7.6/10
33,703
185 user 119 critic

Giant (1956)

Trailer
3:44 | 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,220 ( 459)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 Jordan "Bick" Benedict, Jr. (Rock Hudson) visits a Maryland farm to buy a prize horse. While there he meets and falls in love with the owner's daughter Leslie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), 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 (James Dean) unfolds across two generations. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rancher | epic | texas | oil | rivalry | See All (352) »

Taglines:

Jett Rink's shack. No one has ever set foot in it,--and then, suddenly, Leslie...ELIZABETH TAYLOR AS LESLIE LYNNTON See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Juana Villalobos Benedict, Jordan III's wife, is obviously holding a doll meant to be a real child when she enters the lobby of the Emperador Hotel during the storm. She hands the doll (their child) to Dennis Hopper's character and again the size and rigidness betray that it's actually a doll and not a live child. 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.
[...]
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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 Ride the Hot Wind (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
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User Reviews

 
The Eyes of Texas
20 May 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I am of the opinion that it is impossible to make a bad film out of an Edna Ferber book. Her backgrounds are epic and she creates characters who fill the backgrounds that their stories take place.

Such is the case of Giant and the story of Bick Benedict, Leslie Lynnton, and Jett Rink and all the Texans here, native and transplanted. Giant's story begins with Bick Benedict coming to Maryland to buy a prize stallion and in a whirlwind courtship, marrying and bringing back the stallion and it's owner as well who becomes Leslie Lynnton.

Benedict as played by Rock Hudson is co-owner with his sister Mercedes McCambridge of one large piece of Texas real estate named Reata which makes the Ponderosa look like a homestead. 595,000 acres Hudson modestly states to the Lynnton guests at dinner. He's also incurred the jealousy of one of his ranch hands, James Dean as Jett Rink who envies Hudson in all things including his new bride.

Hudson and Dean were both up for Best Actor in 1956 losing to Yul Brynner in The King and I, but I've always felt that this was Elizabeth Taylor's film. Liz showed what she could do in George Stevens's A Place in the Sun and unfortunately she went back to MGM and got a bunch of films that were really beneath her talents. It was George Stevens again who even though he wanted Grace Kelly in the part first, got a great performance out of Elizabeth Taylor. Although she's overawed at first by the Texans and their ways, she warms gradually up to the role of mistress of Reata and brings a touch of compassion and humanity to Reata and its people.

The leading man was also borrowed by Warner Brothers. Rock Hudson got his one and only Oscar nomination for this role. His character of Bick Benedict ages and grows in every way. Maybe because its Rock Hudson playing the part, but I think it's Hudson innate and underrated skill as a player that makes you know there's a latent decency that's eventually going to overcome the bad things he was brought up with.

Of course Giant marks the early tragic farewell of James Dean as player. In one terrible accident that claimed his life James Dean went from rebel actor to eternal legend. Jett Rink was the final piece of his performing career and only a hint of what we could have expected from him. He's a dirt poor ranch hand, as poor as the Mexicans, who mostly work at Reata, but he doesn't identify with them at all. When he strikes it oil rich, he's just put in a position where he can now inflict terrible things on those people he feels superior to.

When film fans talk about Giant they talk about the differences between Hudson and Dean. Hudson starts out rich and prejudiced, Dean is poor and prejudiced. Dean strikes it rich and becomes an oil billionaire, but it's brought him no happiness, just richer surroundings to be miserable in. The difference is that Hudson had Taylor and the children they both had. Their lives together, Taylor's love and devotion and his children's respectful rebellion made him see things differently and grow as a person. If Dean had an Elizabeth Taylor, things might have worked out better for him in a personal sense.

George Stevens won the only Oscar that Giant got that year, for Best Director. The all-star extravaganza Around the World in 80 Days won for Best Picture, though I think Giant has stood the test of time a lot better. Then again Stevens had an Edna Ferber epic story to work from and as I said before, you can't ever go wrong with one of her stories.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 November 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Giant See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$32,855,818

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,855,818
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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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