• PG, 1 hr. 55 min.
  • Drama, Classics
  • Directed By:
    Elia Kazan
    In Theaters:
    Apr 10, 1955 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 31, 2005
  • Warner Bros. Pictures


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East of Eden Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Philip Kemp
Total Film

Catches fire in the clashes between Dean (as the bad brother) and Raymond Massey as his stiff-necked dad.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 3/5

April 14, 2014
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

After testing various performers (including a newcomer named Paul Newman), Kazan went with the unknown Dean, a move that immediately yielded dividends.

Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 6, 2013
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

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.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 11, 2011
Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

East of Eden is set in 1917 but [James] Dean feels completely modern and contemporary, a boy not quite comfortable in his body.

Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online

January 29, 2009
Steve Crum

Fine James Dean vehicle, one of few that put him into immortality.

| Original Score: 5/5

March 20, 2008
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Kazan had the bad sense to leave out the best parts from the lengthy book.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: C+

December 2, 2007
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 1, 2007
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly

James Dean's finest performance

| Original Score: 5/5

February 17, 2006
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a film of great performances, atmospheric photography, and a sure sense of period and place.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not only one of Kazan's richest films and Dean's first significant role, it is also arguably the actor's best performance.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 5/5

December 6, 2005
Brad Laidman
Film Threat

What could be a better way to spend two hours?

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 4.5/5

December 6, 2005
Emanuel Levy

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

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A-

July 18, 2005
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

... 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."

Full Review | Original Score: B

July 17, 2005
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: C+

June 29, 2005

Empire Magazine

A classic of its time.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

June 22, 2005
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

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.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

May 30, 2005
Dan Callahan
Slant Magazine

If you turn the sound down on East of Eden (and, by all means, do), you'll see why Dean is a legend.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 23, 2005
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

A showcase for Dean's searing, gargantuan, force-of-nature performance.

Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Original Score: B+

May 3, 2005
Don Willmott

as exciting a drama as you're ever likely to see, and ultimately it's the unforgettable Dean that makes it so

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4.5/5

April 21, 2005

TV Guide's Movie Guide

Overwrought, often splendid Kazan version of the Steinbeck novel. The movie's chief distinction is the amazing debut of rebellious, romantic James Dean.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4.5/5

July 30, 2003
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