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East of Eden (1955)

PG | | Drama | 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.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

John Steinbeck (novel), Paul Osborn (screen play)
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Popularity
3,402 ( 486)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 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:

The book only JOHN STEINBECK could write so raw! The picture only ELIA KAZAN could film so real! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Steinbeck's East of Eden See more »

Filming Locations:

Salinas, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It has been well-publicized that James Dean and Paul Newman screen tested together for roles in this film, which ultimately led to Dean's big break into the film industry. While Newman did not get the role he tested for in this film, his and Dean's careers were tragically intertwined. Arguably, Newman's big break into Hollywood came in the role of Rocky Graziano in the following year's Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956). James Dean had been set to play the role before his fatal car wreck and the role eventually went to his friend, Paul Newman. See more »

Goofs

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: Hey Aron, why don't you ask me where I've been?
Aron Trask: Would you tell me?
Cal Trask: No.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The dispute with shoemaker Gustav Albrecht about the war had been cut from the 1955 dubbed release for Germany and Austria. You could only see Albrecht leaving the fair claiming "Can't I say my opinion?", Cal climbing down the Ferris wheel and following Aaron and Albrecht, some fight in front of Albrecht's house and the sheriff appearing. The reason for all this remained totally unclear; the recruiter's speech is cut except for one background line "Join the army!" when Cal and Abra pass by, and you actually don't even get that Albrecht might be of German descent. In most of today's copies the missing scenes are included, distinguishable by the German subtitles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elämänmeno: Osa 2 (1978) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Man has a choice and it's a choice that makes him a man."
7 December 2016 | by elvircorhodzicSee all my reviews

EAST OF EDEN is an emotional drama about the lives of troubled people in a provincial family.Frustrated and alienated youth are living in a small California town. The boy is in constant conflict with their own religious father, who prefers the another son.

I'm thrilled with the picture. Nature is the real beauty in this film. The problematic people in this atmosphere seem more credible. This is a powerful drama with different moods and clear psychoanalysis. It is fascinating that the director establishes a better relationship with the landscape and a weaker relationship with the protagonists.

Nobody's perfect. A trite but true phrase. The only question is, who will find meaning in their own imperfections. The film can recognize good and evil. This attitude affects the clarity of emotions. Fortunately, Biblical allusion is not excessive. The brothers, in a way, symbolize duality in man himself to grotesque proportions. The struggle for acceptance in the family and society, which has tragic end !? This is not only preposterous, but is dotted with a kind of illusion.

James Dean as Caleb Trask is unrepeatable, but the performance is overstated. Emotional character does not show a clear emotion. He is a hero and a villain in this film. The son who fought for an ounce of his father's love. The son, who is trying to buy his father's love. The protagonist who has a frank and somewhat noble purpose in life. James Dean is a strange combination between Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. Julie Harris as Abra Bacon is a young and inexperienced lady, who is forced to choose between the perfect son (the good guy) and imperfect son (the bad guy). Of course, she is not good enough for the perfect son, but she matures in time to save imperfect. Very good performance, I have to admit.

Raymond Massey as Adam Trask in the role of the "perfect" and the strictly religious father. I can understand his seriousness, sense of justice, and even fanatical devotion, but persistent refusing attitude against his son I will never understand. I tried to find a reason at some redemption, but again I have not found a deeper meaning. Richard Davalos as Aron Trask was the perfect son. I felt resentment and envy in his character. Of course, after the knowledge of the life of his mother. That's awesome. The protagonist who believes in the eternal triumph of good over evil. Characterization is very bad in this case. Jo Van Fleet as Cathy Ames is the mother described as a monster without a shred of love. The evil that is necessary for the story.

This movie is only a part of the novel and I made conclusions based on that.


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