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East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition)

James Dean , Raymond Massey , Ara Chekmayan , Elia Kazan    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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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) (Bilingual) + Giant
Price For All Three: CDN$ 42.87

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

East of Eden is an acknowledged classic, and the starring debut of James Dean lifts it to legendary status. John Steinbeck's novel gave director Elia Kazan a perfect Cain-and-Abel showcase for Dean's iconic screen persona, casting the brooding star as Cal, the younger of two brothers vying for the love of their Bible-thumping father (Raymond Massey) in Monterey, California, at the dawn of World War I. Massey is a lettuce farmer, striving for market domination with an ill-fated refrigeration scheme. Having discovered that his presumed-dead mother (Oscar® winner Jo Van Fleet) is a brothel owner in nearby Salinas, Cal convinces her to finance an investment that will restore his father's lost fortune, but neither money nor the tenderness of his brother's fiancée (Julie Harris) can assuage Cal's anguished need for paternal acceptance that comes nearly too late. Kazan's oblique camera angles and Dean's tortured emoting may seem extreme by latter-day standards, but their theatrics make East of Eden a timeless tale of family secrets and hard-won affection. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kazan Struggles Mightily With Cinemascope July 19 2005
Format:DVD
I have enjoyed East of Eden several times over a time span of some forty years; first in black and white on a small TV and later in colour but still in small screen format. So I looked very much forward to the new DVD release in its original format.
The DVD package is certainly handsome with many welcome bonuses.
Of particular interest is a short screen test segment featuring the two brothers in an intense dramatic confrontation. This revived memories of my first viewing of this classic and made me realize that the nature of this film would have been more suited to the 4:3, black and white format of previous Kazan helmed masterpieces such as A Street Car Named Desire and On the Waterfront.
Kazan was not the only great director to experience teething problems with the recently (1954) introduced gimmick of Cinemascope. But the Studios, convinced that this was the way to woo potential audiences away from their TV sets, cajoled their leading directors to turn out major productions in this format irregardless of aesthetic suitabilities.
No director has ever surpassed Kazan in capturing intense emotional confrontations between individuals, and the focus this requires is diluted and diminished by the widescreen format. Kazan does throw in some fine panoramic vistas of the stunning filming locales, but these are only fleeting moments that are not really central to the unfolding drama. Kazan skews camera angles in an attempt to add tension, but just plain old black and white and a more confined screen space would have been more effective ways to concentrate the action.
Some viewers will probably grouse at the somewhat muted colour transfer, but this film was shot in WarnerColor (synonymous with Ansco Color) which the studios used for several years in order to shave costs.
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By Andrew C. Miller TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
East of Eden [1955] [Special Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Based on John Steinbeck’s novel and directed by award-winning director Elia Kazan, East of Eden was James Dean’s breakout big-screen performance, one that will forever be remembered in Hollywood history. The emotionally charged film tells the story of lonely youth Cal [James Dean], who vies for the affection of his hardened father [Raymond Massey] and favoured brother, Aron [Richard Davalos]. The film received four Academy Award® nominations, and Jo Van Fleet won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar® for her role as Cal’s wayward mother.

Includes a 32-page book with photos and original film posters, plus: Commentary by Richard Schickel • Forever James Dean Documentary • Vintage Documentary: East of Eden: Art in Search of Life • Vintage Documentary: 1955 New York City Premiere • Actors’ Screen Tests • Wardrobe Tests with the Cast and Crew • Deleted Scenes • Theatrical Trailer

Cast: James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Burl Ives, Albert Dekker, Jo Van Fleet, Lois Smith and Richard Davalos

Director: Elia Kazan

Producer: Elia Kazan

Screenplay: John Steinbeck and Paul Osborn

Composer: Leonard Rosenman

Cinematography: Ted D. McCord

Resolution: 1080p [WarnerColor]

Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1 [CinemaScope]

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: Dolby Digital 3.0, German: Dolby Digital 3.0, Italian: Dolby Digital 3.0, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0, Czech: Dolby Digital Mono, Polish: Dolby Digital 2.
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3.0 out of 5 stars East of eden July 6 2012
By Terry
Format:DVD
East of Eden,a novel by John Steinbeck, is probably one of the greatest books I have ever read, and I am an english literature teacher. I was much looking for ad to seeing this film, especially as the star is a movie icon, James Dean!
How disappointed I was. The film, as an entity, in and of itself, is not terrible, but if you have read the novel and are thinking this might be the same story-FORGET IT.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's only a matter of time.... Feb. 3 2004
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
Given the nature and extent of Oprah Winfrey's influence, it is only a matter of time before this film -- based on the Steinbeck novel of which she is so fond -- is available in a DVD format. Let's all hope that the special features are worthy of our patience and forbearance in the meanwhile. It has been almost 50 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. Over time, they develop mutual respect and affection.
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