PHOTOS: East of Eden
Based on the book by John Steinbeck, Elia Kazan’s 1955 cinema classic EAST OF EDEN is set in Salinas Valley, California during World War I and focuses on the Trask family who own a farm there. James Dean plays young Cal a moody misfit who is jealous of his older brother Aron (Richard Davalos) since he thinks their staunchly old fashioned, religious father (Raymond Massey) favors him the most. Their mother Kate (Jo Van Fleet) who was thought to be dead, actually owns a brothel in Monterey. Upon learning of this Cal continually tries to meet with her. It’s clear that he gets his rebellious nature from her but they also seem to be lost souls who long for real love. James Dean is brilliant as Cal and along with Rebel Without A Cause and GIANT, this was one of the few powerful performances in his short film career. Kazan shot the movie in CinemaScope taking the personal tale and expanding it into a sprawling American epic.
Richard Davalos as Aron, James Dean as Cal and Jo Van Fleet as Kate