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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 Details


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


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
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!
Read more ›
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1.0 out of 5 stars A DISGRACE Dec 29 2003
Format:DVD
Please heed the one brave reviewer who also found this DVD of GIANT a disgrace - and it is. Don't be mislead! The sound quality is terrible. The colors are, in some scenes, almost completely washed out, which make the images appear as if they were once in black and white and then colorized. In several scenes, you can actually see flashes of lines, as if the print was lifted off a television screen. There was NO attempt to upgrade, enhance or preserve this wonderful, classic film. The extras? Nothing special. Certainly not worth the cost of buying this terrible DVD expecting a top grade enhancement and then finding that you have something that wouldn't even be shown on TCM! My question is, where did TCM get THEIR print?? Please heed this advice. Buy the 1985 VHS tape before you waste your money on what has to be one of the worst rip-offs in DVD retail yet. By comparision: check out the terrific quality of the "North by Northwest" DVD. Beautifully done, lovingly preserved. This disgrace should never have been released. I wasted my money on this. It's TERRIBLE. Poor sound, poor colors, poor everything ... except for a great film getting a very poor treatment. Stay away! A disgrace. An absolute disgrace. Shame on these other reviewers. What were they looking at? From the opening scene you can hear how bad the sound is, how disappointing the colors are, how terrible the whole thing is. The DVD of "Giant" is "Little."
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1.0 out of 5 stars Warner Bros cheaps out on DVD of Giant Aug. 18 2003
Format:DVD
First, let's establish that I don't think "Giant" is a classic by any definition. Too long, indifferent acting, too much fluff. That said, I guess I remember it as a spectacle worthy of the total sprucing up it needed to bring it to DVD. Tiomkins rousing score in 5.1 digital sound. Punching up of the very faded VHS tapes film quality and some nice extras. Maybe 1 out of 3 isn't bad except in this case the extras are the only plus. Otherwise the movie seems to have been transferred directly from VHS to DVD. The sound over the opening titles was so tinny and distorted that I double checked my sound settings to make sure my equipment wasn't out of wack. Nope, just plain lousy monophonic clamor. The color is so washed out in many places that I started to think maybe I had been sent a preproduction copy before sound and color had been worked on. But I see several other reviewers had the same reaction.
Shame on Warner Bros for putting out a major movie of such abominable quality. The extras are terrific but I know very few film fans who buy movies based on the extras. Take it off the market and do it right Warners.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant [1956] [Special Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import]
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... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andrew C. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars GIANT
I loved this movie from the first time that I saw it, and, now, 50 years later, it is still a great movie.
Published 4 months ago by R. W. SIMPSON
4.0 out of 5 stars A history of Texas during the oil drilling years
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. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. Pellettier
5.0 out of 5 stars James Dean-Giant
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'.
Published 10 months ago by Aimee Marie
3.0 out of 5 stars Giant
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
Published 10 months ago by Theresa Gonsalves
1.0 out of 5 stars This is Texas?
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. Read more
Published on July 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece
James Dean literally steals the movie and give the performance of his life as Jett Rink.his on and off screen battles for recognition explode in Giant and steal the show away from... Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Film buff's delight in extras
Portentous, overwrought, overlong, meandering but American, made about the quintessential (cliche) American state, by a very American director with all the American values examined... Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by Ian Muldoon
5.0 out of 5 stars LUSCIOUS
Oh please! For those of you who bash this movie, you obviously have no appreciation for the Hollywood system of the 1950s, with its epic movies and larger than life themes. Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by "steendean"
4.0 out of 5 stars giant is just that
george stevens really earned his award for this grande of a movie. I really sat threw the 2 tapes and watched the 200 minutes of it and I tel you it payed off good. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2003 by Michael Bolts
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