East of Eden (1955)

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  • Trailer for East Of Eden

Movie Info & Cast


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 Trask (Raymond Massey). Although he means well, Cal can't stay out of trouble, nor is he able to match the esteem in which his father holds his good brother Aron (Richard Davalos). Only Aron's girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris) and kindly old sheriff Sam Burl Ives) can see the essential goodness in the troublesome Cal.When Adam invests in a chancy and wholly unsuccessful method of shipping his crops east, his wealth plummets. In an effort to save the business, Cal obtains money from his estranged mother (the proprietor of a whorehouse) and invests it in a risky new bean crop. The gamble pays off (thanks in no small part to the war), but Adam refuses to take the money from Cal, and the resultant quarrel causes Adam to have a stroke. Released the same year as Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden provided Dean with his first Oscar nomination, for Best Actor.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


  • Julie Harris
  • James Dean
  • Raymond Massey
  • Burl Ives
  • Richard Davalos
  • Jo Van Fleet
  • Albert Dekker
  • Lois Smith
  • Harold Gordon
  • Nick Dennis

Did You Know?


  • James Dean refused to attend the premiere party, which almost cost him the lead in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
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  • During WWI, a band organ at the carnival plays "Ain't She Sweet", which is from 1927.
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    • Cal Trask: Man has a choice and it's a choice that makes him a man.
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Steinbeck himself praised it for reaching the parts his book couldn't. Need a better endorsement?

Metacritic review by William Thomas
William Thomas