East of Eden

Release Date: 1955

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005

PG |1 hr 55 min

Plot Summary

In this film based on John Steinbeck's epic novel, Cal Trask (James Dean), the son of a California farmer (Raymond Massey), feels that his father cares only about his brother, Aron (Richard Davalos). When Cal embarks on a business venture to gain the favor of his dad, he finds himself dealing with his estranged mother (Jo Van Fleet), now the owner of a brothel, and tensions in the family rise even further when he begins to fall for Aron's girlfriend, Abra (Julie Harris).

Cast: James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Jo Van Fleet, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos, Albert Dekker, Lois Smith

Director: Elia Kazan

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Warner Brothers

Keywords: Emotional, Quest, Love triangle, Mother, Brother, Family, Girlfriend, Rivalry, Son, Intense, Father

Ratings & Reviews

  • 80
    William ThomasEmpire

    Steinbeck himself praised it for reaching the parts his book couldn't. Need a better endorsement? show more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine

    Even viewers who acknowledge Kazan’s lack of visual imagination usually concede that nobody got better performances out of actors, but this last vestige of his reputation is in real need of examination. show more

  • 90
    Film Threat

    Never in the history of movies was a film so absolutely enraptured by its subject than East of Eden is with Dean. The camera desperately records his every twist and turn of emotion as if preserving it were of the utmost importance. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Most Promising Newcomer to Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1956)
Winner Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated Writing (Screenplay)
Nominated Directing
Nominated Actor
Nominated Film and British Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1956)
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Foreign Actor
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1956)