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 »
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.
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.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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 <email@example.com>
James Dean refused to show up for one Saturday call because he had planned to move that day. A week later, he arrived late on a day when Mercedes McCambridge had shown up on time, even though the night before she was sent to the hospital for stitches after a bad fall. George Stevens dressed him down in front of the entire cast and crew, then walked off the set and left an assistant to direct the actor's scenes. See more »
When Jordan forces his son to ride his horse with him at a gallop, the child dummy is clearly slipping down out of the rider's grip as he comes to a stop. The immediate close-up has the child actor sitting perfectly erect. See more »
The plot: Texas ranch owner Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson) travels to purchase a prize horse, but falls in love at first sight with the owner's pampered daughter Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor). He woos and wins her quickly, they marry, then travel back to his isolated ranch.
Leslie, after a rough start, proves herself quite the force of nature. Ranch hand Jett Rink (James Dean) falls into unrequited love with Leslie, uttering, in one scene, one of my favorite lines in the film, something like, "Mrs. Benedict, you sure do look right good enough to eat, yeah, good enough to eat...." (voice trails off and he looks like he's going to lick his lips) - and then when he strikes it rich with oil, he takes his bitterness out in several ways.
With a stellar supporting cast including Mercedes McCambridge, Sal Mineo, Carroll Baker, and Dennis Hopper, "Giant" is the original miniseries before anyone knew what a miniseries even was...except this is of course a classic film of the big screen, not a TV movie.
Directed by George Stevens, the sprawling epic (201 minutes, but it goes fast, believe me) beautifully covers two generations of family and a variety of issues, including marriage, family, childrearing, social snobbery and racism, the latter two being covered especially well. When in the mood for a well-paced, involved, alternately funny, sad, heartwarming, and emotionally fulfilling epic, "Giant" always fits the bill for me.
My favorite bit of trivia - Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson became fast friends on the set, and indulging together in partying/drinking binges most every night, after filming stopped. In the scene where the two are watching a marriage, the two actors had to stop during the filming several times to take turns going outside to throw up, as both were terribly hungover from the previous night's revelries.
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