5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!
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...
Published on April 22 2004 by Onie Wheeler
3.0 out of 5 stars Giant? Giant perhaps in its neglect of Jett...
While I'm still working on my glowing review for Rebel Without a Cause, I think I'll do this one for Giant. To say it bluntly, the film left me disturbed and unsettled, as movies generally do when I don't feel they've been finished. Whatever happened to Jett? It's not enough for me to see him lying in a drunken stupor under a fallen table. His part of the story needed to...
Published on Nov. 26 2001 by Susan
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5.0 out of 5 stars The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot turn away!,
By A Customer
A classic film epic of the fifties that blesses the Edna Ferber novel. Here's the way we want to see two late cinema greats, Rock Hudson and James Dean. George Stevens has all the right ingredients necessary here to make an entertaining and unforgettable picture.
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece,
By A Customer
This review is from: Giant (DVD)
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 the Benedicts(Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor).
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Great,
This review is from: Giant (DVD)
I really like this movie alot. It has such a great story line not to mention the great actors! I love this movie so much. Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson are so excellent in this movie! Its a classic so dont miss it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant  [Special Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import],
This review is from: Giant [Blu-ray] [Import] (Blu-ray)
Giant  [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.
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Chill Wills, Mercedes McCambridge, Rod Taylor, Judith Evelyn, Earl Holliman, Paul Fix and Alexander Scourby
Director: George Stevens
Producers: George Stevens and Henry Ginsberg
Screenplay: Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat
Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography: William C. Mellor
Audio: English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: Dolby Digital Mono, German: Dolby Digital Mono, Italian: Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono, Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono, Czech: Dolby Digital Mono, Polish: Dolby Digital Mono and Japanese: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German SDH, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hebrew, Italian SDH, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish and Turkish
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p [WarnerColor]
Running Time: 3 hours 21 minutes
Region: Region A/1
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review - The story of Giant is long, detailed, and full of exploration. Giant is a richly rewarding story that explores some serious thematic material. It begins by being a story of two people falling in love: Jordan "Bick" Benedict [Rock Hudson] and Leslie Lynnton [Elizabeth Taylor], even though the two seem to have little in common. Bick was traveling to buy a horse within Maryland and is a wealthy Texan who is head of a ranching family. He fancies Leslie when he meets her while on this trip, and she equally fancies him. Leslie breaks up an engagement she was in so that she can leave with Bick and go to Texas. The long journey of Giant only begins here.
Over the course of the storyline, the film explores racial discrimination from the Southern white ranchers and seeks to explore the development of the Benedict family towards racial equality as Leslie determinedly helps to change things for the family. This is a core theme of the story. The Mexican American workers who work for the Benedict’s were isolated, segregated, and ignored. In one integral scene of the film, Leslie helps a seriously ill worker who was receiving no help medically. It becomes clear to her that not enough is being done to care for these people, who Leslie understands work with them. Yet she see's that they are being discriminated against. In concluding the film, there is a pivotal scene that makes a definitive statement about the great importance of racial equality. It becomes clear that one of the points of the film is to say that being a "Giant" can have more to do with standing up for what is right than for always being showered with riches.
In voicing her opinions and fighting for what she believes in, Leslie also changes the stance on a woman's role within this family business infrastructure. She wants to do the same kind of work the men do and she wants to be able to be involved in the process that the other men so selfishly attempt to keep to themselves. In a key sequence, Leslie and Bick disagree over an issue while Bick's having a meeting with his male colleagues. He refuses to listen to her and let her join in the meeting. This causes marital problems between the two, who have a temporary separation during the film's story. This is another big focal point of the story, and it makes the film much more compelling and important as a result.
Dean plays the role of Jett Rink, who was working for Luz Benedict [Mercedes McCambridge], and trying to make a living so that he could eventfully become rich and leave Texas behind. It was his dream: an American dream of finding success. Upon Luz's passing, he is given shares that allow him land of his own because he was in Luz's will. Bick tries to purchase back the share of the land but Jett rejects. He eventually finds oil and becomes a bigger tycoon with greater wealth and power than the Benedict family. Yet his greatest tragedy lies in how his feelings for Leslie (whom he is in love with) can never come to fruition and his pain leads directly into a path of his own destruction.
The part of Jett in Giant was Dean's final performance on film and it was his peak between the three films. Despite being a supporting role, Dean's performance as Jett arguably became the most stand-out one of the films despite a shorter appearance compared to the lead performers, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. Whenever I think of Giant, despite the many amazing elements to the film, the first thing I always think of is James Dean and his iconic role in it: wearing his similarly iconic Cowboy hat - which helped to add flavour to his performance.
The canvas of the filmmaking in Giant was quite expansive - it is something that George Stevens understood how to utilize especially well as a filmmaker. Stevens was not an overt director like so many are -- instead of wanting to draw attention to stylistic flourishes, he wanted to hone in on the performances of the actors. Yet a masterful skill resided in Stevens to deliver incredible shots, these fantastic moments of cinematic greatness when he felt it necessary. He was more capable than most filmmakers as a true visionary of the medium and how to best utilize it to share stories.
George Stevens was so precise when it came down to his directing efforts. Giant is one of the great epics in cinema history. He was entirely capable of telling the detailed story inherent in the book and script while also bringing the best out of his actors. I feel as though he seemed to know exactly when things could shine further with moments of extreme majesty shining through. It was the quiet moments that he created that helped to form the greater, big picture.
Giant is without a doubt one of my favourite film in this entire collection: it is one of the greatest of all westerns and a truly remarkable cinematic achievement. Featuring excellent performances by Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean and based upon the novel by Edna Ferber, Giant is one of the greatest films ever made.
Blu-ray Video Quality - Giant is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, which is the ratio that was utilized during filming. The film itself was exhibited in theatres with the more common 1.85:1 ratio, but this Blu-ray presents the film with the most authentic representation of the work done during the making of the movie. This 1080p image transfer does a good job with the presentation of MPI's restoration efforts, which resulted from a 4K scan of the negative.
With regards to Giant, this transfer could surely have been improved had the film been allowed breathing room across a two-disc presentation, and one would hope such an effort would have been allowed to yield even greater results than what is found with this Blu-ray edition. At the very least, I feel the film could have been included across three discs: one showing the film uninterrupted, and another two discs preserving the film with the best possible transfer. As unlikely as this scenario sounds for Warner Bros, I feel as though some films merit this as presentation quality-control and that some films could be improved with a simple solution similar to what I am suggesting.
I've never before seen the film look as good as it does here. The film itself is filled with so many conversational-pieces and slow pan camera sequences that the bit-rates are relatively strong for the material presented and help to maintain what is mostly notable about the film quality in regards to depth, colour, and detail. There is also little damage: restoration efforts by MPI helped with this aspect of the presentation. Lastly, I also noticed no unnecessary digital tinkering, which helps to solidify this as an impressive transfer worthy of consideration.
Blu-ray Audio Quality - By a large margin, I consider the presentation Warner Bros has allotted to Giant in the sound department to be the absolute best of the three recently released James Dean films arriving on Blu-ray for the first time. This is primarily because the film's audio presentation has been preserved with stereo sound rendered in 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, sourced from the mono soundtrack and preserving the general soundstage with an authentic sounding representation of the source.
Maintaining the original audio design allows for the film's audio to sound natural and authentic - closer to the way as it did when released to theatres for the first time. There is surprising fidelity for a film of this age. It doesn't sound digitally altered and the sound-stage is impressive with good clarity and depth for the stereo sound. Dialogue is clearly distinguishable and easy to understand. The score and sound effects have decent range and sound reasonably good. I certainly found the film benefited from its notable sound-design.
Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras:
Feature Film Blu-ray:
Introduction by George Stevens, Jr. [2:55] Recorded in 1995, Stevens, Jr. provides an optional introduction summarizing various points that will be covered in greater depth in the remaining extras.
Commentary by George Stevens, Jr., Screenwriter Ivan Moffat and Film Critic Stephen Farber: As with Shane, Stevens served as an uncredited production assistant on Giant. He and Moffat provide a wealth of insights, memories and trivia, although much of it is duplicated in the other extras. Farber acts as informal moderator, prompting Stevens and Moffat with questions. Even with three participants, however, it proves difficult to keep up a continuous commentary for over three hours. An alert listener will notice that some portions of the commentary in the last half hour are literally replays of earlier sections (e.g., Stevens' comments on Michael Todd and the Oscar results).
George Stevens: Filmmakers Who Knew Him [45:40] First released in 2001 on the DVD of A Place in the Sun, this documentary features revealing interviews with an impressive array of notables, including Warren Beatty, Frank Capra, Rouben Mamoulian, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Alan J. Pakula, Robert Wise and Fred Zinneman.
Bonus Special Features 2nd DVD:
Memories of Giant [51:36] This 1998 documentary features interviews with George Stevens, Jr., Carroll Baker, Earl Holliman, Jane Withers and, in archive footage, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and George Stevens. Chapter headings are listed below:
01. Recalling George Stevens
02. Casting the Leads
03. Train to Marfa
04. First-Day Hangover
05. Elizabeth Taylor
06. Rock Hudson
07. James Dean
08. Carroll Baker
09. Earl Holliman
10. George Stevens, Jr.
11. Marfa Nightlife
12. Country Club Sundays
13. Taking Care of Dean
14. Dean's Death
15. Pink Keepsake
16. A Film to Last
Return to Giant [55:07] This 2003 documentary is narrated by Don Henley and features many of the same participants as "Memories of Giant", along with additional cast members and various Texans, from Marfa and surrounding environs. If the documentary has a weakness, it's over-reliance on clips from the film. Chapter headings are listed below:
01. Eye on Marfa
03. The Landscape
04. More than Watchers
05. Rope Tricks
06. Hudson and Taylor
07. Striking Oil
09. Filming Over
11. As We See Ourselves
12. Proud Legacy
13. End Credits
New York Premiere Telecast [28:51] Chill Wills hosts a red carpet event from the Roxy Theater.
Hollywood Premiere [4:21] A news report that opens with a recap of the New York premiere, then provides coverage of the Hollywood opening at Grauman's Chinese Theater.
Giant Stars Are Off to Texas [0:38] A brief Warner Bros. Pathe News item.
Stills and Documents: The "stills" are a collection of behind-the-scenes photos. The "documents" are excerpts from the internal correspondence during production, including the often contentious exchanges between Stevens and Jack Warner over such crucial elements as budget and the film's running time.
Behind-the-Cameras: On Location in Marfa, Texas [5:58] An instalment of the EPK-like promotional TV series "Behind the Scenes" hosted and narrated by Gig Young. A few bits of location footage look staged, but most of it is obviously authentic.
Behind-the-Cameras: A Visit with Dmitri Tiomkin [6:33] Another instalment of "Behind the Scenes" focusing on the work of Giant's composer. Gig Young interviews Dmitri Tiomkin about his influences and background, and Dmitri Tiomkin plays several of the key themes from Giant.
1956 "Book" Trailer (1.85:1; 1:33): So named because it has no film clips, only pages of a book that turn to reveal text and illustrations.
Original 1956 Trailer [3:45]
1963 Reissue Trailer [2:29]
1970 Reissue Trailer [3:03]
There is text-based inclusion on this release: A Giant Undertaking is a text-based walkthrough of George Stevens career as filmmaker, George Stevens Filmography notes his works, Awards details the awards won, and Cast and Crew gives more insight into the careers of others who worked on Giant.
Bonus Special Documentary 3rd DVD:
George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey [1:51:24] This 1984 documentary, written, produced and directed by George Stevens, Jr., provides a detailed overview of the life and career of Giant's director. Beginning with his early days in Hollywood as a cameraman for Hal Roach, when Stevens saved Stan Laurel's career by figuring out how to photograph the future comedy legend so that his pale blue eyes would register on film, the documentary traces Stevens' long career directing such skilful light fare as Alice Adams (with Katherine Hepburn), Swing Time (with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) and Woman of the Year (with Hepburn and Spencer Tracy).
World War II changed Stevens' outlook. Volunteering for military service (along with such notables as William Wyler, Frank Capra and John Ford), Stevens was assigned by General Eisenhower to document the Normandy invasion. Later, he directed a film crew that recorded the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau. He returned from four years of war having lost all interest in comedy or anything else on the lighter side. Indeed, for several years, Stevens seemed uninterested in directing at all.
With I Remember Mama in 1948, Stevens began the series of films that would bring him two Oscars for Best Director, great popular success and major industry clout. The list includes Giant, A Place in the Sun and Shane. The winning streak ended in 1965, with the troubled production of The Greatest Story Ever Told, starring Max von Sydow as Jesus.
It was during this period that Stevens became embroiled in an infamous controversy within the Directors Guild of America, when Cecil B. DeMille, a staunch anti-Communist and supporter of the blacklist, attempted to remove Joseph L. Mankiewicz as president and to institute loyalty pledges. Stevens led the successful opposition, although, as recounted by Fred Zinneman and John Huston, it was the venerable John Ford who stood up at a key moment and delivered the coup de grace.
The documentary uses substantial archival footage, including recordings of Stevens himself, and its interviewees are an impressive roster, many of whom are no longer with us. In addition to Hepburn, Zinneman and Huston, participants include: Joel McCrea, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Fred Astaire, Ginger Roger, Millie Perkins, Frank Capra and Alan Pakula (whose stories about Shane are brief but memorable).
Finally, when you hear people say "they don't make them like they used to" Giant is probably one of the first films that springs to mind. This masterpiece of cinematic craft and storytelling is both socially important and marvellous to behold. The visual qualities are so sublime and yet it's not the showiest of films: this is a film that is so nuanced and wonderfully realized that it stands significantly apart from most other productions of its time and even of modern cinema. This is one of the best epics to ever be made and George Stevens made that possible through the brilliance of the directing. The story and the great performances make this an essential viewing. Whether you care most about the acting from Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, or James Dean - or perhaps the magnificent storytelling - there is no mistaking the brilliance of this significant classic. Giant should belong in everyone’s Blu-ray Collection who is a massive fan of great classic cinema. So much so, this Special Limited Edition DigiBook is totally amazing and so beautifully professionally presented and so with a massive tour-de-force film and this ultimate Special Limited Edition DigiBook, it is again a great honour to add this to my Blu-ray Collection and in a few years’ time will become a very rare item, so don’t delay, as in time this will no longer be available. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No. Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
5.0 out of 5 stars GIANT,
This review is from: Giant (DVD)
I loved this movie from the first time that I saw it, and, now, 50 years later, it is still a great movie.
4.0 out of 5 stars A history of Texas during the oil drilling years,
This review is from: Giant (DVD)
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?
5.0 out of 5 stars James Dean-Giant,
This review is from: Giant (DVD)
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'.
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Giant,
One of the worst movies ever made about Texas and Texans. Dreadful. Awful. Laughable acting and a silly script. Boring but good for a laugh. James Dean as a Texas cowboy indeed.
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Giant by George Stevens (DVD - 2005)
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