8.0/10
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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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screen play)
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4,780 ( 354)

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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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Will Hamilton
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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:

The searing classic of paradise lost. 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

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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

James Dean hated being made up and, according to Richard Davalos, they would run into the bathroom at various intervals to rub off a little make-up at a time. "I don't think we had any make-up on at the end of the day." See more »

Goofs

While Cal is talking to Abra on the roof, in the close-ups, the light in her bedroom is seemingly on, whereas in the wide shot, her room is pitch black. See more »

Quotes

Abra: [telling Cal she loves him] I was even thinking I was bad. I love you even though I'm afraid of you. Maybe someday I won't be.
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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

Referenced in Letterbox (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile!
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Powell
Played by the marching band after the announcement of war
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
There were some serious acting chops behind the legend...
25 September 2004 | by (Oldham, Gtr Manchester, England.) – See all my reviews

The early, violent death of someone so famous was a tragedy; but for someone who's never seen a Dean performance ("East of Eden" is his only movie I've seen to date; it has since been joined by "Rebel Without a Cause" as of Nov. 2007, and "Giant", in Jan. 2010) it's easy to get suckered by these details into believing that this is the only thing that adds substance to the man. Not so.

In "East of Eden" he delivers an intense performance as, unsurprisingly, an enigma; an individual too sensitive for life in his own world. It sounds from this as if it could well be similar territory to "Rebel Without a Cause", and given the events it's also perhaps not too far away from the real person - but nevertheless it's a striking portrayal that shows unmistakable 'fire' and talent.

James Dean is not one of those people who've come to be mythologised due to outside circumstances entirely beyond their control; for the consummate skill in his craft and the posthumous Oscar recognition brings something just as weighty to the table. About as far removed from the Orlando Bloom poster boy of his generation as it's possible to be, my expectations were completely trumped. There was real depth present, too.

All else is at least good, but it's the memory of a sobbing Cal all at once being transformed into a creature of hidden menace that I will take away with me. A riveting display from a fine actor, and undoubtedly a lasting testament to a lamentably short career. 9/10.


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