puts them temporarily out of business or out of business until they can replace it - at enormous cost to them. He could have bought it with his pin money but instead he steals it from poor people. When caught, all the sympathy of the movie is on his side. Personally, I would have loved to see the poor victims of his theft beat him senseless.

In fact, thinking about this entire movie, the thing which is missing is that Dean isn't beaten and expelled from the town. Everybody would have been better off and the movie would have been enormously more satisfying.


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