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Giant (1956)

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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
3,925 ( 826)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 (344) »

Taglines:

Jett Rink, the outsider--and Leslie, wealthy and beautiful...JAMES DEAN AS JETT RINK 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,649, 22 September 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$35,000,000
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

When Bick and his cronies are attempting to buy off Jett's inheritance of land from Luz, James Dean's lariat-swirling, business-stress-diversion routine appears to be an homage (and one better) to Jean Arthur's tiny lariat trick in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). That occurs just following a similar scene of lawyers trying to force "power of attorney" on Longfellow Deeds' inheritance, in order to offset the lawyers' (Ceder, Ceder, Ceder, and Budington) failure to control the books for his decedent uncle's fortune. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, Bick knocks over a shelf of wine bottles, causing a cascade of shelves knocking the next one over. The scene cuts to Jett and you can hear a large number of shelves falling over. However, when the scene cuts back to Bick exiting, there are only three shelves (with the third leaning against the wall), and the other "shelves" behind are just a set painting. See more »

Quotes

Leslie Benedict: Money isn't everything, Jett.
Jett Rink: Not when you've got it.
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

Featured in Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Arkansas Traveler
(ca 1850) (uncredited)
Music by Sanford Faulkner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Film As Big and As Great As Texas.
24 March 2004 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

"Giant" is a sometimes forgotten masterpiece which is remembered for its massive budget (becoming the most expensive movie ever made at that time) and of course James Dean's death during the final stages of production. All the sub-stories during the making of this film overshadow the fact that this is easily one of the top ten movies ever made. Definitely in the class with epics like "Gone With the Wind" and "Lawrence of Arabia", "Giant" is a 200-minute symphony of a movie about the life of a Texas cattle rancher (Oscar-nominee Rock Hudson) and his wife from the East Coast (Elizabeth Taylor). Immediately following their marriage, Hudson's older sister (Mercedes McCambridge, Oscar-nominated) dies after falling off the same horse that Hudson had bought from Taylor's father. Disgusted with the fact that Hudson had married Taylor, McCambridge had decided to leave a small part of her land to quiet cow-hand James Dean (in his finest performance, garnering him his second consecutive posthumous Oscar nomination). Hudson is advised to buy the land from Dean, but Dean refuses to sell. Now Dean is trying to strike oil and is ultimately successful. He becomes a huge oil baron and one of the richest and most powerful men in Texas. Hudson continues to make money as well, but eventually has to swallow his pride and become a wild-catter himself. The hate and friction between Hudson and Dean is sure to lead to fireworks for all associated with the two volatile men. Secretly, Dean has always loved Taylor and even goes so far as to try and get with Taylor's youngest daughter (a brilliant turn by Carroll Baker). Dean is trying to substitute Baker for the lover he has always had for Taylor. By this time Dean is well in his 50s (due to heavy makeup), but he is trying to capture the failed dreams of his youth. Ultimately, Dean has everything except the one thing he really wanted. He lacks love in his life and he suffers miserably through as the film progresses. The older twin children of Hudson and Taylor's both grow up to go in very different directions. The daughter (Fran Bennett) marries and wants to run the ranch, to Hudson's approval and Taylor's dismay. However, the son (a very young Dennis Hopper) marries a Hispanic woman (very taboo back in those days) and wants to go north to become a doctor. Of course Hudson is outraged at this development and nearly disowns Hopper all together. Hudson then decides that Bennett's new husband (Earl Holliman) may be the best for the job. Holliman though is immediately drafted into World War II, along with Hispanic laborer Sal Mineo. Hudson worries about change after he passes away, but he eventually learns that most of the things he obsesses about are not as important as other matters. Equality for females and Hispanic Americans are major messages throughout here. Much like novelist Edna Ferber's equally excellent "Cimarron" (which dealt with sexism and racism toward Native- and African-Americans in Oklahoma), "Giant" paints a wonderfully complex picture of humanistic relationships from varying cinematic angles. Overall, "Giant" is a huge motion picture that is so smart, multi-layered and deep-thinking that it requires over three hours to tell the entire story. Everything here is so magnificent. The Oscar-winning direction by George Stevens, the screenplay, the art direction, the editing, the costume design, the makeup, the sound and the original musical score are all superb. Almost every actor does the best work of their respective careers as well. James Dean and Rock Hudson are the best. Mercedes McCambridge (albeit in a very small role) is super. Dennis Hopper and Carroll Baker (Baker even received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in 1956 for "Baby Doll") both show amazing range at their very young ages. Chill Wills (who plays Hudson's old wise uncle) and Elizabeth Taylor give stellar performances as always. Overlooked in 1956 (the unmemorable "Around the World in 80 Days" won the Best Picture Oscar), "Giant" is easily the best film from that weak year and is ranked as the best movie of that decade in my book. One of the most excellent productions of all time. 5 stars out of 5.


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