Directed by Elia Kazan • 1955 • United States
Starring James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey
James Dean delivers the first of the three major performances that define his legacy in Elia Kazan’s masterful adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novel. He brings his brooding sensitivity to the role of teenaged Cal Trask, who longs for the affection that his father (Raymond Massey) reserves for his brother Aron (Richard Davalos), but whose efforts meet only rejection. Also attracted to Aron’s girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris), Cal becomes so frustrated in his search for love and acceptance that he reveals a long-unspoken secret about their mother to Aron—knowledge that threatens to tear the family apart.