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East of Eden (1955)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  10 April 1955 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 28,040 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 »

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(novel), (screen play)
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Title: East of Eden (1955)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: James Franco, Michael Moriarty, Valentina Cervi
Drama

In the farmlands of the Salinas Valley in California, successive generations of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, are destined to reenact the fateful story of Cain and Abel.

Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Richard Davalos ...
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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

Plot Keywords:

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

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

According to Lonny Chapman, Elia Kazan told him on a Monday they would film the scene that Friday in which Roy explains the new Model T car to Adam and instructed him to spend the week learning absolutely everything about the car. "He wanted the actor to contribute as much as the director." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[Abra pleads with Adam to reconcile with his son]
Abra: Mr. Trask, it's awful not to be loved. It's the worst thing in the world. Don't ask me - even if you could - how I know that. I just know it. It makes you mean, and violent, and cruel. And that's the way Cal has always felt, Mr. Trask. All his life! Maybe you didn't mean it that way - but it's true. You never gave him your love. You never asked for his. You never asked him for one thing.
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 Precious Images (1986) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Simply superb.
5 January 2000 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Elia Kazan deserved his recent honorary Oscar, no matter what political mistakes he may have made. He deserved it because he is one of the supreme artists of the cinema. His ability to draw superb performances from his actors, is coupled with an astonishing ability to depict these emotional states visually, through the use of camera angles, lighting and symbols. "East of Eden" must be seen in the widescreen format to truly appreciate its visual style. It is arresting, sometimes beautiful and always powerful.

Then there are the performances. James Dean's heartbreaking realization of Cal, consumed by jealousy; Jo Van Fleet's magnificent portrayal of his mother; Richard Davalos (why didn't we see more of him on the screen after this film?) innocent, virginal, doomed; Raymond Massey who has never been better in a multi-layered performance; Burl Ives' commanding police chief - and, as usual in a Kazan film, even the smallest part is played to perfection (who'll forget the girl in the brothel or the nurse at the end?). After seeing the film a few times I really appreciate the performance of Julie Harris too. I once thought her a little too mature for the role - but now I see how her reactions to the events really enhance the emotional impact of those events. Kazan allows her to be in frame during some of the most crucial encounters between Cal and his father - and her face tells a million stories. This is a true "supporting" performance - her performance helping Dean realize Cal. Brava Julie!

I'm a lot older now than when I first saw this film - but I still relate so strongly to the communication breakdown and the need for love between father and son. The improvement of my own relationship with my father makes me see the film differently but with no less emotion. Like all masterpieces this film does not date, we just see it differently as we age. This is undoubtedly one of my top five films. How about a theatrical revival? I have never seen it in a cinema. Remember see it in widescreen - not pan and scan.


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