MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 341 this week

Giant (1956)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  24 November 1956 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 23,043 users  
Reviews: 151 user | 90 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(from the novel by), (screen play), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 06 Jul 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 08 Aug 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 16 Feb 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 27 Jan 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 27 Sep 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Giant" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Giant (1956)

Giant (1956) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Giant.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

East of Eden (1955)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at ... See full summary »

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The romantic life of a fashionable Manhattan beauty who's part model, part call-girl--and all man-trap.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A graduating poet/teacher falls in love with a Southern woman, and then the Civil War and her past create problems.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift
Shane (1953)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
Cleopatra (1963)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Historical epic. The triumphs and tragedy of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.

Directors: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Rouben Mamoulian, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Sir David Karfrey (as Rodney Taylor)
Judith Evelyn ...
...
Robert Nichols ...
...
Alexander Scourby ...
Edit

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:

ranch | rancher | epic | texan | land | See All (343) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gigante  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

George Stevens made the film for no upfront salary but a percentage of the (substantial) back end profits. See more »

Goofs

At the dinner table in Maryland, Jordan Benedict states that his ranch is 595,000 acres. Later on Leslie refers to Reata as being 500,000 square miles. An acre equals 1/640th of a square mile. The state of Texas is only 267,339 square miles, so Leslie was saying that the ranch was almost twice as big as the entire state. See more »

Quotes

Leslie Benedict: I said I was sorry about the name calling it was very impolite I know. But in principle I was absolutely right
Bick Benedict: You come down here and tell us how to run things, insulting my friends and everything.Now, you look here Leslie, your my wife,Ms. I'm asking you right now when you are gonna settle down and behave like everybody else
Leslie Benedict: Never
Bick Benedict: Who in hornselearn do you think you are any how Joan of Arc or something
See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: James Dean: Sense Memories (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Lullaby
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Giant success
6 July 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Based on a novel by Edna Ferber, Giant is an appropriately Texas-sized western/generational saga that parallels familial evolution with the changing socio-economic nature of the United States over an approximately 30-year period from the 1920s through the film's present, and by extension, a turn of the (20th) century mentality segueing into a more contemporary outlook. It is filled with excellent writing, fabulous direction and technical elements, outstanding performances, gorgeous photography, and plenty of depth via subtly implied philosophical ideas.

At its heart, Giant is the story of Jordan "Bick" Benedict (Rock Hudson), heir, along with his sister, Luz (Mercedes McCambridge) to a family cattle ranch that exceeds half a million acres. As the film opens, Bick has traveled to Maryland, ostensibly to purchase a horse from Dr. Horace Lynnton, who has a sizeable ranch of his own, but also perhaps to search for a wife. Whether the latter was his initial intention or not, he ends up finding a spouse in Dr. Lynnton's opinionated and somewhat irascible but beautiful daughter, Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor). Bick moves Leslie from the rolling green pastures that she calls home to the huge, dusty plains of Reata, his Texas ranch.

In the process, she ends up turning his world upside down. Luz sees Leslie as a threat to their routine, an interpretation that Leslie doesn't exactly try to deny. Leslie integrates herself into the daily workings of Reata and initiates changes in the way Bick and Luz behave towards their mostly Mexican staff, among other things. Bick and Leslie have children, but they're not exactly keen on following the family tradition. Other challenges and perhaps the strongest cultural change in the film comes via Jett Rink (James Dean), who goes through a gradual transformation from his early status in the film as a dirt-poor, uneducated ranch hand.

At a three and a half-hour running time, and covering decades in the lives of many different characters, Giant is nothing if not sprawling. But this is the kind of sprawl that works. Unlike most sprawling films, the cast of characters in Giant actually turns out to be relatively small, we always have a clear idea of who each character is, and every event leads to the next in a very tightly-written, logical manner.

In fact, one of the more unusual but laudable aspects of Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat's script is the way that characters will mention something in an almost off-the-cuff manner before we immediately cut to the full realization of the previous comment. For example, Leslie and Bick are barely courting before we see them married. Other examples--Leslie goes from telling Bick that she's pregnant to having the baby in the next instant; Bick says that he's going to fly in a plane low over a particular hotel--just for dramatic effect with respect to a certain character--and in the next shot, this is just what he's doing. The first couple times this happens, it's almost a bit unnerving because of its uniqueness. We figure that the characters are in the middle of a dream sequence. But it quickly becomes apparent that the device is designed to enable large time span passages in an instant, and for the overall structure of the film, it works perfectly.

Given that structure, it was also unusual in this era to pick younger actors who would then have to be aged 30 years or so (the more standard procedure was to pick middle aged actors who could be made both younger and older through make-up and lighting). But Hudson, Taylor and Dean are perfect. Dean is especially impressive as he undergoes the most significant transformation. All three of his major films are almost heartbreaking to watch; he was an incredible talent but didn't have a chance to do much with it before he tragically passed away. But all three principal cast members are at the top of their game here; each is able to do a bit of scene stealing if they want. It creates a lot of energy throughout the film and enhances the occasional tensions in the script.

The smaller roles are perfectly filled as well. I was particularly amused with Dennis Hopper among the supporting cast. Hopper portrays Bick and Leslie's son, Jordan III. This was his first major role, and he meshes well, but at the same time, you can easily see the more infamous Hopper ala Easy Rider's (1969) Billy, Blue Velvet's (1986) Frank Booth, or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2's (1986) Lieutenant "Lefty" Enright.

The cinematography and production design are consistently beautiful. The stark Texas landscapes (filmed primarily in the town of Marfa) couldn't have more impact. The Benedict home is oddly Gothic and a bit eerie in its exterior (especially post-Psycho, 1960), and lushly gorgeous and Victorian inside. Later scenes give the interior a redecoration to match changing fashions.

Giant is extremely engaging in its soap-operatic family drama, but just as captivating for its subtle handling of important social themes. Leslie's respect for the Mexican ranch hands and servants parallels the slowly and occasionally painfully evolving public opinion about different ethnicities that is still developing. She also tries her best to usher in a bit of woman's liberation, open-mindedness in child rearing, and many other "progressive" attitudes. She's a symbol, in some ways, of Northeastern (U.S.) thinking filtering across the country in the early part of the 20th Century.

Giant is heavy on symbolism in many ways. Jett Rink's newfound fortune isn't just a personal transformation, but it symbolizes changing technology and the necessary adaptations to remain viable economically; it's a move away from a more agrarian existence. There is also pithy commentary on World War II--just look at who returns in one piece and who doesn't, and the different attitudes towards this.

It would probably take a book to just give an adequate analysis of this film. It goes without saying that you need to see Giant if you haven't already.


81 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
3+ hours of unremitting boredom, punctuated by... stevezodiacxl5
Liz Taylors accent cathy-creswell
Racism in Texas in that era maddogrick
Relationship Between Luz and Jett Rink jbwphoto1
Music diane-m-henderson
didn't like Dean older Polo
Discuss Giant (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page