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East of Eden - Special Edition DVD - James Dean

East of Eden - Special Edition DVD - James Dean
East of Eden
Two Disc Special Edition

Special Fetures Include: Trailer, Commentary, Digital transfer from Restored Picture & Audio, 50th Anniversary Documentary, Vintage Documentary, Additional Scenes, Screen Tests, Wardrobe Costume & Production Test, New York Premiere Footage from 19 March 1955

Won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Jo Van Fleet
Nominated for 3 other Oscars

Aspect ratio: 2:55 Widescreen
Sound: 5.1 Dolby
Year made: 1955
Country: US
Duration: 113 mins.
Print: Colour
Discs: 2
Genre: Drama
NEW

CAST
Directed by: Elia Kazan
Writing credits: Paul Osborn, John Steinbeck (novel)
Julie Harris .... Abra
James Dean .... Cal Trask
Raymond Massey .... Adam Trask
Burl Ives .... Sam the Sheriff
Richard Davalos .... Aron Trask

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at every turn, from his reaction to the war, to how to get ahead in business and in life, to how to relate to estranged mother. This is Steinbeck's brilliant novel turned into a stunning film.

Elia Kazan, no matter what one thinks of his political indiscretions, did direct some brilliant motion pictures, but EAST OF EDEN is not only his best but, certainly, one of the finest movies ever produced out of Hollywood. One can sense the worth of the film immediately in the scene where James Dean stealthily follows his 'mother' Jo Van Fleet down a dusy street. One can actually see the heat rising from the street, and the cinematography makes one feel lost in the hot temperature. From that moment on, EAST OF EDEN, though only a portion of the book, stands as one of those rare films in which everything comes together with an emotional explosion that never lets up, building to a climax of greatness. James Dean gives one of the screen's finest performances, and his scenes with Raymond Massey detonate with the power of emotions unchecked and real. Julie Harris is equally remarkable, as is Richard Davalos as Dean's brother who helps to lead the story directly into a parallel with the Cain-Abel conflict. Jo Van Fleet deserves her Oscar and every other honor, and Lois Smith breaks your heart in her small role as a trapped young girl in VanFleet's 'house'. Rosenman's scoring is likewise stunning and always 'right'. EAST OF EDEN stands with CITIZEN KANE, 2001, THE THIRD MAN, and very few others, as a milestone in helping us to applaud filmmaking as an art form.

Director Elia Kazan got James Dean drunk before filming the rooftop scene between Cal and Abra.
James Dean and Paul Newman screen tested together for the parts of rival brothers for this movie.
James Dean would provoke Raymond Massey off-camera so that the elder actor would hate him and he could get into character easier.
In the scene where Adam refuses to accept Cal's money, the script called for Cal to turn away in anger from his father. It was James Dean's instinct to embrace him instead. This came as a surprise to Raymond Massey, who could think of nothing to do but say, "Cal! Cal!" in response.
James Dean refused to attend the premiere party, which almost cost him the lead in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
This is the only one of the "big three" James Dean films to be released before his death.
James Dean and Paul Newman were filmed together in a crude screen test in New York that still exists, according to Dean biographer David Dalton in "The Mutant King" (1974). In the screen test, Newman is quite cool and stares straight ahead while Dean is more animated, and is flipping something up and down in and out of his hand like George Raft and his nickel in Scarface (1932). When Dean is asked what the object is, he admits that it is a switchblade, the premier symbol of the juvenile delinquent menace much feared in the 1950s.
Elia Kazan first toyed with the idea of casting Marlon Brando as Cal and Montgomery Clift as Aaron, but at 30 and 32 years-old, respectively, they were simply too old to play Steinbeck's teenage brothers.
Elia Kazan, in his autobiography "A Life" (1988), said that Raymond Massey came to despise James Dean. Kazan did nothing to dispel the tension between the two as it was so right for their characters in the film.
During the production of the film, Kazan used to write letters to his friend John Steinbeck, with whom he had worked closely with on the original screenplay for Viva Zapata! (1952), to keep him abreast of the film's progress. Steinbeck thought Dean was a perfect Cal, and he tremendously enjoyed the final film.

Upon being introduced to James Dean on the set, author John Steinbeck exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, he is Cal!"

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