So James Dean is pretty well known for his three main film roles. I’ve seen Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, but until today I’ve never gotten around to sittin down ad enjoying the sprawling epic that is Giant. Part of that has to do with the movies running time of three and a half hours. I can sit through a movie that long. I’ve done movie marathons much longer than that, but it just seems like such a long time to devote to one movie. Since it’s well into the nineties here I decided to take the day off, sit in my not so cool room, make some cool beverages, and turned on Giant.
It’s a really good movie. As I mentioned though it is long, so if you have a hard time through movie like Lord of the Rings you will probably struggle with this. Giant isn’t exactly action packed and it lacks orcs and Hobbits. Unlike some older movies with long running times (like Ben-Hur) there is no intermission in this film. There are a number of spots where you can easily take a break and not interrupt the flow of the movie.
The movie is set up to cover the lives of Eizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson on their cattle ranch in Texas. James Dean is in this movie, however he does not the star or focus of the film. He’s basically the biggest side character if that. Don’t expect to see him the entire film, because compared to the running time he isn’t in it a whole lot. Still all three stars are great in this film and I thought the supporting cast was great as well. A lot of really good performances by people who were only in the film for a couple of minutes. A young Dennis Hopper gives out a nice performance as well.
The movies looks stunning as well. Part of that is the chosen landscape. It actually reminded me a bit of Days of Heaven (which looks better in my opinion), especially the shots of the ranch. Not sure how accurate that is though since it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.
It’s a nice look at a certain lifestyle, especially at how oil came to be such a huge part of Texas. There’s also some lovely dealings with racism between Texans and Mexicans. James Dean’s character is actually really interesting if you follow him throughout the movie. There are a lot of little things to think about in the film, which helps make the length seem less overwhelming.
Defiantly a great movie and it’s one of three James Dean films so you better watch for that reason at least.