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East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition)

219 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition) + TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romantic Dramas (East of Eden / Cat on a Hot Tin Roof / A Streetcar Named Desire / Rebel Without a Cause) + Giant: Special Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Based on John Steinbeck's novel and directed by Elia Kazan, East of Eden is the first of three major films that make up James Dean's movie legacy. The 24-year-old idol-to-be plays Cal, a wayward Salinas Valley youth who vies for the affection of his hardened father (Raymond Massey) with his favored brother Aron (Richard Davalos). Playing off the haunting sensitivity of Julie Harris, Dean's performance earned one of the film's four Academy Award nominations.* Among the movie's stellar performances, Jo Van Fleet won the Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

Special Features

  • New 50th-anniversary documentary "East of Eden: Art in Search of Life"
  • Vintage documentary: "Forever James Dean"
  • Additional scenes
  • Screen tests
  • Wardrobe, costume, and production design tests
  • 3/19/1955 New York premiere footage
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007US7F8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,523 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Get What We Give VINE VOICE on March 18, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Elia Kazan's "East of Eden" is based on the John Steinbeck novel of the same name. It is a modern tale of Kane and Abel.
While the film is certainly fantastic, probably its greatest claim to fame is that it was James Dean's first film. It is rare, today, that we see a novice young actor (remember Dean was only 22 when this movie was made) secure a leading role in a high profile drama - as this was - and then nail it so well that critics everywhere fell under his spell. Prior to this film, Dean had only made a handful of commericials, television appearances, and one or two worthwhile theatrical roles.
In an era when "screenplay" meant acting for the screen and playing it for the last row, Dean, Clift, and (personally, regrettably) Brando, were the only actors out there playing for reality.
Dean's Cal is a tortured youth, who has never won his strict father's (the formidable Raymond Massey) acceptance and desperately seeks to do so. His brother, Aaron (played by Dick Davalos), is obviously favored by the father and this further salts the wounds that Cal carries. Julie Harris plays Aaron's fiance as a fawning and often obsequious girl, which can be a bit more than off putting at times.
Joan Van Fleet portrays Cal and Aaron's "dead" mother. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of admitting his failures as a husband, father, and man, the boys' father tells them and everyone else that their mother long ago died. In truth she has been running a bordello in the next town.
Through a series of machinations, Cal meets his mother, and asks for her assistance in winning over his father. The plot fails miserably for Cal, setting off a chain of events from which no one can return.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on August 26, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I first watched this movie on television when I was about 16, because I wondered what all the fuss was about James Dean. I soon found out: he was so unbelievably natural in his acting technique that the audience is captivated by his brilliance. This was Dean's film debut and he burst like a thunderclap in the public's ears, not to mention staid Hollywood, which came to both fear and admire the handsome, rebellious youth. In this haunting John Steinbeck tale, Dean is the neurotic half of twin sons belonging to Bible - reading lettuce farmer Raymond Massey, whose vast acreage stretches through the rich Salinas Valley in California. Aron (Davalos, in another powerful debut) is the well-adjusted upstanding son whose normal relationship with his girlfriend and his diligent pursuit of continuing his father's legacy is admired by the patriarch. Cal is very different from his brother and the troublesome youth mistakenly believes his father doesn't love him. A haunting scene has Dean introduce Davalos to their supposedly dead mother. The boys were brain-washed by their father into believing their mother Kate was some sort of angel: the truthful realisation that she's a financially successful Madam who operates a whorehouse in Monterey causes Davalos to become deeply traumatised. Many people will feel empathy for BOTH brothers during this powerful scene: it shows us that Cal is, if anything, REAL while his brother is somewhat sheltered and idealistic in comparison.Read more ›
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Note: The review that follows was written more than two years ago. Fortunately, this superb film is now available in a DVD format. Thank you to those resposible for an overdue but nonethrless most appreciated provision. That said, as for the review itsdelf, I still have the same opinions it expresses.

It has been (hard to believe) 52 years since this film first appeared, in the same year during which Rebel Without a Cause was also released. Both feature James Dean. I have often wondered to what extent his unique and abundant talents as an actor would have developed, had he not perished in a car accident immediately after the filming of Giant had been completed. Of course, we will never know. His was a compelling presence in each of only three films and especially so in East of Eden in the role of Cal Trask.

The basic story is derived from the Biblical account of Cain and Abel. Adam Trask (Raymond Massey) has two sons, both of whom he presumably loves. However, he favors Aron (Dick Davalos) because he (unlike Cal) never says or does anything to irritate him. Aron is "the good son," complete with a girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris) whom his father obviously adores. Of course, Cal feels resentment toward both his father and brother. He desperately wants his father's love. (Later in the film, he even tries to buy it with profits he earns from investments enriched by World War One.) Under Elia Kazan's brilliant direction, tensions build relentlessly to what seems certain to be a tragic conclusion. Feeling rejected by his father, Cal seeks out his mother who left her husband and sons years ago. Kate Trask (Jo Van Fleet) now owns and manages a brothel in another town nearby and has become wealthy. Cal climbs aboard a freight train so that he can visit her frequently.
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