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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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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:

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

The conflict between James Dean and Raymond Massey came to a boiling point in the scene where Cal angers his father because of the way he reads from the Bible. Elia Kazan, who found Massey to be a rather rigid and unemotional "stiff" off screen and on, wasn't happy with the way it was going, so he took Dean aside and whispered some suggestions. Dean came back and read the Old Testament passages interlaced with the most offensive curses and crude sexual expressions. The very religious Massey became incensed, storming off the set and threatening to call his lawyers. But before the outburst, Kazan was able to capture the heightened anger he was going for. 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

Version of East of Eden 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

 
Notable for more than James Dean's first starring role
4 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

"East of Eden", based on the novel by John Steinbeck, concerns an upright father (Raymond Massey) and his two sons: one whom he considers good (Richard Davalos) and another whom he considers bad (James Dean). The story is influenced by the biblical story of Cain & Abel while much of the film focuses on Dean's character striving to earn the love of his father.

The cast is a pretty good one. James Dean received a posthumous Oscar nomination for what was his first major film role. I think that his performance here is every bit as memorable as his work in "Rebel Without a Cause". Jo Van Fleet ended up winning an Oscar for her performance while Julie Harris also delivered a fine performance. Unfortunately, I found the performances of Richard Davalos & Raymond Massey too bland to stand out, especially in comparison to the other cast members.

Elia Kazan's direction was good enough to land a Best Director Oscar nomination but I don't think that the film looks quite as good as other films of his. The score by Leonard Rosenman is stirring and is showcased in an overture at the beginning of the film.

I would certainly recommend this film to anyone wanting to know what all the fuss is about James Dean. Even if you're not interested in him particularly, you'll likely find the story an enthralling one.


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