Sunday, June 5, 2011
Sunday Viewing: East of Eden, 1955
Set in central California in 1917, during the First World War, it is the tale of the Trask family who must deal with a changing world, encroaching modernity and the dynamics of their modest farm and their dysfunctional family. Adam Trask (Raymond Massey) rules his sons with a tight grip and is constantly disappointed by Cal (Dean) who he often compares to his brother Aron (the largely forgettable Richard Davalos). Adam also shields his sons from the reality of their mother’s identity, Kate (Jo Van Fleet) who runs a brothel.
The film also stars Burl Ives and was written by Paul Osborn with uncredited help from John Steinbeck. Directed by Elia Kazan, the film opened to good reviews and remains in the public memory as a “classic.”