East of Eden – 1955 – Inglés
Film directed in 1955 by Elia Kazan, and starring James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Richard Davalos, Jo Van Fleet, Burl Ives, Albert Dekker, Lois Smith, Harold Gordon…
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Most film buffs probably know that “East of Eden” was one of James Dean’s three big movies (along with “Rebel without a Cause” and “Giant”) before his untimely death. This one casts him as Cal Trask, an outcast teenager in 1917 Salinas vying with his brother Aron (Richard Davalos) for his father Adam’s (Raymond Massey) love. A previous reviewer identified it as a modern (well, early 1900s) version of Cain and Abel.
There are two things in the movie that really catch my eye. One is the onset of World War I. Aside from the fact that the United States enters the war and people start attacking the German person in Salinas, we see how things in the town start changing once Cal learns the reality about something that he had long accepted as true. Overall, it’s clear that nothing will ever be the same in this small, seemingly idealistic town.
Another aspect is Cal himself. Cast out from his family, he has a special penchant for making trouble – or at least unsettling people. You might say that Cal is a precursor to Dean’s “Rebel without a Cause” character.
But the main point is that this is a true classic. With top-notch acting, magnificent cinematography, and an incredible score, it’s one movie that you can’t afford to miss. Also starring Julie Harris, Burl Ives and Jo Van Fleet.
Oh, and just one more thing. The scene where Cal meets with Will seems like it might be implying something about homosexuality. Doesn’t it sound like our stereotype that a gym teacher taking a shower in front of a student would be gay? Especially since he says “Don’t get so close; you’ll make me hot.”