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Giant (1956)

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1:30 | Trailer
Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Edna Ferber (from the novel by), Fred Guiol (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
564 ( 3,754)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Leslie Benedict
Rock Hudson ... Jordan 'Bick' Benedict Jr.
James Dean ... Jett Rink
Carroll Baker ... Luz Benedict II
Jane Withers ... Vashti Snythe
Chill Wills ... Uncle Bawley
Mercedes McCambridge ... Luz Benedict
Dennis Hopper ... Jordan Benedict III
Sal Mineo ... Angel Obregón II
Rod Taylor ... Sir David Karfrey (as Rodney Taylor)
Judith Evelyn ... Mrs. Nancy Lynnton
Earl Holliman ... 'Bob' Dace
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... Mort 'Pinky' Snythe
Paul Fix ... Dr. Horace Lynnton
Alexander Scourby ... Old Polo
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Storyline

Texan rancher Bick Benedict visits a Maryland farm to buy a prize horse. Whilst there he meets and falls in love with the owner's daughter Leslie, they are married immediately and return to his ranch. The story of their family and its rivalry with cowboy and (later oil tycoon) Jett Rink unfolds across two generations. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rancher | epic | texas | oil | rivalry | See All (347) »

Taglines:

Leslie Lynnton--whether you loved her in the open or hid it inside you--you hungered... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 November 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gigante See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$177,909

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$177,909
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Francis, John Kerr, Jack Lemmon, Kevin McCarthy and Leonard Nimoy were considered for Jordy. See more »

Goofs

The oil wells seen in the backgrounds of live-action shots, such as at the railroad depot, are clearly miniatures erected in the near background in an effort to give the impression of size through forced perspective. Similarly, the wells seen through the windows of indoor sets (the house and the diner, for example) are plainly painted images on false backdrops. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Horace Lynnton: [they pull up to the Lynnton estate and stop as horses jump over the fence in front of them] There he is, there's the stallion. That's War Winds.
Bick Benedict: Beautiful.
Dr. Horace Lynnton: That's my daughter riding him, Leslie.
[turns to Bick]
Dr. Horace Lynnton: Leslie's my daughter. She's riding him.
Bick Benedict: [slyly referring to Leslie instead of the stallion] Doctor, that sure is a beautiful animal.
Dr. Horace Lynnton: Yes she, well we'll get to the hoses first thing in the morning. Right now you're coming up to the house and get ready for dinner.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no cast and crew credits given at the end of the film. Just the words "The End" and a final slide for George Stevens and Warner Bros. See more »

Connections

Referenced in O.J.: Made in America (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Besame Mucho
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Consuelo Velázquez
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A beautiful, sweeping epic
23 January 2005 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

George Stevens' 1956 epic "Giant" is the story of the Jordan Benedict (Rock Hudson), the male heir to one of the largest cattle ranching families in Texas. At the start of the film, we see Jordan traveling to Maryland to look at a horse he is interested in purchasing, There he meets Leslie, (Elizabeth Taylor) the daughter of the man he is purchasing the horse from (and the unofficial "owner" of the horse) and immediately falls in love with her. The feeling is mutual, so after an incredibly brief (two day) courtship, they marry and he brings her back to his ranch in Texas, Reatta. At first, life on the ranch is tough, particularly while dealing with Jordan's overprotective, no-nonsense sister Luz. (Mercedes McCambridge) Leslie soon adjusts, however, and the two of them start a family. Meanwhile, Jordan is at constant odds with one of his ranch hands, Jet Rink (James Dean) whom he always wants to fire, but is eternally protected by Luz. When Luz unexpectedly dies, Jet is ready to walk off the ranch for good, but discovers that Luz has bequeathed a parcel of the land to him. Partly to tick Jordan off, partly for his respect for Luz and partly so that he can have something for himself, Jett eschews Jordan's cash buyout and instead sets up a homestead on the land. Five years later, Jet strikes oil, and soon he is again at odds with the Benedicts, as Jet, having become one of the richest men in Texas, wants to buy out Reatta, while Jordan wants to keep the ranch for cattle raising, and most importantly – to keep it in the family. The next 15-20 years are spent raising their children and trying to cope with a changing family dynamic, one where the children may not want to adhere to the roles that have been pre-attributed to them, a struggle that is particularly hard for their son Jordan III (Dennis Hopper) because as the sole male heir, his dream of becoming a doctor is seemingly out of the question. "Giant" is about life, and the ever-changing role of the American family.

"Giant" is a very long film, (about three and a half hours) but this time frame is necessary because the story is so rich. Despite its running time, there are no pacing issues, and no real superfluous scenes. The cinematography is lush and rich (I never really thought Texas to be all that intriguing, but William C. Mellor's photography was exquisite. The performances by the principals were very good, particularly since they had to age 25 years in the film. This wasn't a mere makeup job, you could feel the aging in the way they carried themselves, and their facial expressions. James Dean in particular, perhaps because he had such a fascinating character, was stunning. Jet Rink is a complex character, and Dean really worked the role fantastically. I was also impressed, considering the overly idealistic Hollywood of the 1950's, that "Giant", while ending on a happy note, did not compromise its characters in any way to achieve its ending. Jordan for example, is typical old-guard Texas, and therefore looks down on Mexicans. When his son marries one, he has marginal acceptance and is always polite, but even after engaging in a fight to defend the honor of his grandson, he still expresses his woe that his grandson is who he is. Also, Leslie is an unabashed free-thinker who often challenges the Texas traditions, much to Jordan's chagrin. Throughout their years together however, she does not compromise her views and need to express them. I really liked this about the film, because it is rare for the time, particularly when the genre is melodrama.

I really liked this film, though when recommending it, have to caution because of the sheer length of the film. Watching "Giant" is an investment of time, but it is certainly a worthwhile investment. 7/10 --Shelly


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