Catches fire in the clashes between Dean (as the bad brother) and Raymond Massey as his stiff-necked dad.
| Original Score: 3/5
After testing various performers (including a newcomer named Paul Newman), Kazan went with the unknown Dean, a move that immediately yielded dividends.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
a reaction to our plutocracy's values and a further case for Dean as the sainted figure of rebellion that would fuel the generational schism of the '60s.
East of Eden is set in 1917 but [James] Dean feels completely modern and contemporary, a boy not quite comfortable in his body.
Fine James Dean vehicle, one of few that put him into immortality.
| Original Score: 5/5
Kazan had the bad sense to leave out the best parts from the lengthy book.
| Original Score: C+
John Steinbeck's painful biblical allegory -- Genesis replayed in Monterey, California, circa 1917 -- is more palatable on the screen, thanks to the down-to-earth performances of James Dean as Cal/Cain and Richard Davalos as Aron/Abel.
James Dean's finest performance
It's a film of great performances, atmospheric photography, and a sure sense of period and place.
Not only one of Kazan's richest films and Dean's first significant role, it is also arguably the actor's best performance.
| Original Score: 5/5
What could be a better way to spend two hours?
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Kazan's Biblical allegory has not held up well, but Dean's performance, for which he was Oscar-nominated posthumously, proves why he became a star after his very first film
| Original Score: A-
... can be seen as one of the earliest examples of the enshrinement of the unregenerate, semi-nihilistic "attitude" that informed and in part created "rock 'n' roll."
| Original Score: B
the real reason that this film has any legs at all (and the ONLY reason that Warner Brothers has released the DVD) rests with James Dean
A classic of its time.
| Original Score: 4/5
Dean's performance continues to resonant, still evoking today the same anger, anguish, and confusion of growing up that it did half a century ago.
| Original Score: 8/10
If you turn the sound down on East of Eden (and, by all means, do), you'll see why Dean is a legend.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A showcase for Dean's searing, gargantuan, force-of-nature performance.
| Original Score: B+
as exciting a drama as you're ever likely to see, and ultimately it's the unforgettable Dean that makes it so
Overwrought, often splendid Kazan version of the Steinbeck novel. The movie's chief distinction is the amazing debut of rebellious, romantic James Dean.