173 user 82 critic

East of Eden (1955)

PG | | Drama | 10 April 1955 (USA)
2:52 | Trailer

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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.



(novel), (screen play)
4,956 ( 138)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The book only JOHN STEINBECK could write so raw! The picture only ELIA KAZAN could film so real! 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?


Elia Kazan first toyed with the idea of casting Marlon Brando as Cal and Montgomery Clift as Aaron, but at 30 and 34 years old, respectively, they were simply too old to play John Steinbeck's teenage brothers. Ironically, the youthful-looking Paul Newman, who was one year Brando's junior, was a finalist for the part of Cal, which eventually was played by Newman's friend James Dean. Dean was seven years younger than Newman. See more »


After his fight with Aron, Cal goes into a bar to get drunk, a short time after arriving, he says to the barman "Fix me another drink," Cal's lips don't move when he says that. See more »


Aron Trask: Staying out again tonight?
Cal Trask: What difference does it make? You're here, aren't you? You're the one he wants!
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 »


Featured in Forever James Dean (1988) See more »


(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Played by the marching band when the WCTU car rolls by
Also played after Cal shows Aron their mother
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...

57 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Would you call it an actual adaptation of Steinbeck's novel? ArcadeDoinel
Why is this movie not in the imdb top 250? iMaas
Kate: 'What does Cal stand for?' mike121945
For those who read the book... hugeTCfan
Dirty Joke? rduke72
In the shower room...WHY? returnofthejodi
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