East of Eden (1955)

PG   |    |  Drama


East of Eden (1955) Poster

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.


7.9/10
37,558

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  • James Dean and Julie Harris in East of Eden (1955)
  • James Dean preparing for carnival shooting range scene in "East of Eden." 1955 Warner / MPTV
  • James Dean in East of Eden (1955)
  • James Dean and Raymond Massey in "East of Eden." 1955 Warner / MPTV
  • James Dean and Leonard Rosenman in East of Eden (1955)
  • James Dean plays a baritone recorder given to him by a fan while on location for "East of Eden." 1955 Warner / MPTV

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30 November 2014 | claudio_carvalho
8
| Neediness of Love and Respect
In 1917, in Monterey, California, Cal (James Dean) is a youngster needy of fatherly love. His father Adam Trask (Raymond Massey) is a farmer that favors his brother Aron (Richard Davalos) and they believe that their mother died when they were children. One day, Cal discovers that his mother Kate (Jo Van Fleet) is still alive and is the owner of a brothel in the nearby Salinas. However he keeps his discovery in secret and does not tell to his father and brother.

When Adam decides to invest in the transportation of frozen lettuce, there is a problem on the railroad and he loses his saving. Cal contacts Kate and borrows five thousand dollars to invest in the promising bean business since the United States has entered in the World War I to recover his father's money and earn his love. Meanwhile Aron's girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris) and Cal fall in love with each other. Cal is well succeeded in his business and decides to give a surprise birthday party organized by Abra to his father to give his money as a birthday gift. The reaction of Adam and Aron trigger a series of incidents with tragic consequences.

"East of Eden" is a movie directed by Elia Kazan with a story slightly based on Cain and Abel, with the rivalry of two brothers since Cal is a needy young man and Aron is envious of his brother. The movie shows the treatment spent to German immigrants when the United States joined the war. The open conclusion induces to the redemption of Cal after the tragedy in his family. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Vidas Amargas" ("Bitter Lives")

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's interiors were all filmed on studio sound stage sets at the Warner Brothers Burbank Studio lot. During on-set filming, portable star dressing rooms were parked adjacent to exterior walls of the sound stages, near the stage's crew/cast entry door, positioned on a studio alley and/or street between the studio's sound stages. James Dean, assigned one of these dressing rooms, actually lived, day and night, in the assigned dressing room trailer during the filming of this movie. When studio boss Jack L. Warner heard that Dean refused to move out of his trailer when the studio wanted to relocate the dressing room trailer to another location, Warner shouted, "That little bastard better get out of that trailer . . . or else!".


Quotes

Abra: I was even thinking I was bad. I love you even though I'm afraid of you. Maybe someday I won't be.


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.


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"


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.


Soundtracks

Oh, You Beautiful Doll
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by
Nat Ayer
Played when Cal first enters the bordello
Also played when Cal and Abra pass in front of the mirrors

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