IMDb > East of Eden (1955)
East of Eden
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East of Eden (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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East of Eden -- Open-ended Trailer from Warner Bros.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   24,209 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Steinbeck (novel)
Paul Osborn (screen play)
Contact:
View company contact information for East of Eden on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 April 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Of what a girl did . . . what a boy did ... of ecstasy and revenge! See more »
Plot:
In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 8 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Is there any law against writing a review? See more (167 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Julie Harris ... Abra

James Dean ... Cal Trask

Raymond Massey ... Adam Trask

Burl Ives ... Sam the Sheriff
Richard Davalos ... Aron Trask

Jo Van Fleet ... Kate

Albert Dekker ... Will Hamilton

Lois Smith ... Anne
Harold Gordon ... Gustav Albrecht
Nick Dennis ... Rantani
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abdullah Abbas ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Rose Allen ... Townswoman at Carnival (uncredited)
José Arias ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Barbara Baxley ... Nurse (uncredited)
John Beradino ... Coalman at Lettuce Field (uncredited)
Joe Brooks ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)

Timothy Carey ... Joe (uncredited)
Jack Carr ... Charlie - Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Lonny Chapman ... Roy Turner - Automobile Mechanic (uncredited)
George Church ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Edward Clark ... Draft Board Member (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Bouncer (uncredited)
Roger Creed ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Bryn Davis ... Townswoman at Carnival (uncredited)
Ray Dawe ... Workman (uncredited)
Anna Dewey ... Townswoman at Carnival (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... City Official at Parade (uncredited)
Joe Dougherty ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Darren Dublin ... Student (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Cliff Fields ... Student (uncredited)
Lloyd Ford ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Robert Foulk ... Man at Boxcar (uncredited)
Nick Franke ... Student (uncredited)
Robert Gardett ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Richard Garrick ... Dr. Edwards (uncredited)
Chief Leonard George ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
John George ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Ruth Gillis ... Undetermine Role (uncredited)
John Halloran ... City Official at Parade (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Official at Parade (uncredited)
Jonathan Haze ... Piscora's Son (uncredited)
Ramsay Hill ... English Officer (uncredited)
Earle Hodgins ... Shooting Gallery Concessionaire (uncredited)
Diane Howe ... Student (uncredited)
Charles Anthony Hughes ... City Official at Parade (uncredited)
Gail Kobe ... Student (uncredited)
Effie Laird ... Townswoman at Carnival (uncredited)
Billy Mahan ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Lou Marcelle ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Mike Marienthal ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Frank Mazzola ... Student (uncredited)
Edward McNally ... Soldier (uncredited)
Ken Miller ... Student (uncredited)
Tex Mooney ... Bartender (uncredited)
Robert Morris ... Student (uncredited)
Paul Nichols ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Lettuce Truck Worker (uncredited)
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Coalman at Lettuce Fields / Man at Exercise Class (uncredited)
Rose Plumer ... Rose - Townswoman at Carnival (uncredited)
Patricia Prest ... Student (uncredited)
Julian Rivero ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Mickey Roth ... Student (uncredited)
Henry Rowland ... Helper at Boxcar (uncredited)
Loretta Rush ... Card Dealer (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Milk Bottle Concessionaire at Carnival (uncredited)
Mario Siletti ... Mr. Piscora (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... City Official at Parade (uncredited)
Bette Treadville ... Madame (uncredited)
Sailor Vincent ... Townsman in Parade / Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Workman (uncredited)
Lillian West ... Townswoman at Carnival (uncredited)
Chalky Williams ... Townsman at Carnival (uncredited)
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Directed by
Elia Kazan 
 
Writing credits
John Steinbeck (novel "East of Eden")

Paul Osborn (screen play)

Produced by
Elia Kazan .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Leonard Rosenman 
 
Cinematography by
Ted D. McCord (director of photography) (as Ted McCord)
 
Film Editing by
Owen Marks (film editor)
 
Casting by
Harvey Clermont (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
James Basevi 
Malcolm C. Bert  (as Malcolm Bert)
 
Set Decoration by
George James Hopkins 
William Wallace (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone (wardrobe designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Robert Ewing .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Tillie Starriett .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Don Alvarado .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Alvarado .... assistant director (as Don Page)
Horace Hough .... assistant director
Claude Archer .... third assistant director (uncredited)
C. Carter Gibson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
George Sweeney .... assistant props (uncredited)
Red Turner .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Stanley Jones .... sound
Everett A. Hughes .... boom operator (uncredited)
Ed McDonald .... recordist (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Mushy Callahan .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Albin .... still photographer (uncredited)
Andy Anderson .... camera operator (uncredited)
William Classen .... grip (uncredited)
Conrad L. Hall .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ernest Long .... best boy (uncredited)
Charles O'Bannon .... gaffer (uncredited)
William John Ranaldi .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Fred Terso .... camera assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Oral Johnson .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Leon Roberts .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
John Hambleton .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Guy Thomajan .... dialogue director
Rhea Burakoff .... secretary: Mr. Kazan (uncredited)
Irva Mae Ross .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture) (An Elia Kazan Production)
Distributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"John Steinbeck's East of Eden" - USA (complete title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG for thematic elements and some violent content (2005 re-issue)
Runtime:
115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (WarnerColor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (35 mm optical prints) | 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:L | Japan:PG12 (2009) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1955) | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | Sweden:11 (re-release) (1962) | Switzerland:16 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | UK:AA (1976) (cut) | USA:TV-PG | USA:PG | USA:PG (2005 re-issue) | USA:Approved (PCA #17086) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This is the only one of the "big three" James Dean films to be released before his death.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: While Cal is talking to Abra on the roof, in the close-ups, the light in her bedroom is seemingly on, whereas in the wide shot, her room is pitch black.See more »
Quotes:
Cal Trask:Man has a choice and it's a choice that makes him a man.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Cinematographer (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Cuddle Up a Little Closer, Lovey MineSee more »

FAQ

What does the opening written prologue say?
Did James Dean star in any other movies before his death in 1955?
How does the movie end?
See more »
101 out of 140 people found the following review useful.
Is there any law against writing a review?, 7 June 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

First I'll throw in my two cents on an issue I wish I didn't have to comment on. Almost everyone knows that East of Eden is based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Although I'm more of a fan of fantastic and surreal literature, Steinbeck and Hemingway are probably my two favorite realist authors. East of Eden is an epic masterpiece, well worth reading. It's also close to 200,000 words long, so obviously, some details and plot points are going to be left out or changed in a two-hour movie, and that shouldn't make a difference. The film is a separate artwork in a completely different medium that should be judged on its own merits, not compared to the book. (For more on this, see my "novel to film mini-rant" in my user profile.)

Director Elia Kazan's East of Eden presents itself as a disarmingly simple film. Many might feel that it's slow or uneventful. But the superficial appearance is intentionally misleading, a filmic representation of the elegant austerity of Steinbeck's literary style; the plot, subtexts and filmic artistry are all really quite complex, and this is the rare example of a film that grows on you more and more after you've seen it.

The plot is a rough "modern" (circa the 1910s) retelling of the biblical tale of Cain and Abel, set in and between Salinas and Monterey, California, as an allegory of good versus evil. But both Steinbeck and screenwriter Paul Osborn weave a dense allegorical tapestry, with those polar ethical opposites becoming less clear-cut as the film progresses.

Cain is Cal Trask (James Dean) here, Abel his brother Aron (Richard Davalos). Their father, Adam (Raymond Massey), owns a "ranch" upon which he grows lettuce. He sees the attainment of excessive profit as negative, and instead focuses his intelligence and skills on trying to better mankind somehow, the practical upshot of which is that Adam is trying to conquer the problem of the preservation of (transported, especially) food via refrigeration or freezing. Adam is sternly frugal and religious, and favors Aron. Thus Cal is something of a hoodlum when the film begins. He's irreverent and tends to wander off. We see him being belligerent and somewhat (self) destructive. Aron, in contrast, seems decorous and easy-going, as does his girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris). In other words, Cal and Aron are basically presented as Goofus and Gallant at the start of the film.

Cal and Aron were told by Adam that their mother was dead. But Cal has suspicions about this, and the first part of East of Eden is concerned with Cal's attempt to discover the truth about his mother. He learns the truth, and the second half covers a number of parallel, somewhat unexpected transformations in the Trask family and their close friends. This is also paralleled with the burgeoning of World War I, which has a complex impact on these (then) small California towns.

The first thing that you're likely to notice with the recent Warner Home Video DVD of East of Eden, after the novelty of the 3-minute "Overture" (which doesn't add much at home, but is interesting historically and doesn't negatively affect anything), is the beautiful cinematography. This was one of the earlier "Cinemascope" (anamorphic 35mm widescreen, with up to a 2.66:1 aspect ratio) films, shot also with a new "Warner Color" process. The results, employing gorgeous California landscapes artfully shot by cinematographer Ted D. McCord under Kazan's direction, are breathtaking. Everything looks scrumptious--from old downtown streets to the rocky ocean shores, distant mountains over sprawling fields, romantically shot freight trains--even the sugar factory standing in for Adam's "barn" and the Monterey whorehouse are beautifully photographed. One of the more famous scenes features Cal and Abra in a dense, colorful, flower-filled field. The Warner Color manages to look both intense and subdued at the same time, which fits the atmosphere of the film perfectly. Kazan employs a lot of subtle camera motions and angles to emphasize the drama, including marvelously skewed angles during confrontations between Cal and Adam.

The score, by Leonard Rosenman, is also worth mentioning, as the mood of the film hinges on it so much. It's lush and sophisticated, with a slight Aaron Copland flavor to my ears. This was Rosenman's first scoring gig. He had been James Dean's piano teacher and had actually studied with famed 12-tone ("serial") music proponent Arnold Schoenberg. Ironically, he felt himself an odd choice and initially suggested that Kazan ask Copland to score the film instead. That probably led to some of the Coplandish tonalities, although to many ears, Rosenman tends to sound more like Alban Berg, another, more famous, Schoenberg protégé.

Of course as a realist drama, the performances in the film are crucial. Dean is outstanding, as one would expect, but so is Harris and the rest of the cast. Part of this must be due to Kazan, as Harris, for example, doesn't come across nearly as well to me in some of her other films, such as Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963).

If East of Eden has a flaw, it's that its relatively short (compared to the material available) running time makes for some unexplained or shallow turnabouts of character in the complex of good/evil interplay. Aron seems particularly distant to the viewer, for example, which is appropriate to the final state of his character, but which could have been explained better in transformation.

But this is a fabulous film, with grand, biblical and universal subtexts and an unusually developed but extremely charming romance. Unless you're completely averse to realist drama, you must see East of Eden at least once.

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