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East of Eden (1955)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 10 April 1955 (USA)
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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.

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Writers:

(novel), (screen play)
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3,081 ( 1,079)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 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 | Romance

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 film only covers the latter part of the novel. Elia Kazan later said he didn't like the first part of the book very much. It would also have been unwieldy to adapt the multi-generational story. Around this same time, the director had been thinking about the importance of unity in a work of art and reflected on screenwriter John Howard Lawson's notion that unity comes from the climax. Kazan decided to focus on only the final section of the novel dealing with the conflict between Cal and his father and brother and had to approach the thin-skinned John Steinbeck gently and tactfully about making changes to the story. He also had to approach Steinbeck with his plan to bring in another writer to work on the adaptation with Kazan. The author genuinely liked and trusted Kazan and allowed him to proceed without interference. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie after Cal rides the train to Salina, you can see a modern day automobile in the upper right of the scene showing the view of a field. See more »

Quotes

Adam Trask: [Adam gives Cal the bible to read] Start at the fifth verse. Verse 5.
Cal Trask: [Cal begins to read... ] "I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."
Adam Trask: Go on.
Cal Trask: [he continues] Six...
Adam Trask: And I suggest a little slower, Cal. And you don't have to read the verse numbers.
Cal Trask: [Cal continues on] "For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee. And surely in the floods of great waters they ...
[...]
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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 ABC Late Night: James Dean Remembered (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Avalon
(1920) (uncredited)
Music by Vincent Rose
(Based on "E lucevan le stelle" from the opera "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini (1900))
Played by the band when the train leaves
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Perhaps the best of the three?
2 November 2003 | by (Hattiesburg, MS) – See all my reviews

I recently purchased this film, having never seen it before, and feeling somewhat peeved at the fact that it is never shown on TCM. Immediately, I recognized it as one of the best films ever made. The adaptation from the very dense and wonderful Steinbeck novel obviously required much of the relationship between Adam and Charles to be deleted, however I felt the film did not suffer from this at all.

James Dean is a completely different animal than the other actors of his time, and from start to finish in this film, he is spellbinding. The emotional intensity and reality he brings to the film is so convincing it is almost painful to watch at times, especially when he goes to see his mother for the first time and he desperately tries to speak to her as he is being wrenched away. The tone of his voice, his subtle gestures, his utter desperation for love is amazing and completely his own. I once read that Dean did not consider East of Eden to be his best film, but I disagree with him there. I have never seen a film (or an actor) that even came close to matching this one, particularly when viewed from its position in time and the nature of cinema in the 1950s. James Dean put himself 'out there' emotionally in such a raw way that the power of that brave acting yet holds the ability to touch the audience with every viewing. I think the film makes a hugely important statement about the human condition that is still valid a half a century later.


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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
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In the shower room...WHY? returnofthejodi
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