East of Eden
East of Eden (1955)

This truncated screen version of John Steinbeck's best-seller was the first starring vehicle for explosive 1950s screen personality James Dean, who plays Cal Trask, the "bad" son of taciturn Salinas valley lettuce farmer Adam… More

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Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: April 10, 1955
DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Pauline Kael
New Yorker

It's far from a dull movie, but it's certainly a very strange one; it's an enshrinement of the mixed-up kid.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Not only one of Kazan's richest films and Dean's first significant role, it is also arguably the actor's best performance.

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Philip Kemp
Total Film

Catches fire in the clashes between Dean (as the bad brother) and Raymond Massey as his stiff-necked dad.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

John Steinbeck's painful biblical allegory -- Genesis replayed in Monterey, California, circa 1917 -- is more palatable on the screen, thanks to the down-to-earth performances of James Dean as Cal/Cain and Richard Davalos as Aron/Abel.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

In short, there is energy and intensity but little clarity and emotion in this film. It is like a great, green iceberg: mammoth and imposing but very cold.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

After testing various performers (including a newcomer named Paul Newman), Kazan went with the unknown Dean, a move that immediately yielded dividends.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

It's a film of great performances, atmospheric photography, and a sure sense of period and place.

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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Rich historical detail and good visuals make interesting film.

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Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

a reaction to our plutocracy's values and a further case for Dean as the sainted figure of rebellion that would fuel the generational schism of the '60s.

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More reviews for East of Eden

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
KJ Proulx
Family, love, and digging yourself up from beneath the dirt, (to name a few) are all underlying elements throughout this picture. This beautifully directed,… More
Carlos Magalh„es
A timeless and profoundly touching retelling of the Biblical story of Cain and Abel using the early 20th century California as backdrop. While the visuals and… More
Jim Hunter
The son of a farmer desperately seeks his father's approval. In this film James Dean looks like he could either violently explode or be disintegrated into… More
jay nixon
Extraordinarily good version of the second half of the Steinbeck classic novel. Dean is riveting as the conflicted Cal with Julie Harris as Abra matching him… More
Chris Weber
Based on a novel by John Steinbeck, and directed by Elia Kazan, this is the first film in the James Dean Trilogy. Set in Salinas, California in 1917, this is… More
Jennifer D
Was anyone else completely convinced that Dean was 14 year old boy? His mannerisms were always dead perfect. And I must say that this movie actually made me… More

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