7.9/10
39,881
199 user 95 critic

East of Eden (1955)

PG | | Drama | 10 April 1955 (USA)
Trailer
2:52 | Trailer
Two brothers struggle to maintain their strict, Bible-toting father's favor.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

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

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Photos

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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:

Sometimes you can't tell who's good and who's bad!... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

"East of Eden" (1955) offers a striking example of the Actors' Studio's 'method,' which had reached its zenith around the time of this release, with many of its actors -- and its director -- living proponents of the style. This explains the overwrought quality that often pervades the film, with frequent interrupting, sketchily memorized dialogue and extreme physical responses when actors are entering or exiting scenes. This is particularly evident when Julie Harris shares the screen, as she was one of few stage actors during that time who eschewed the Method, choosing to rely on her own instincts instead. 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

Cal Trask: It's gonna work because it's got to work and it's got to work because I said so
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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

Featured in American Masters: James Dean: Sense Memories (2005) 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
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User Reviews

 
There were some serious acting chops behind the legend...
25 September 2004 | by Howlin WolfSee all my reviews

The early, violent death of someone so famous was a tragedy; but for someone who's never seen a Dean performance ("East of Eden" is his only movie I've seen to date; it has since been joined by "Rebel Without a Cause" as of Nov. 2007, and "Giant", in Jan. 2010) it's easy to get suckered by these details into believing that this is the only thing that adds substance to the man. Not so.

In "East of Eden" he delivers an intense performance as, unsurprisingly, an enigma; an individual too sensitive for life in his own world. It sounds from this as if it could well be similar territory to "Rebel Without a Cause", and given the events it's also perhaps not too far away from the real person - but nevertheless it's a striking portrayal that shows unmistakable 'fire' and talent.

James Dean is not one of those people who've come to be mythologised due to outside circumstances entirely beyond their control; for the consummate skill in his craft and the posthumous Oscar recognition brings something just as weighty to the table. About as far removed from the Orlando Bloom poster boy of his generation as it's possible to be, my expectations were completely trumped. There was real depth present, too.

All else is at least good, but it's the memory of a sobbing Cal all at once being transformed into a creature of hidden menace that I will take away with me. A riveting display from a fine actor, and undoubtedly a lasting testament to a lamentably short career. 9/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,079
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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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
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