Monday, 30 May 2011

Movie Review; Giant 1956

Film: Giant (1956)

Directed by: George Stevens

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson & James Dean

Based on the novel Giant written by Edna Ferber

"The most effective declaration against racial intolerance ever shown on the screen. Best Picture of the Year." -TIME, 1956

This film spans three generations of land-rich Texans and their struggles within their family, against racial intolerance and the oil industry. Jordan "Bick" Bennedict (Rock Hudson) is a texan rancher who on a business trip to buy a horse meets a beautiful socialite Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor), they almost immediately marry and Bick returns to Texas with Leslie. Leslie soon finds that things work differently on a ranch than in her hometown and quickly sets around to change things. Over the course of the film, many difficulties arise- particularly due to the differing opinions of Bick and Leslie but the resounding feeling is that their love is enough to pull them through.

James Dean as Jett Rink
 This film is one of my favourites, when looking at the old style hollywood films this one, for me, is up there with Gone With The Wind, Casablanca and My Fair Lady.
I first watched this film just because I love James Dean and wanted to see everything he had been in- but what I didn't account for was that this movie would become my favourite James Dean performance (beating out Rebel Without A Cause).

The Texan scenery is gorgeous and the costumes are beautiful. I also think that the make-up was exceptional, I have yet to see a film that equals Giant in how well they aged the actors using makeup, hairstyling and clothing, it appeared that the actors actually aged as the characters did- it was so realistic!

Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor were particularly moving in their roles and had such chemistry. James Dean was a standout! He had me crying by the end of the film because of the way he allowed his character to reach beyond breaking point. Every time I watch the film however, the performance that always "Wow's" me is that of the young Dennis Hopper, he was amazing as the son of Bick and Leslie, and the way his character stood up and fought against racial bigotry during the film was touching and heroic.

If you love watching classic hollywood films, this is definitely one I recommend checking out. However I do warn you the film runs for about 3 1/2 hours, but it goes ever so fast and never gets dry.

Older Bick (Hudson) and Leslie (Taylor)

Luz II, Bick & Leslie's youngest daughter in a beautiful
Queen of the Parade costume

Jordan Benedict III (Dennis Hopper), Bick & Leslie's son

Much Love,

Tristans _Isolde xx

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