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East of Eden (1955)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  10 April 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 28,300 users  
Reviews: 173 user | 83 critic

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 ... See full summary »



(novel), (screen play)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Richard Davalos ...
Harold Gordon ...
Gustav Albrecht
Nick Dennis ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | lettuce | birthday | beans | money | See All (239) »


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 April 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Steinbeck's East of Eden  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shooting in the fairly new CinemaScope process proved to be a challenge for Elia Kazan, but he was lucky to have a good working relationship with longtime Warner Brothers cinematographer Ted D. McCord. The studio camera department gave him instructions up front to keep the camera at least six feet from the actors, which rankled Kazan. So he and McCord made some tests to see how close they could push in. It caused the side edges of the screen to appear a bit curved, but Kazan decided to use that distortion for dramatic expression. McCord suggested that, as long as they were distorting anyway, they should tip the camera angle in certain shots. This technique was used a few times, most prominently in the tense dinner table scene in which Cal and his father fight over the boy's antagonistic reading of Bible passages. See more »


During WWI, a band organ at the carnival plays "Ain't We Got Fun", which is from 1921. See more »


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.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in Supernatural: Fallen Idols (2009) See more »


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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

James Dean embodied the confused attitudes of a generation...
16 February 2003 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

James Dean plays Cal, a son of Adam Trask (Raymond Massey) who feels unloved and unwanted by his stern father, a situation not helped by Adam's apparent acceptance of Cal's brother... Cal suspects that his mother, long believed dead, is the madame of a local brothel, and when this is confirmed, the young man is convinced that he has found the reason why he is bad...

His awkward, unhelpful attempts to find himself and come to terms with his situation led young audiences to identify with him immediately, an identification that was compounded by his role in 'Rebel Without a Cause' where again, only with more violence, he rebelled against his middle class family...

The impact he had made on the anxious, unhappy youth of that time was confirmed as much by his death as by the style and abandon of his life..

Dean was a youth who rebelled against the riches of the American Dream, though he finally denounced it all in a reckless moment... Dean therefore embodied the confused attitudes of a generation who had never suffered through the Depression and rejected the acquisitive attitudes of their parents, while at the same time they hankered after the American Dream... Dean gave physical form to the perplexing confusion of ideals, that haunted the majority of postwar American youth...

52 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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