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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Giant review to GIANT movie

8/10
Author: Terence Frederick from India
11 June 2014

I watched this movie, as it was the last movie of James Dean. The last movie before the unfortunate death (accident) of the fine artist. A fine actor who bagged two Oscar nominations after his demise. In this film, James's voice was dubbed by his friend in number of scenes after his death. The movie is huge in length spans three hours long and an era of over 30 years from the main character's (Jordon Benedict) love to Maryland farm's daughter, his rivalry with a cowboy on his return to Texas (homeland), story of his children and grandchildren. The movie convincingly covers two generation of Benedict's family.

The direction is top class. First to direct a three-hour long movie is Herculean. The Oscar has recognized and awarded the director for this work. The guild and photo-play members also had their awards for the movie. The movie is adapted from a novel with the same name. The characterization were screen-played deeply with lot of ideas that makes the viewers remember the dirty-minds on racism in that period of time in Texas. For one instance, both the lead characters Rink and Bick are prejudiced against the Mexicans, but Rink is too poor at the start of the movie so he doesn't show it. Instead after becoming a businessman he displays in much cruel way. William C. Mellor's photography was exquisite in every way throughout the two generations in the story.

In my opinion, Giant must be considered along with epics like Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the wind, Benhur etc that made it to the top 250 in IMDb. There were few minor flaws that I could not fail to notice, which included Liz Taylor's acting that dragged the movie. She could've done way better to one of the characters in the movie that carried racial tolerance(Leslie). The next flaw is by the make-up department esp. when the characters got old they don't convince the audience. It could be true that the movie is too old to comment mistakes on makeovers, so am not treating it as one.

My final verdict : If you're a fan of old movies that this is one to watch as it is pacey (not too slow). Children can view this as it is free from ratings.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Epic Texas Soap Opera Devolves Into...

5/10
Author: Mike Conrad (conono) from London
2 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pretty to look at, with some pretty stars too. You don't need me to tell you the plot--it's just an epic family-based drama of Texans over the early-mid 1900s. You don't need me to tell you how pretty Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean are--you already know.

What you may need me to tell you is how tedious GIANT becomes as it morphs from an epic family drama into an endless harangue about race relations and 'white privilege' although they didn't call it that in the 1950s. Guess what? Racism and sexism are really bad. In case you aren't sure, GIANT spends three hours repeatedly hammering this point home, over and over. Although, it's concerned with Mexicans only and the blacks in the film remain in properly subservient roles. I guess we pick and choose our lessons. By the end (it finally does end), Liz delivers the final speech, wherein she declares that by beating up some evil racists, Rock has finally become her hero. Wow, that took a while.

Very few long films justify their length. GIANT is one of the many which don't. It's fun for awhile but gets a bit worse with every minute that passes. Time is precious--don't waste it. There--a lesson the film does teach, however perversely.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Actors and director made this one Giant

8/10
Author: SnorrSm1989 from Norway
8 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Edna Ferber wrote the novel of GIANT, she covered several topics which at that time, in the late 1940's, were still considered controversial. It appears to have been even more daring when Warner Brothers, a major film studio, adopted same novel onto the screen in 1956. Although other commercially accessible films had been made about racism and discrimination in general already, perhaps most notably BLACKBOARD JUNGLE with Sidney Poitier the year before, GIANT must be viewed as one of the pioneering works in Hollywood that presented such issues so bluntly to the general public. Still, though, this film is, perhaps, not so much about racism as it is about confrontations between different cultures and generations with conflicting viewpoints and social values. A film exploiting so much could easily wind up chewing more than it can swallow, but here GIANT benefits from its length of three hours; the various topics flow quite well and naturally within one another.

Other than its status as a relatively early commentary on several then-controversial social issues (some of whom may still be considered controversial in some circles), GIANT is a truly beautifully-looking film. Director George Stevens may be said to have done his crowning achievement with this work; not as visually innovative as the earlier A PLACE IN THE SUN, the story of GIANT is nevertheless told through an astounding use of beautiful photography and camera-work, closeups and longshots, light and shadows. I especially adore the part with James Dean exploring his newly-inherited piece of land; even though the actor appears small in size compared to the mighty and desert-like landscape surrounding him, Stevens places him in a visual context which makes him an irresistibly interesting presence at the same time. From that point on, we do predict something is going to happen with this young Jett Rink whom he portrays. Another moment stuck on my mind is how the reaction of Rink upon hearing that Bick Benedict's sister has died is executed; his face almost completely hidden in shadows, we do nevertheless see very clearly that he is crying.

At the same time, GIANT is certainly a product of its time. Some of the scenes, and some of the dialogue, feel rather forced and unnatural; sometimes even by 1950's standards. The task of transforming the novel into the largely visual medium of film is not entirely successful, as some points made with dialogue would possibly have made a stronger impression had they been conceived with more visual methods. What ultimately makes these reservations appear quite minor, along with Stevens' direction, is the iron-strong cast consisting of Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, as well as several good supporting performances, namely from Carroll Baker and Dennis Hopper. As Bick Benedict, Hudson manages to turn out quite sympathetic despite the recurring intolerance that coins his character; he is a far cry away from the 'typical leading man' that he had largely been devoted to playing up till this point. Taylor comes off as quite modern as Leslie, fittingly so as she works as kind of an opposer against the conservative views of her husband. The performance that truly stands out in my memory afterwards, however, is that of James Dean as Jett Rink. Dean's abilities as an actor had increased remarkably in the two previous films of his; in GIANT, he reached maturity. Not as emotionally intense as his performances in EAST OF EDEN and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, with his performance in GIANT I am first and foremost taken aback by its subtlety. In an otherwise very good but in some aspects dated film, Dean appears to have been transformed out of a movie made today.

I do know some viewers are uneasy with the fact that the characters age considerably throughout the film, but to me, the later parts of GIANT serve to further confirm the versatility of its main cast. Both Hudson and Taylor appear completely convincing to me; which is also the case with James Dean, so much so that I doubt I'd recognize him in parts if I didn't know it was him on beforehand.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Big family-drama and I mean BIG.

8/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
25 September 2010

This is a movie that basically does little wrong. Yet at the same time I just wasn't blown away by it all either.

As far as big, epic drama's go, this is one of the biggest ones out there. First of all, it's about a three and an half hour long movie, so that means that plenty is happening in it and the story and its characters progress and go to a lot of transitions, throughout.

But to be honest I wasn't interested or grabbed by it all for most of the time. This was due to its characters mostly. The characters just aren't involving enough because they seem like real caricatures, rather than actual convincing or realistic ones. This really goes for most of the main characters but luckily the movie has still some absolutely great secondary characters in it. Basically they are more interesting and keep the movie and its story going. Their stories and developments help to continue the main plot line and add to the overall drama and epicness of it all.

Even though I really have nothing against Elizabeth Taylor or Rock Hudson, I can't exactly say that their performances made this movie. They are being the biggest caricatures of the movie and it's often hard to understand their characters and their actions and motivations. And above all things, they really rise the question why these two characters ever fell for each other and got married so soon, even though it was clear from early on already that they were two totally different personalities, who had little in common. Thank goodness for all of its secondary characters and actors portraying them, that still give this movie so much more depth and enjoyment.

James Dean out-acts basically every other actor he is in scene with, during this movie. It never seizes the amaze me what a great actor this guy was. His acting style seemed to be years ahead of its time and it really made his character such an amazing and classic one. He actually died late in the production of this movie but luckily enough he had apparently finished shooting all of his scenes. Some other great young actors show up in this movie as well, who turned into big celebrity names later on; Sal Mineo and Dennis Hopper for instance.

But this seriously is a movie you can basically say very little bad about, besides the things I have already mentioned. The movie is just far too well made and epic to hold any hate against. Yes, it's long and yes it's a times a rather slow movie that doesn't really seem to go anywhere but in the long run you'll still be able to see the beauty of the entire bigger whole of the movie. It's well shot and well told by director George Stevens, who was the only one that won an Oscar for this movie, despite the fact that it got nominated for 9 more, including best picture. It should had won more really, especially when you see the movies that it was up against. But in fact this was simply a too troubled production, money and time-wise (it went well over its budget and it took actually two years to put the movie together in the editing room), which didn't really made a whole lot of money at the time and therefore just didn't got the recognition of some of the other movies that got released during the same year.

It's besides a real beautiful movie to look at, with its empty and desolated looking surroundings and atmosphere, that seem to suit the movie and the story that it's trying to tell. In essence the movie is about changing yourself, not just for yourself but also for those around you. It has some great themes about acceptance but also racism for instance in it, that don't get forced upon you or shoehorned in anywhere and therefore works out very naturally and effective throughout the movie.

A real big, epic family-drama, that is well worth your time.

8/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Epic bigger than all of Texas.

9/10
Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
26 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

George Stevens directs a masterpiece. A classic if there ever was one. Based on the novel by Edna Ferber; a sprawling epic with focus on a mega-wealthy Texas rancher Jordan Benedict Jr.(Rock Hudson)marrying a beautiful Virginia socialite Lelsie(Elizabeth Taylor). Upon returning to the cattle empire the new Mrs. Benedict learns the meaning of Texas tradition and even attitudes toward race, mainly the treatment of Mexicans.

Making things a bit edgy is Jordan's sister Luz(Mercedes McCambridge),who is not going to give up dominance of running the mansion easily. And there is the laggard Jet Rink(James Dean), who will strike it rich in oil and become one the most powerful men in Texas.

Wonderful scenery and on a grand scale. Very few slow moments considering the length of this movie. And the lack of vulgarities is somewhat odd considering the story line. But this film is just as powerful today as it was in the mid 50s. The character development with all the conflict of class and tradition sustains the story.

There is a large ensemble of talent fleshing out the cast: Paul Frix, Carrol Baker, Chill Wills, Rod Taylor, Dennis Hopper, Jane Withers, Earl Hollliman and Sal Mineo.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A sprawling film that takes your breath away.

10/10
Author: bobsgrock from United States
24 March 2008

Giant is in every way what it's name is. The time is over three hours, the wide angle shots of the Texas plains are gorgeous, and the star power overwhelms in this masterpiece of George Steven's distinguished career. The story slowly and methodically unravels the characters and shows their strengths and weaknesses. The performances are nothing short of magnificent. Hudson and Taylor are dynamic and have great chemistry together. The supporting actors are good as well, but the best performance belongs to James Dean, in his final role before dying tragically young. Every scene he is in is so heartbreaking, so painful, and so tender it moves you every time you see him. The cinematography is stunning and the directing is swift and smooth. What praise has been lauded on this film in the past fifty years is definitely worthy. A landmark film that touches on serious themes such as racism, women's equality, and the changing of times, Giant is a masterpiece and one of the great American films.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Overall excellent film,and mesmerizing final look of a genius that was taken way too early.

8/10
Author: SmileysWorld from United States
9 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bick Benedict was a man with dreams.One by one his dreams became nightmares.The sister he depended on so much was suddenly gone.His bitter rival's refusal to take bribe money instead of the stretch of land willed to him by Luz,Bick's dear departed sister.Jett Rink,Bick's said rival strikes oil on his willed land and becomes an ever growing thorn in Bick's side.His son wants to be a doctor,not a rancher.The man he then begins to consider heir to the ranch is drafted into war.In short,his dreams are dashed at every turn,yet he sucks it up and moves on and slowly comes to the realization that life isn't just about him and his dreams.This was,as most may know,James Dean's last film before his tragic death just days after completing his part of the production.You can't help but notice in watching this young genius that he had something special.Despite the fact that he only got to complete three films,he can easily be compared to the likes of Robert De Niro or Marlon Brando.He could've given us so much had he gotten the chance.It runs somewhat long and the age make up on Dean,Liz Taylor,and Rock Hudson leave a lot to be desired in my book,but as a whole I really enjoy this film,and so will you.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

GIANT Makes A Big Impression

7/10
Author: tramky from United States
19 June 2005

"Giant" is for me one of a handful of movies that introduced me to the world of motion pictures at a time when I was about 10 years old, give or take a year or two. "Gigi" and "Around the World in 80 Days" were others that I saw in theaters during their original release. They made a huge impression on me.

The characters in these movies were larger-than-life. "Giant" was an enormous film with a number of interesting elements, not untypical of scripts in the '50s', touching on personal conflicts, racism, and of course the love story.

But the scenes in "Giant" I remembered most vividly from that first viewing involved Jett Rink--even that name was larger-than-life--and Jordan Benedict's brawl in the diner with the racist owner who wanted the Chicano family that had come in to leave.

But it was the rise & fall of Jett Rink that was the most memorable part of the story to me. I recalled the famous 'gusher' scene when Jett's little well strikes it rich and he drives over to the Benedicts to rub it in Jordan's face ("It's a big'n"). Next thing you know there is the private plane with the initials 'JR' on the tail and the transformation is complete, from the grubby, lonely wildcatter to the ultra-rich oilman; then years later, the big dinner when Jett is being put up as a political candidate, gets drunk, and passes out on the podium in front of the crowd of 'supporters'.

"Giant" remains a film I can watch from time to time, and probably see something I hadn't noticed before. It is not a great film, simply an enjoyable one, with an amazing central cast all in their prime.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

So different when you don't know the background

7/10
Author: bsinc from Ljubljana, Slovenia
15 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I did not know James Dean died during late production of This movie, heck, I just now found out that he only starred in only three bigger movie roles in his sadly short life. And I would have looked at this movie very differently had I known all this, which luckily I avoided. We get influenced so quickly it's unbelievable. This movie was the highest grossing Warner Bros movie until "Superman" twenty years later. And I'm guessing it wasn't because the people got thrills out of all that cattle. One man made such an impact ("Titanic" anyone) and made the movie a cult one. And I am doing the same thin right now, writing about Mr Dean, but I don't have a slightest idea what he was about so I'll stop. There's Elizabeth Taylor, I particularly enjoyed the scene where she starts arguing with "the men" when they don't want to share their discussion with her because she showed such courage and determination to not just become one of the gals but was still a sophisticated and individual woman. And we have Rock Hudson, also a movie persona with a very interesting background. I spent about 20 minutes just discovering info about these actors here on IMDb and that's what it's all about for me. It's the clash of cult idols in "Giant", and I just pinned what was bothering me for the whole two hours. Who was the "Giant" anyway - it was all three of them all along.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Essential viewing for any film lover.

10/10
Author: rtprops from United States
14 March 2007

A classic. Let's hope no one attempts to "re-make" it, as is being discussed with another classic, "East of Eden." Best-ever performances all the way around, with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean all at the peak of their acting abilities, as well as their physical beauty. The supporting cast is unparalleled in film history. Visually spectacular from the lush Virginia "greens" at the beginning to the lusty Texas "browns" of the rest of the film (and the startling oil "blacks" at the center of the action). The soundtrack is one of Tiomkin's best, and the arc of the story is both as relevant and heartbreaking as the arc of one's own life. The story and the film itself are quintessentially American.

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