Having not read the book, I have to say Eliza Kazan’s East of Eden was extremely good. The cast was phenomenal, the direction was extremely effective and ahead of it’s time, and the script was great (although I won’t deny it could’ve benefitted a great deal if they had added an extra 30 minutes to flesh out Kate and Aaron). The entire second half of the movie I was absurdly tense, and I felt every emotion I was supposed to all through my body. I love classic films, but I very rarely react so strongly on an emotional level to them.
I really must read that book. The only Steinbeck I’ve read is The Pearl, and that was 5 years ago. The only thing keeping me from running out and buying the book is it’s length, because at 600 pages it’s about twice as long as anything I’ve read recently, and I have a terrible attention span.
But yeah, great, not perfect film. I’d give it 3 1/2 out of 4.