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East Of Eden (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1955]

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Jo Van Fleet, Burl Ives
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Producers: Elia Kazan, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Italian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, Dutch, Russian, French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun. 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009E2OPQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,250 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Elia Kazan's classic adaptation of Steinbeck's novel, set in a small farming valley in California in 1917. Two brothers rival for the love of their stern, overbearing, widowed father (Raymond Massey). However, when Cal (James Dean), the rejected 'rebel' son, discovers that his mother (Jo Van Fleet) is not dead but running a nearby brothel, he decides to tell his brother (Richard Davalos). This spiteful decision soon leads to the destruction of his relationship with his brother, who in a drunken frenzy runs off to enlist in an army unit being shipped overseas to the battlefields of France. Unable to bear the loss of his favourite son, Cal's pacifist father breaks down completely. The film was nominated for four Oscars with Van Fleet winning for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Kazan also won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Dean was posthumously given a Golden Globe Special Achievement Award for Best Dramatic Actor.


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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said? Nothing. But I just wanted to say that this is without doubt Jimmy Dean's greatest film and this is a great DVD package. The picture and sound are great and well done to Warners for finding any new extras after 50 years. "Rebel" may be more iconic, "Giant" more epic - but this is the film where Dean reminds us that it takes more than poster boy looks to last 50 years - he was a great actor and still, in my opinion, ranks amongst the handfull of really great movie actors. Buy and enjoy.
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By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
Note: The review that follows was written more than two years ago and featured by Amazon US. At that time, it was available only in a VHS format. 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.
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Format: VHS Tape
In his short life James Dean made only three movies of any real note - two of them are here together on one video tape and at this price there can be no excuse for not having them in your collection !
Of the two, 'Eden' is the more conventional, with Dean as the mixed-up son of straight-laced Raymond Massey but it is of course 'Rebel' that confirmed Dean's status as teenage icon (even though he was already 24 years old). With this movie he became a symbol of teenage rebellion that millions could identify with in the mid-fifties - the decade which virtually 'invented' the teenager.
At the time, Dean was dismissed as 'another dirty shirt tail actor from New York' by Hedda Hopper - as so often, completely out of touch with what young moviegoers wanted - and it is difficult to know what would have become of the actor had he lived. His final movie, 'Giant' was a sprawling, Hollywood-heavy epic far away from the youthful, dynamic energy of 'Rebel Without a Cause'.
Nevertheless, watching these performances almost fifty years later, James Dean may not have been the greatest movie actor there ever was, but these two movies remind us exactly why he remains a legend bigger than many 'better' actors.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Elia Kazan on fine form, with James Dean delivering a natural and haunting performance. Easily a contender for best American colour film ever made.

The blu-ray is stellar. The picture quality is grade A, as is the audio. And here are the exras:

Commentary with Richard Schickel.

Forever James Dean: Documentary.

East of Eden: Art in Search of Life: Documentary.

Screen Tests.

Wardrobe Tests.

Deleted Scenes.

3/9/55 NYC Premiere.

Theatrical Trailer.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
East of Eden is one of these films that has been unfairly lost in the space of time, with the myth of one of the stars being bigger than the film. This therefore means that many people have missed out on actually sitting down and witnessing some of the best acting from the 50s 'golden era'. James Dean gives one of the most striking performances I have ever seen-truly inspiring. The story centres around Cal, played by Dean, who is forever in his brother's shadow, and who desperately wants the approval of his father. When he finds out he has been lied to all his life, and that his mother isn't dead but in fact runs a brothel in a nearby town, he causes havoc for the whole family. His intriguing relationship with his brother's girlfriend (played by Julie Harris) is sensitive and innocent, and both actors portray this excellently. All the supporting characters give great performances, all bouncing off each other, and it is in scenes between cal and his brother, and cal and his mother that this is clear. The most striking piece of acting is when (not to give too much of the plot away) Cal finds out that something he had been working on for a long time as a gift for his father was not wanted and his father once again shuns him. Dean crumbles visibly in front of the audiences eyes and clings to his father in a desperate plea to be loved. It is marvellous, and literally had me crying hysterically. The film can be a bit slow moving at times (as to be expected when a lot of the film centres around the farming profession) but Kazan directs his cast brilliantly, making for some stunning scenes, visually.
I urge you to see this film, but try to put to the back of your mind Dean's fate and the myth that surrounds him-it is enjoyable as a piece of A-star quality acting that could teach actors around today a lot.
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