Elizabeth Taylor gives a career-best performance opposite Rock Hudson and James Dean in George Stevens’ Academy Award-winning Texan epic.
Elizabeth Taylor received some of the best notices of her career for her performance in George Stevens’ multiple Academy Award-winning blockbuster. Living up to its towering title with its grandiose setting (a great Gothic house looming out of the flatness around Marfa, Texas), epic length and prodigious cast,Giant begins like a chronicle of death foretold, as upstart oil wildcatter Jett Rink (James Dean, in his last role before his fatal car accident), whose spondaic name embodies Eisenhower’s America, seemingly measures his own mortality as he walks the horizon line assessing his newly acquired land. The decades-long rivalry between Rink and his old boss, wealthy rancher “Bick” Benedict (Rock Hudson), is further complicated by Rink’s infatuation with Bick’s refined but fiery Virginia belle wife Leslie (Taylor), who is appalled by the Texan traditions of rowdiness, racism and rampant machismo. A mile-high geyser of Texas tea, Giant “dazzles with late Golden Era star performances…. undeniably a classic of its era” (Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times).
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