IMDb > East of Eden (1955) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
East of Eden
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
East of Eden More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 14 of 18: [Prev][9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [Next]
Index 173 reviews in total 

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Terrific film

Author: pompaj from new york
25 July 2000

It's a great shame that James Dean made only three movies before tragically passing on. I have yet to see Giant, but the other two films are both amazing. Rebel is one of the greatest movies ever made with it's teen and family problems and multiple subplots. East of Eden isn't as good, but it comes kind of close. It definately has both great characters and an intriguing conflict. The movie is about family, only unlike Rebel, it is about just one family. This family is filled with secrets and lies about its past. Dean sets out to disclose these secrets and it causes extreme and unexpected results. In this movie, just like Rebel, Dean gives a terrific performance, but I think this one is more about plot whereas that one was more about character. Both, however, are very strong in both areas. Any movie that succeeds in both characters and plot is a good one. East of Eden is great.

Was the above review useful to you?

6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This is a TRUE screen gem!

10/10
Author: (roman11@aol.com) from Palo Alto, CA
2 July 2003

What a captivating film with all systems on go. I was a kid when I first saw it and after all these years it still creates a mood for me viewing the Salinas Valley in 1917. Casting was brilliant except for Julie Harris four years older than Dean buttttttttt we'll let it pass this time. Why do they do that?

Truly a masterpiece.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Disappointed reader

4/10
Author: uniformsierraalpha7 from United States
22 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film was a poorly directed and disappointing rendition of the novel and its moral.To be fair, one can only fit so much of such an extensive story into a movie, providing the director reasonable excuse to start so late into the novel, but also making him even more responsible for the fragment of the story he chose to recreate. The film in its entirety felt much like a roller coaster, having many interesting/exciting parts but lacking any real direction or focus. In relation to the novel, the film barely managed to show a connection, which was only achieved by loosely portraying major events and the characters themselves. The cast themselves, despite their valiant effort, either underacted or overacted, taking whatever moral or lesson the story might have possibly been connected to, and beating it even more, until it was barely recognizably, if existent at all. Throughout the film, the number of loose ends and spontaneous changes of depth in meaning was overwhelming, to the point of sight nausea. Significant scenes holding any philosophical value were also few and far between.

To be fair, the film, when observed independent of its literary counterpart (if that relationship can even be established!) did maintain some level of intrigue, managing to keep me fairly interested and somewhat entertained. The actors also managed to retain some portion of the intensity and urgency ever so abundant in the novel, as well as maintain the personality of their personae.

To conclude, the film missed the standard set by the novel so intricately written by Stienbeck. The bulk of my disappointment, which was immense to say the least, was the utter failure of the film to accurately portray the novel it was named after. Though decent as a film itself, it is sure to disappoint those who have rad the novel and enjoyed it in its entirety.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Poor Book-to-Movie Portrayal

4/10
Author: tpace4288 from United States
21 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The "East of Eden" movie directed by Elia Kazan was a little unsatisfactory after just reading Steinbeck's novel. I felt that Elia left out many important scenes, characters, and plots that would have tied the movie closer to the book. Two reasons for this low rating is the shift in the story, and the poor portrayal of the characters by their respective actors.

Although Elia does get the point of the story across in an efficient way, he doesn't connect it as Steinbeck did. Steinbeck included many bits and pieces of background information way before the main story commences in Elia's depiction, and allowed for a foundation to understand where everything is derived from. The omission of those events could cause a viewer who hasn't read the novel to be confused at times and curious as to what was going on.

Also, the actors in the movie did not show who the characters were in an efficient way. One example being Aron's coldness to Cal near the beginning of the movie, whereas in the novel, Aron really never turned on Cal until the night of the party. Another example could be how Abel fell in love with Cal before Aron left to the military, creating an added conflict between the brothers that did not occur in the novel, and thus separating further from the novel.

Overall, I think the movie could have related more to the movie, giving a more stick-to-the-plan feel for the readers, and leaving the viewers who did not read the novel with a clear understanding of Steinbeck's point.

-T

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

East of Eden

6/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
24 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was the first of three films that the young James Dean was lucky enough to get a leading role in before his tragic car crash death at the age of twenty four, it is not featured in the book of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die like his other two films, but it was one I wanted to watch, based on the book by John Steinbeck and from Oscar nominated director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront). Basically, set in the time before and during the First World War, 1917, in the central California coastal towns of Monterey and Salinas, Cal Trask (Oscar and BAFTA nominated Dean) is the son of modestly successful farmer Adam Trask (Raymond Massey); his father favours his brother Aron (Richard Davalos) more than him and he is bitter and moody because of this. Both Adam and Aron were made to believe that mother/wife Kate (Oscar winning, and BAFTA nominated Jo Van Fleet) had died, but in fact she is alive and well and running a successful brothel, only Cal visits her knowing this, and he also makes plans to earn back the money that his father lost in unsuccessful business ventures and gain his respect, his mother lends some money to help him do this. We also see Cal gaining the affections of Aron's girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris), he is reluctant for a while knowing that she is already seeing his brother, but he gives into his feelings and they share some close moments, and together they plan a surprise birthday party for his father where he will give him the money he has made. It is at the party though that Aron announces he and Abra are to be engaged, Adam is happy but she and Cal are uneasy, and the situation gets worse when Cal gives his father the money he has earned honestly, but he refuses to take it thinking it was earned in some wartime scheme, Cal sees this as another emotional rejection. In a moment of anger Cal goes against the wishes of his mother and takes his brother Aron to see that she is still living, and Adam demanding to know where Aron is gets told about her as well, in drunkenness Cal's brother enlists in the army, Sam the Sheriff (Burl Ives) tells Adam this and he rushes to stop the train, but he is too late. With the incredible strain Adam is paralysed and unable to communicate when he suffers a stroke, Abra is left in a room with him, and he begs her to show some true affection to Cal before it is too late, and Cal finally gets words of acceptance from his father, with the two lovers close by the bedside. Also starring Albert Dekker as Will Hamilton, Lois Smith as Anne, Harold Gordon as Gustav Albrecht, Timothy Carey as Joe, Mario Siletti as Piscora, Lonny Chapman as Roy and Nick Dennis as Rantani. Dean gives a good performance as the frustrated teenager who longs for his father's attention and a meaning in life, Van Fleet with her time on screen gives a deserved award winning performance as the secretive, protective and emotionally suffering mother, and the other supporting cast members do well also, the story I admit was a little short of plot and tiny parts difficult to grasp, but I did like the romantic element, and you can see why Dean has become an icon in the short film career he had, a watchable psychological drama. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay, it was nominated the BAFTA for Best Film from any Source, and it won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. James Dean was number 27 on The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols, he was number 64 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, he was number 50 on The World's Greatest Actor, he was number 18 on 100 Years, 100 Stars - Men, and he was number 22 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. Good!

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Revolutionary

9/10
Author: JamesDean1955 from United States
15 December 2010

This film is a true gem. This film exposes the fine young talents of legend, James Dean. This being one the three of James Deans only motion pictures, the movie is forever cemented in gold, along with his iconic image. The year is 1955 and the new style of acting known as, " method acting " is starting to gain popularity. The first to revolutionize the craft, Marlon Brandon, rubbed off on the delivery of James Dean. Dean had always looked up to Brando and watched his films to try and imitate his unique approach to creating a character. James Dean sends out a message to Hollywood in this breakthrough role as a confused, misunderstood young man. He follows in the wide footsteps of his older brother, trying relentlessly to earn his father respect. The movie changes directions about midway and Deans character does a role reversal with his on screen brother. Deans character steals his brothers girlfriend and in the end finds a bond in his relationship with his father. The storyline is long, but mostly focuses in on the superb delivery of James Dean.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

Author: devonb186 from United States
8 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

East of Eden was one of the most emotional and suspenseful movies I have seen. From the first scene where the boy was chasing his mother through the dusty street to the ending with the brother going off to the war, my intrigue never stopped. I think that it is ironic that at the beginning of the film the younger brother was seen as the weird crazy one and in the end his brother had a weird sense in his mind. I was exited that the younger brother ended up being with his brothers fiancé because I was hoping for that and could sense a connection between them from the beginning. The cinematographer was extraordinary in this film. The only complaint I have is the length of the film being 2 hours. I found it hard for me to sit through in the end.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Interesting story and stellar performance by Dean

7/10
Author: BernardoPinto from Portugal
7 October 2010

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. The film is loosely based on the second half of the novel East of Eden by author John Steinbeck.

The story is obviously a modern take on the Cain and Abel biblical account and I quite enjoyed it. I found the film interesting, well paced and very emotional towards the end. The direction was pretty good as well. I specially enjoyed the way Abra and Cal's relationship was developed and handled. As in most "old" films, some things are a bit hard to relate but the core themes are very much timeless.

Raymond Massey and Julie Harris who played Abra and Adam Trask respectively, were both great but, the film belongs to James Dean. He was exceptional in the role of Cal and stole the show. He had a lot of charisma and good presence. It's worth noting that his role is very similar to the role he played in "Rebel Without a Cause" which leads me to think that he has an "affinity" with that kind of persona, the young angry outcast.

Overall, it's a very nice watch with a stellar performance by the icon, James Dean.

7.5/10

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

nothing like the book

7/10
Author: arthera09 from United States
21 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So basically the movie took one theme from the book and ignored just about everything else. They brought in a few events and characters from the book to help flesh out the relationships, but for the most part it resembled the book in so few ways I wish they just made the movie and called it something else. The reason that I did give it a 7 was because of James Dean. What an engaging performance. There are so few films of his and this is the only one of his I have seen and I have to say that I am extremely impressed. Just based on this one movie I have never seen anyone else attempt to act like this except maybe Brando in On the Waterfront. I have scene hints of it in Joseph Gordon Levitt in Brick, but there are very few instances where an actor just throws himself into the role with such physicality. The rest of the cast did not blow me away, but Julie Harris was pretty engaging. I respect Kazan for not attempting to put too much of the book in the movie and he actually did a pretty good job of only putting what was needed. The main problem is that this is one of my favorite books and I know all of the characters so well. Dean's Cal was the only character that lived up to expectations and he completely blew me away. I know this type of acting is dead, but I do enjoying seeing it done well. Not a great movie, but I enjoyed it. I think I was engaged with the movie so much because I was interested in seeing how Kazan (and the screenwriter) would approach the material and specific scenes.

One thing I do want to mention that I liked was the scene when Cal tells Aaron about their mother. It is wonderfully directed scene and is actually a very long shot with some intense acting from everyone. It was well lit and the camera moved perfectly. The framing of the shot where all you can is Aaron's back and hear Cal talking was really nice I loved how the scene was executed overall.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Save Yourself the Time and Read the Book

7/10
Author: Bensmola Max from New York
11 May 2010

John Steinbeck made a routine out of literizing the Salinas Valley. In his book East of Eden, it took a Cain and Abel-esquire route, talking of brother's keepers and the fight over a woman. That being said, I found the pacing of the book much more appropriate than the movie.

But, taking into account that this movie was only a slice of the book, I have to say what was here was decent enough. James Dean is admirable as Cal, and some of the cinematography for its time was outstanding (that heat wave felt so real I took my sweatshirt off when I watched it.) Overall, a movie with some clear-cut Biblical overtones, but if you can ignore that, there's many worse ways to spend two hours than watching this movie.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 14 of 18: [Prev][9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards Newsgroup reviews External reviews
Parents Guide Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history