Your browser does not support or blocks cookies. The site will not function properly. Do not ask for support.

Stream it now

Giant 1956

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates...

Release Date:
November 24, 1956
201 min
George Stevens
Rod Taylor, Dennis Hopper, Paul Fix, ...
Drama, Romance, Western ...
English, Spanish

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 9.1


Imdb rating: 7.7



to be announced
(Theatre) (Second Viewing, 3 Stevens films seen)


Pro: Epic style, following the generations. The cafe fight. The empty hotel speech. Dean & Hudson.

Con: Uneven. Overlong. Terrible actors in the children roles.
Comments pending.
A film that doesn't have enough material for its 3 and a half hour run-time.

Robin Williams should always be a cartoon - he's barely even annoying that way.
The banners are all over the place, but they're so pretty..

I love Rebel, but sadly I just don't enjoy the other two. Except for Dean's performance. East of Eden was too ripping and sad.. and Giant was pretty much the same way. All of them featured places that were to be escaped from, to me.
I actually feel pity for "Giant". It has suffered a fate that few films have ever been subjected to: that of being completely overshadowed by its cast. Maybe if it hadn't been the last film James Dean ever made, maybe if Rock Hudson hadn't been a closeted homosexual who later died of AIDS, maybe if Elizabeth Taylor hadn't been one of the world's most beautiful women and most famous starlets...but they were.
"Giant", based on the Edna Ferber novel, fits its name quite well. It is a sweeping epic, spending 200 minutes (yep, that's nearly 3.5 hours of movie watching) telling the story of a ranching family in Texas through 25 years of joys and misfortunes. The story begins in the 1920s, when Jordan "Bick" Benedict II (Rock Hudson) travels to Maryland to get a horse and ends up with a lovely wife, Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor). The whirlwind romance of two days seems to be working out well at first, as Leslie takes her place as good wife and pleasant hostess on his ranch, Reata. She even helps him grow in ways, tempering his prejudices towards the Mexican workers and befriending the poor loner Jett Rink (James Dean). The couple weather their first disaster, the death of Bick's sister Luz after she falls off a horse. The years pass, children are had, tempers flare but back down again, a short separation between Bick and Leslie ends in a joyful, tearful reunion. They survive Jett's newfound wealth through oil, their children's decisions not to take over the family ranch, and many other events and challenges that make up the rich and full life that Bick and Leslie have.
"Giant" is a good film, but unusual in that it's the overall plot that makes it so. The acting is nothing spectacular (especially from Dean, on whom I'll comment in a bit), the cinematography is often inferior, the pacing is slow, and there really are no "great moments" that stick in my mind. It's truly the overall picture, the flow of the years past these two devoted, good, loving people. In a way, despite the hype about James Dean, "Giant" is really the story of a marriage that grows out of a 2-day romance and becomes stronger with every passing year.
Okay, it's time. What exactly is it about James Dean? I'm sure there are many people just on RT alone that have little shrines set up to him. I have now seen all three of his films and I am not at all impressed. He is not handsome, he is not fact, I would say he is one of the worst actors I've ever seen. He mumbles and swaggers unevenly through every scene he's in. The audience can't understand his lines and he's truly most effective as an actor when he's just sitting and looking dark and intense. I just don't get it.
In summary, the good parts of "Giant" are its plot, its characters, and its general watcheability. Its bad parts are the direction (excessive use of long shots, slow pace that could've benefited from some diligent editing), and the acting (I'm primarily ripping Dean here, though Taylor and Hudson aren't fantastic).
Overall, a film that's worth watching at least once, but one that is burdened by its own past and legend, as well as its excessive length.
holy god what a greta movie! this is masterpiece! James dean was flawless in it. rock hudson pissed me off until the end. Oh my god! OH MY GOD! i loved this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quite good classic family drama, though it is uneven and aged in some details. The start is definetly better then ending, but good actors make it up. Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean are all believable playing older people than they really were that time. Both film and Dean`s performance here ain`t as good as in "Rebel without a Cause", but the film is fine classic and worth owning.
Report a problem