East of Eden (1955)

John Steinbeck's East of Eden was a very popular film, less for the quality of the film, and more for what happened surrounding the film. The film stars James Dean who died in a car crash around the time of this films release, and was then awarded the first posthumous nomination in Academy Awards history. Of course, Rebel Without a Cause, is the film that made him a cult icon, but this was the one and Giant [his second consecutive posthumous nomination] sum up his three film career.

Not really that challenging to watch his entire filmography, and having seen the other two some time ago it was time for me to watch this one. It is one of only a handful of film I've seen in Cinemascope, and thank goodness it was probably the first I've seen on a widescreen TV. Cinemascope is that really narrow widescreen that has black bars on widescreen televisions and is almost unwatchable on televisions a decade ago, and this one is 2.55:1 ratio, when most Cinemascope is 2.35:1. Anyways...

So the film is about a pair of brothers with a very "religious" father. James Dean plays Cal, the younger brother who can't seem to do anything right. In typical Dean fashion he is rebellious, lacks direction, but is good deep down. Cal has figured out that his mother, who his father told him was dead, is actually alive and working in a burlesque on the bad side of town. Cal does everything he can to win the affection of his father but he can't seem to do anything right.

It is a well written film, but a little dull at times. I prefer his two other films over this one.

Vote: 6/10

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048028/

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