East of Eden (film)

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East of Eden is a 1955 film about a wayward young man who, while seeking his own identity, vies for the affection of his deeply religious father against his favored brother, thus retelling the story of Cain and Abel.

Directed by Elia Kazan. Written by Paul Osborn, based on the novel of the same name by John Steinbeck.
Of what a girl did . . . what a boy did ... of ecstasy and revenge! (taglines)

Adam Trask

  • Son, I'd be happy if you'd give me something like your brother's given me. Something honest and human and good. Don't be angry, Son. If you want to give me a present, give me a good life. That's something I could value.

Cal Trask

  • Man has a choice and it's a choice that makes him a man.
  • I've been jealous all my life. Jealous, I couldn't even stand it. Tonight, I even tried to buy your love, but now I don't want it anymore... I can't use it anymore. I don't want any kind of love anymore. It doesn't pay off.
  • It's gonna work because it's got to work and it's got to work because I said so!


  • The way I figure it out Aron never having had a mother he's made her everything good that he can think of and that's what he thinks I am. That's who he's in love with. It's not me at all. 'Cause I'm not a bit like that made- up one. Not a bit. I don't mean I think I'm really bad.
  • Mr. Trask, it's awful not to be loved. It's the worst thing in the world. Don't ask me - even if you could - how I know that. I just know it. It makes you mean, and violent, and cruel. And that's the way Cal has always felt, Mr. Trask. All his life! Maybe you didn't mean it that way - but it's true. You never gave him your love. You never asked for his. You never asked him for one thing. But you must give him some sign, Mr. Trask, some sign that you love him... or he'll never be a man. All his life he'll feel guilty and alone unless you release him.


  • Your father still thinks he's living in the Bible, huh?
  • I got the toughest house on the coast, and the finest clientele. Half the stinking city hall go here. They sneak in at night, and I walk in this front door in the day time.
  • Your father. He's the purest man there is, isn't he? Oh, he thought he had me all tied up with his purity. Now I give you $5000 of the money I made to save his purity. If you don't think that's funny, you'd better not go to college.


Aron: Staying out again tonight?
Cal: What difference does it make? You're here, aren't you? You're the one he wants!

Adam: [Adam gives Cal the Bible to read] Start at the fifth verse. Verse 5.
Cal: "I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."
Adam: Go on.
Cal: Six..
Adam: And I suggest a little slower, Cal. And you don't have to read the verse numbers.
Cal: "For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee. And surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Selah." Seven..
Adam: Not the numbers, Cal...
Cal: "Thou art my hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble, thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah." Eight...
Adam: You have no repentance! You're bad! Through and through, bad!

Cal: You're right. I am bad. I knew that for a long time.
Adam: I didn't mean that, Cal. I spoke in anger.
Cal: Well, it's true. Aron's the good one. I guess there's just a certain amount of good and bad you get from your parents and I just got the bad.
Adam: That's not true. Cal, listen to me. You can make of yourself anything you want. It's up to you. A man has a choice. That's where he's different from an animal.

Abra: Cal, can I ask you something?
Cal: Yeah, go ahead.
Abra: These girls you always go around with... you know, there was that little Mexican girl once? What do girls like that like? [Cal shrugs] I mean, you don't really love them, do you? [Cal shakes his head] Then why do you go out with them? Is it because you're bad? [Cal is silent] Well, why do you, then? Are you bad, Cal?
Cal: Do you think I'm bad?
Abra: I don't know. I guess I don't know what's good and what's bad. I mean, Aron is so good, and I'm not. Not good enough for Aron, anyway. Sometimes when I'm with Aron... well, Aron likes to talk about our being in love and think about it, and that's all right, but... these girls that you go out with, do they... maybe I don't know what love is, exactly. I know love is good, the way Aron says, but... it's more than that, it's got to be! I shouldn't talk to you this way, Cal, I shouldn't, but I don't know who else to talk to. And sometimes I think I'm really bad. Sometimes I don't know what to think.
Cal: Well, Aron will knock that of out of you.
Abra: Will he?
Cal: He's got to.

Cal: How come you did it?
Kate: Did what?
Cal: Shot my father?
Kate: Did he tell you that?
Cal: How come you ran away from all of us? How come you shot him?
Kate: None of your business. I shot him because he tried to stop me. I could have killed him if I'd wanted to, but I didn't. I just wanted him to let me go.
Cal: Why?
Kate: Because he tried to hold me. He wanted to tie me down. He wanted to keep me on a stinking little ranch away from everybody. Keep me all to himself. Nobody holds me.
Cal: But he loved you.
Kate: Love! He wanted to own me. He wanted to bring me up like a snot-nosed kid and tell me what to do. Nobody tells me what to do. Always so right himself. Knowing everything. Reading the Bible at me. [Cal smirks] What are you grinning at?
Cal: Nothing.
Kate: Maybe you know what I'm talking about, huh? Always so right himself?
Cal: [chuckles] Yeah.
Kate: Yeah. Maybe like you said out there, maybe you are more like me. You got sense. Maybe you don't fall for that slop any more than I do. Maybe you know what people are really like, what they want.


  • Of what a girl did . . . what a boy did ... of ecstasy and revenge!
  • The searing classic of paradise lost.


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