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Giant

Elizabeth Taylor , Rock Hudson , George Stevens    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Product Description

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They call it Giant because everything in this picture is big, from the generous running time (more than 200 minutes) to the sprawling ranch location (a horizon-to-horizon plain with a lonely, modest mansion dropped in the middle) to the high-powered stars. Stocky Rock Hudson stars as the confident, stubborn young ranch baron Bick Benedict, who woos and wins the hand of Southern belle Elizabeth Taylor, a seemingly demure young beauty who proves to be Hudson's match after she settles into the family homestead. For many the film is chiefly remembered for James Dean's final performance, as poor former ranch hand Jett Rink, who strikes oil and transforms himself into a flamboyant millionaire playboy. Director George Stevens won his second Oscar for this ambitious, grandly realized (if sometimes slow moving) epic of the changing socioeconomic (and physical) landscape of modern Texas, based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel. The talented supporting cast includes Mercedes McCambridge as Bick's frustrated sister, put out by the new "woman of the house"; Chill Wills as the Benedicts' garrulous rancher neighbor; Carroll Baker and Dennis Hopper as the Benedicts' rebellious children; and Earl Holliman and Sal Mineo as dedicated ranch hands. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

A strikingly beautiful transfer makes Giant one of the best-looking classic films available on DVD. Curiously, the picture is letterbox format rather than anamorphic, though the relatively modest 1.66 aspect ratio makes this less of a problem than it could have been. (George Stevens Jr. mentions in the commentary track that his father liked a sense of height in his pictures and said that CinemaScope was only useful for the Last Supper.) The bonus features are as big as Texas. Most significant among various materials are three substantial (over 45 minutes each) documentaries: "George Stevens: The Filmmakers Who Knew Him," in which Warren Beatty, Frank Capra, and others reminisce about Stevens, and two making-of retrospectives, "Memories of Giant" and "Return to Giant," which have surprisingly little overlap considering they were made only two years apart, in 1996 and 1998. Especially poignant are the cast and crew's still-vivid reactions to James Dean's death in a car accident shortly after the completion of shooting. --David Horiuchi

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Andrew C. Miller TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Giant [1956] [Special Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Director George Stevens’ sweeping saga of family conflict and social consciousness based on Edna Ferber’s best seller is presented here for the first time on Blu-ray. Starring Rock Hudson as rancher Bick Benedict, Elizabeth Taylor as his wife Leslie and James Dean (in his final film role) as nouveau oil baron Jett Rink, this tale of three generations of Texans remains both grand and intimate.

FILM FACTS: Giant won the Academy Award for Best Director and was nominated nine other times, twice for Best Actor in a Leading Role [James Dean and Rock Hudson]. The other nominations came in the categories of Best Actress in a Supporting Role [Mercedes McCambridge]; Best Art Direction–Set Decoration, Colour (Boris Leven, Ralph S. Hurst); Best Costume Design, Colour; Best Film Editing; Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture; Best Picture; and Best Writing, Best Screenplay – Adapted.

THIS 3 DISC SET INCLUDES A 44-PAGE BOOK WITH PHOTOS, PRODUCTION NOTES AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES INFO • Documentary by George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey • Introduction by George Stevens, Jr. • Commentary by George Stevens, Jr., Ivan Moffat and Stephen Farber • George Stevens: Filmmakers Who Knew Him, Memories of Giant and Return to Giant • New York Premiere TV Special, Hollywood Premiere Documentary and Behind the Cameras Segments • Stills and Documents Galleries • Original and Reissued Theatrical Trailers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GIANT April 17 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this movie from the first time that I saw it, and, now, 50 years later, it is still a great movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A history of Texas during the oil drilling years Nov. 17 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A lot of good acting, including from James Dean. Odd that Sal Mineo would be in a second movie with him before dean died in a tragic auto accident. This movie, like East of Eden, provides insight into Dean's capability of becoming a great actor. The story line revolves around Rock Hudson, a Texas rancher, marriage to and life with outsider Elizabeth Taylor. I liked the part in a diner when grandfather Rock fights a redneck for insulting his part-Mexican grandson while a jukebox blares out Yellow Rose of Texas. I guess that is what Texas is all about, eh?
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5.0 out of 5 stars James Dean-Giant Oct. 22 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this film.Jimmy was brilliant as always,actually the entire cast was brilliant.Such a great piece of 1950's Americana.I'd highly recommend 'Giant'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Giant Oct. 17 2013
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
While the plot was good,
the movie was far too long and in
places downright boring.. However the great
acting from its' cast managed to hold
my interest
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is Texas? July 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I recently decided to view this film. Let's see - a reference to Neiman-Marcus - some wide open spaces, some cattle and oil wells. O.K. - but this film does not really tell about Texas and Texans. Thankfully, Chill Wills (from Seagoville, TX) was in it. He was the most Texan thing about this film. I wish I had something more positive to say - but I don't.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Giant Is Not A Widescreen Film May 18 2004
Format:DVD
The product information here should be carefully read, as it reveals that this edition of Giant has been transferred in a 1:1.66 letterbox transfer. This is a travesty. Giant was filmed and released in the classic 1:1.33 "Academy" aspect ratio, which also happens to be the aspect ratio for NTSC analog television. George Stevens disliked widescreen processes, although he was forced to use them by studios on later films.
The time has come to put a stop to these unnecessary, phoney "restored" versions of classics. It's just a marketing ploy to squeeze more money out of old warhorses. Going back to the good old days of the laserdisc, I never much cared about the extras that were first introduced by Criterion and later imitated by the major studios. I've always responded to a high quality video transfer taken from the best film elements available. Getting the aspect ratio wrong and mutilating the images of Steven's classic film makes everything else irrelevant.
Thank goodness I still have my laserdiscs. Failing that, grab a copy on VHS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC! April 22 2004
Format:DVD
The DVD is superb -- I do not know what all the complaints about sound, etc. are all about! My goodness, this film is almost 50 years old -- and I think it is in wonderful shape!
I purchased this video because I have become a big James Dean film, but the acting of Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Carol Baker, and Dennis Hopper were splendid.
To think that Hudson was a mere 29, Taylor 23, and Dean 23 and could play characters who age 30 years with such reality is a true testament to their genius! Of course, the makeup artists must also receive recognition.
The most disturbing portion of the film to me is when Hudson confronts "Sarge" the restaurant owner in a fist fight and when "Sarge" lands into the juke box, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" begins to play. However, this epic film is full of irony and subtle twists and nuances -- to really grasp the entire message this film needs to be viewed more than one time.
The irony of the Mexican children singing The National Anthem during the funeral of Angel (played by a very young Sal Mineo) touched me. Little Angel was a person who died for the United States and yet was the focus of bigotry from his impoverished birth until his death.
Or course, in my opinion, there was and never will be another James Dean -- it is heartbreaking to watch this dramatic genius in the final film performance before his untimely demise. Like Buddy Holly, I will always wonder where Dean's career would have gone.
Carol Baker is fantastic in her first film role and the very young Dennis Hopper's performance is equally memorable.
This film speaks to the injustices of racial bigotry that unfortunately will always exist except in a utopian world.
The additions to this DVD make it a must-buy!
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