- 3 hr 21 min
Giant is a 1956 epic drama film that tells the story of a wealthy Texas ranching family over several decades. It stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean in his final film role. The film begins in the early 1920s, with Jordan 'Bick' Benedict Jr. (Rock Hudson) traveling to Maryland to buy a stallion for his family's cattle ranch. There, he meets and falls in love with Leslie Lynnton (Elizabeth Taylor), a beautiful young socialite. He convinces her to come with him to Texas and they marry against the wishes of his family, who consider Leslie an outsider.
On the ranch, Bick's sister Luz (Mercedes McCambridge) and his best friend Jett Rink (James Dean) are both attracted to Leslie. Jett, a poor ranch hand, resents Bick's wealth and power and dreams of building his own empire. He strikes oil on land he inherits from Bick's family and becomes a millionaire overnight, creating tension and jealousy between him and the Benedicts.
As years go by, the film documents social changes in Texas, including the rise of the oil industry and the Civil Rights movement. Bick becomes a respected and influential figure in the state, while Jett's fortune doesn't bring him the happiness he thought it would. Leslie struggles to find her place in a society that values her only for her appearance and breeding, and their children face their own dilemmas as they try to navigate the changing world around them.
Behind the glamour and grandeur of Texas high society lies a complex web of relationships, infused with class, power, and prejudice. As the film unfolds, the characters reveal their deep-seated fears, desires, and aspirations, which are often at odds with the expectations of their social status and gender roles.
Director George Stevens shot the film in widescreen, using the landscape and architecture of Texas to create a sense of epic grandeur. The film scored ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for both Hudson and Dean. Dean, who died in a car accident soon after completing the film, received a posthumous Oscar nomination for his performance as Jett Rink.
Giant remains a landmark film of the 1950s, capturing the anxiety, nostalgia, and contradictions of the American Dream in a time of profound change. As much a portrait of Texas as of the human heart, the film is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences today.
Giant is a 1956 action movie with a runtime of 3 hours and 21 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 84.