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Elizabeth Taylor
Director: George Stevens Cast: Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
, Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson
, James Dean
James Dean
George Stevens

DVD (Special Edition / 2 PACK)

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George Stevens' sprawling adaptation of Edna Ferber's best-selling novel successfully walks a fine line between potboiler and serious drama for its 210-minute running time, making it one of the few epics of its era that continues to hold up as engrossing entertainment across the decades. Giant opens circa 1922 in Maryland, where Texas rancher Jordan "Bick" Benedict (Rock Hudson) has arrived to buy a stallion called War Winds from its owner, Dr. Horace Lynnton (Paul Fix). But much as Bick loves and knows horses, he finds himself even more transfixed by the doctor's daughter, Leslie Lynnton (Elizabeth Taylor), and after some awkward moments, she has to admit that she's equally drawn to the shy, laconic Texan. They get married and Leslie spends her honeymoon traveling with Jordan to his ranch, Reata, which covers nearly a million acres of Texas. Once there, however, she finds that she has to push her way into her rightful role as mistress of the house, past Bick's sister, Luz (Mercedes McCambridge), who can't accept her brother's marriage or the changes it means in the home they share. Also working around Reata is the laconic ranch hand Jett Rink (James Dean) -- from a family as rooted in Texas as the Benedicts but not nearly as lucky (or "foxy"), Jett is dirt-poor and barely educated at all, and he fairly oozes resentment at Bick for his arrogance, although Luz likes him and for that reason alone Bick is obliged to keep him on. One thing Jett does have in common with his employer is that he is in awe of Leslie's beauty; another is his nearly total contempt for the Mexican-Americans who work for them -- Jett and Bick may have contempt for each other, but either one is just as likely to dismiss the Mexican-Americans around them as a bunch of shiftless "wetbacks." Luz feels so threatened with a loss of power and control that she decides to assert herself with War Winds, yet another "prize" that Bick brought back from Maryland that resists her authority -- then decides to ride the stallion despite being warned that no one but Leslie is wholly safe on him, and spurs him brutally in an effort to break him, which ends up destroying them both in the battle of wills she starts. After Luz's death, Jett learns that she left him a tiny piece of land for his own, on Reata, which he refuses to sell back to Bick, preferring to keep it for his own and maybe prospect for oil on it. Meanwhile, Leslie and Bick have their own problems -- Leslie can't abide the wretched conditions in which the Mexican families who work on Reata are allowed to live, taking a special interest in Mr. and Mrs. Obregon and their baby, Angel; but Bick doesn't want his wife, or any member of his family, concerning themselves with "those people." Leslie's humanity and her independence push their marriage to the limit, but Bick comes to accept this in his wife, and in four years of marriage they have three handsome children, a boy and two girls, and a loving if occasionally awkward home life. Meanwhile, Jett strikes oil on his land -- which he's named Little Reata -- and in a couple of years he's on his way to becoming the richest man in Texas, getting drilling contracts on all of the land in the area (except Reata) and making more money than the Benedicts ever saw from raising cattle. Bick is almost oblivious to the way Jett grows in power and influence across the years and the state, mostly because he's got his own family to worry about, including a son, Jordan III (Dennis Hopper), who doesn't want to take over the ranch from him, but wants instead to be a doctor; an older daughter, Judy (Fran Bennett), who wants to study animal husbandry and marry a local rancher (Earl Holliman) and start a tiny spread of her own; and a younger daughter, Luz (Carroll Baker), who's just a bit man-crazy and star-struck by the movies. The American entry into the Second World War and the resulting need for oil forces Bick to go into business with Jett and allow him to drill on Reata, and suddenly the Benedicts are wealthy enough to be part of Jett Rink's circle, which includes the governor of the state and at least one United States senator at his beck and call -- and Luz develops a serious crush on Jett, who likes his women young and is especially attracted to her, as Bick's and Leslie's daughter. Young Jordan marries Juana, a Mexican-American nursing student (Elsa Cardenas), and his father accepts it begrudgingly, with help from Leslie. The war kills Angel Obregon (Sal Mineo), a death that even affects Bick, but the Benedict family gets through it wealthier than ever and grows some more with the birth of Jordan IV to Jordie and Juana. When the family attends a gala opening of Jett Rink Airport, which concludes with a dinner honoring Jett's success, however, young Jordan's wife is humiliated by Jett's racist edicts, and he is beaten up by Jett's men after punching the oil baron. Seeing this, Bick challenges his old rival to the fight that's been brewing for a quarter of a century and wins by default, Jett being too drunk to defend himself or to hit; he's also too drunk to make the grand speech that was to climax the celebration, and he ends up alone in the ballroom. The Benedicts have it out with each other, young Jordan accusing his father of being as much a racist as Jett, and Leslie caught in the middle between her husband and her son. It looks like the Benedicts may lose each other, until an encounter with a racist diner owner forces Bick to stand up and get knocked down (more than once) defending his daughter-in-law and his grandson. Seen today, Giant seems the least dated of any of James Dean's three starring films, in part because it addresses issues that remain relevant more than 50 years later, and also because it has the best all-around acting and the best script of any of the three. Taken in broader terms, it's even better, with two of the best performances that Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson ever gave, and perhaps the second best of Hudson's whole career (after Seconds) -- the only unfortunate element at modern theatrical screenings is the tendency of younger viewers, who only know him in terms of the revelations late in his life of his being gay, to laugh and snicker at elements of Hudson's characterization; but his work is so good that the titters usually fade after the first 30 minutes or so.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/05/2013
UPC: 0883929280353
Original Release: 1956
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 3:21:00
Sales rank: 1,465

Special Features

Closed Caption; Disc One: Giant; Introduction by George Stevens, Jr.; Commentary by George Stevens, Jr., Ivan Moffat and Stephen Farber; Documentary George Stevens: Filmmakers who Knew Him; ; Disc Two: Special Features; 2 documentary looks at the movie's legacy: Memories of Giant and Return to Giant; New York premiere TV special; Behind the cameras segments; Extensive production notes; Director filmography; Hollywood premiere featurette; Original
eissue theatrical trailers; Stills and documents galleries; Awards notes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elizabeth Taylor Leslie Lynnton
Rock Hudson Bick Benedict
James Dean Jett Rink
Carroll Baker Luz Benedict II
Mercedes McCambridge Luz Benedict
Jane Withers Vashti Synthe
Sal Mineo Angel Obregon Ill
Chill Wills Uncle Bawley
Dennis Hopper Jordan Benedict III
Judith Evelyn Mrs. Horace Lynnton
Paul Fix Dr. Horace Lynnton
Rod Taylor Sir David Karfrey
Earl Holliman Bob Dace
Robert Nichols Pinky Synthe
Alexander Scourby Old Polo
Fran Bennett Judy Benedict
Charles Watts Whitside
Elsa Cardenas Juana Benedict
Carolyn Craig Lacey Lynnton
Monte Hale Bale Clinch
Mary Ann Edwards Adarene Clinch
Victor Millan Angel Obregon I
Mickey Simpson Sarge
Pilar del Rey Mrs. Obregon
Maurice Jara Dr. Guerra
Noreen Nash Lorna Lane
Napoleon Whiting Swazey
Ray Whitley Watts
Tina Menard Lupe
Rush Williams Waiter
Julian Rivero Old Man
Slim Talbot Clay Hodgins
Guy Teague Harper
Natividad Vacio Eusebio
Max "Alibi" Terhune Dr. Walker
Felipe Turich Gomez
Sheb Wooley Gabe Target
Tex Driscoll Clay Hodgins, Sr.
Richard Bishop Actor
George Dunn Verne Decker
Juney Ellis Essie Lou Hodgins
Fernando Alvarado Actor
Ray Bennett Dr. Borneholm
Eddie Baker Governor
Barbara Barrie Mary Lou Decker
Tom Monroe Actor
Paul Kruger General
Steven Kay Jordan, Age 4
Charles Meredith Minister
Ella Ethridge General's Wife
John Garcia Angel as an Infant
Mark Hamilton Guard
Maxine Gates Mrs. Sarge
Bill Hale Bartender
Dimitri Tiomkin Conductor

Technical Credits
George Stevens Director,Producer
Philip W. Anderson Editor
Gordon Bau Makeup
Marjorie Best Costumes/Costume Designer
Fred Bohanan Editor
Henry Ginsberg Producer
Fred Guiol Screenwriter
William W. Hornbeck Editor
Ralph S. Hurst Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Boris Leven Production Designer
Moss Mabry Costumes/Costume Designer
William C. Mellor Cinematographer
Ivan Moffat Screenwriter
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Francis Webster Songwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Giant: Part 1
1. Credits. [2:08]
2. Beautiful Animal. [2:39]
3. Quite A Parcel. [3:07]
4. In The Moonlight. [2:17]
5. Are You In Love? [1:17]
6. Heard About The Alamo? [5:02]
7. Honeymoon On A Train. [3:29]
8. Welcome To Reata. [2:04]
9. Mind Of Her Own. [2:50]
10. Jett Rink. [2:42]
11. Texas Barbecue. [7:06]
12. Not Just A Guest. [1:32]
13. Day On The Range. [3:05]
14. That Gal's My Wife. [2:07]
15. Driving Miss Leslie. [1:46]
16. Luz Rides Warwinds. [2:19]
17. Them's Your Neighbors. [9:44]
18. I'll Just Gamble Along. [7:02]
19. Pacing His Land. [1:20]
20. Mens's Stuff. [2:20]
21. Kick Off Your Spurs. [4:50]
22. Twin Benedicts. [4:02]
23. Helping Dr. Guerra. [3:27]
24. Tea With Jett. [1:24]
25. Uneasy Rider. [7:17]
26. Better If Apart. [3:54]
27. Thanksgiving. [4:22]
28. Wedding And Reconciliation. [3:30]
29. Gusher. [4:01]
30. Too Rich To Kill. [2:45]
31. Chapter 31 [2:45]
Disc #1, Side B -- Giant: Part 2
1. Warren Beatty [6:42]
2. Frank Capra [3:15]
3. Rouben Mamoulian [3:06]
4. Joseph L. Mankiewicz [4:17]
5. Alan J. Pakula [11:32]
6. Antonio Vellani [6:17]
7. Robert Wise [5:46]
8. Fred Zinnemann [4:39]
1. Chapter 1 [:00]
2. Chapter 2 [:00]
3. Chapter 3 [:00]
4. Chapter 4 [:00]
5. Chapter 5 [:00]
6. Chapter 6 [:00]
7. Chapter 7 [:00]
8. Chapter 8 [:00]
9. Chapter 9 [:00]
10. Chapter 10 [:00]
11. Chapter 11 [:00]
12. Chapter 12 [:00]
13. Chapter 13 [:00]
14. Chapter 14 [:00]
15. Chapter 15 [:00]
16. Chapter 16 [:00]
17. Chapter 17 [:00]
18. Chapter 18 [:00]
19. Chapter 19 [:00]
20. Chapter 20 [:00]
21. Chapter 21 [:00]
22. Chapter 22 [:00]
23. Chapter 23 [:00]
24. Chapter 24 [:00]
25. Chapter 25 [:00]
26. Chapter 26 [:00]
27. Chapter 27 [:00]
28. Chapter 28 [:00]
29. Chapter 29 [:00]
30. Chapter 30 [:00]
31. Jetexas. [1:30]
32. Older Generation. [9:38]
33. Overstepping Hombre. [2:44]
34. Christmas At Reata. [5:38]
35. Bick's Son The Doctor. [2:05]
36. Big Stuff Is Old Stuff. [4:44]
37. Jett Pays A Call. [2:45]
38. Oil Tax Exemption. [1:49]
39. Juana And Jordy. [3:11]
40. Angel Obregon Comes Home. [4:59]
41. Going To The Coronation. [2:23]
42. Queen Of The Jett Rink Day. [2:39]
43. Jett And Luz: A Proposal. [6:11]
44. Gathering Clan. [1:59]
45. We Reserve The Right. [4:01]
46. Jordy Confronts Jett. [5:46]
47. Not Worth Hittin'. [1:50]
48. Legend In His Time. [2:08]
49. Ways Of Doin' Things. [5:15]
50. Jett's Speech. [4:33]
51. No More High Flyin' [3:12]
52. Bick Takes A Stand. [4:11]
53. You Can't Live Their Lives. [3:26]
54. Real Big Success. [2:37]
55. End Title (The Eyes Of Texas.) [:24]
56. Exit Music. [2:48]
Disc #2 -- Giant: Special Features
1. Recalling George Stevens. [4:32]
2. Casting The Leads. [3:58]
3. Train To Marfa. [2:17]
4. First-Day Hangover. [1:21]
5. Elizabeth Taylor. [2:07]
6. Rock Hudson. [4:34]
7. James Dean. [8:33]
8. Carroll Baker. [:56]
9. Earl Holliman. [2:47]
10. George Stevens Jr. [:51]
11. Marfa Nightlife. [7:43]
12. Country Club Sundays. [1:13]
13. Taking Care Of Dean. [4:20]
14. Dean's Death. [3:06]
15. Pink Keepsake. [1:25]
16. A Film To Last. [1:46]
1. Eyes On Marfa. [4:20]
2. Casting. [5:25]
3. The Landscape. [4:33]
4. More Than Watchers. [5:09]
5. Rope Tricks. [4:48]
6. Hudson And Taylor. [6:25]
7. Striking Oil. [3:33]
8. Recreation. [2:10]
9. Filming Over. [3:34]
10. Tragedy. [3:17]
11. As We See Ourselves. [4:44]
12. Proud Legacy. [5:14]
13. End Credits. [1:51]

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