the first film i fell in love with was elia kazan's, 'splendor in the grass', otherwise it would have been, 'east of eden' which i saw shortly after.
i don't know who played who, cal trask or james dean. steinbeck wrote 'cal' but god created them both and in the hands of kazan they became one.
kazan is an actor's director like jules shear is a songwriter's songwriter. kazan seemed to have the members of the actor's studio in his pocket. i'm not suggesting they were putty in his hands, but i have read enough about kazan to know that the man was a manipulator. i admire anyone who does what must be done to achieve results like this.
cal, abra and aron are an eternal triangle. james dean, julie harris, and richard davalos are all great. jo van fleet rules as cal's mom, raymond massey rules as cal's dad and lois smith as the waitress is perfect. god bless them all.