East of Eden is a 1955 American period drama film directed by Elia Kazan and written by Paul Osborn, loosely based on the fourth and final part of the 1952 novel of the same name by John Steinbeck. It stars James Dean as 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. Appearing in supporting roles are Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos, and Jo Van Fleet. Although set in early 20th century Monterey, California, much of the film was actually shot on location in Mendocino, California. Some scenes were filmed in the Salinas Valley. Of the three films in which James Dean played the lead, this is the only one to have been released during his lifetime.East of Eden, along with Dean's other films Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956) was named one of the 400 best American films of all time by the American Film Institute. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".