Friday, September 3, 2010

East of Eden (1955)

Set around World War One in the Salinas Valley, Cal Trask is an unhappy young man who feels like he's competing with his brother Aron, for their father's affections. His father Adam never tells Cal he loves him or that he needs him in any way and calls him bad, while Aron is the perfect one who always does the right thing. Cal is also jealous of the relationship between Aron and his girlfriend, Abra. One evening Cal discovers that his mother (whom Adam told them was dead) is still alive and living elsewhere as a madame of a local brothel. When Adam's lettuce business falls through, Cal wants to start his own business of growing beans so he can pay back the money his father lost. So he asks his mother Kate for start-up money and when they get into the war the price of beans rises and he ends up making a small fortune. He decides to give the money as a gift to his father when he has a surprise birthday party for him. But when his father rejects it, he is heartbroken and brings Aron show him their mother. Abra falls in love with Cal while Aron, shocked by this leaves to fight in the war while Adam has a stroke so it's up to Cal to take care of him. A magnificent classic; James Dean is perfect in this film about the Bible retelling of Cain and Abel. Starring James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos, Jo Van Fleet, Lois Smith 10/10

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