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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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4,914 ( 543)
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

Early in 1954, while they were still working on the script, Paul Osborn suggested to Elia Kazan that he go see James Dean, attracting much attention for his small role in Andre Gide's The Immoralist on the New York stage. Kazan was familiar with Dean from the Actors Studio, the famous theatrical training ground Kazan had founded. The two had even worked briefly on a small project there. Kazan didn't think much of Dean but, responding to a quality he thought might be right for the part of Cal, decided to call him in to the Warner Brothers office. He said Dean just sat there surly and unresponsive. Unable to carry on an articulate conversation, Dean offered Kazan a ride on his motorcycle. It was a risky and harrowing experience Kazan regretted agreeing to, but he also realized right then that he had his Cal. He sent Dean to meet Steinbeck. The author's reply after the meeting was that he didn't like Dean personally but "He's it!" Dean gave notice to the producers of The Immoralist and was out of the play in two weeks. 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

Cal Trask: I've been jealous all my life. Jealous, I couldn't even stand it. Tonight, I even tried to buy your love, but now I don't want it anymore... I can't use it anymore. I don't want any kind of love anymore. It doesn't pay off.
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 »

Connections

Featured in Here's Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't We Got Fun
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Played when Cal and Abra are on the Ferris wheel
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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
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