Giant (1956)

Giant (1956, USA) C-201m. *** D: George Stevens. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carol Baker, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Mercedes McCambridge, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor, Judith Evelyn. Grand Hollywood epic from the 1950s about free-minded Maryland beauty Taylor, who marries cattle-baron Hudson and moves to his ranch in rural Texas. It's tough for her to adjust to new situation, especially since his sister considers her competition for the rule and Hudson himself is a stubborn, old-fashioned man. Family saga spanning 25 years is really unmissable. Stevens' direction is masterful in the way he makes subtle statements about the characters. Dean (in his final screen role, for which he was Oscar-nominated) plays an impressively negative character (note the shadows that frequently conceal parts of his face). Minor flaws: unconvincing aging makeup, an abundance of anti-climactic scenes. Based on Edna Ferber's novel. Film received ten Academy Award nominations and won only for Best Director.


© Ron Altman