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Overall Rating
3.88

Awesome34.38%
Worth A Look: 28.13%
Just Average: 31.25%
Pretty Crappy: 3.13%
Sucks: 3.13%

1 review, 26 user ratings


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Giant
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by Rob Gonsalves

"It sure isn't small."
3 stars

An aptly named melodrama based on Edna Ferber's novel, which probably goes unread today except by hardcore James Dean fans (copies of the book are on display at the James Dean Gallery in his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana).

Dean has a supporting role as Jett Rink (sounds like George Lucas named him), a lackadaisical cowhand who inherits a small patch of land from Mercedes McCambridge and strikes oil. Giant spans several decades, so we get to watch Dean wearing old-age makeup and trying to act fiftyish (to be fair, the guy was only 24). Despite the fact that Dean's climactic, drunken speech to an empty hall was dubbed by another actor (a technical glitch rendered his dialogue inaudible, and Dean, being dead by then, couldn't do ADR), Dean was posthumously nominated for an Oscar.

Aside from that speech, Dean has no James Dean Moments, the sort of daring, almost-but-not-quite-overacting his fans cherish. Dean shows some range as Jett he's not "misunderstood," just looked down upon (until he gets rich) yet the role as written gives him very little to project. Jett seems to symbolize how industrial growth disturbs those entrenched in "the old ways," but the character doesn't really go anywhere. Here's James Dean in his last film, playing a part that could easily have been cut out without damaging the story much.

As for the movie itself, it's 201 minutes about acceptance: northerners should accept the way Texans live; men should accept women's right to join in political conversations; whites should accept Mexicans; macho men should accept their sons who want to become doctors instead of taking over the ranch; Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson should accept having a son who grows up to be Dennis Hopper.

Entertaining in a big-movie way, but very, very long; many scenes are expendable (one scene I wouldn't cut is the Thanksgiving scene with the three little kids crestfallen at the idea of eating Pedro, the turkey they'd befriended).

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=633&reviewer=416
originally posted: 03/11/07 22:33:28
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User Comments

5/16/13 PAUL SHORTT WELL MADE, ENTERTAINING VARIATION ON THE TRADITIONAL WESTERN, WITH GOOD PERFORMANCES 4 stars
4/07/11 abby i miss pedro :( 3 stars
4/18/10 fartvenugen If by epic you mean epically awful, you are correct. 2 stars
1/24/10 art THE HIGHLIGHT IS WHERE ROCK GET'S THE TAR BEATEN OUT OF HIM BY THAT FRY-COOK! 1 3 stars
7/21/08 the dork knight More proof that James Dean is overrated. Otherwise, quite good 4 stars
4/04/07 Garry Crowfoot BIGGER THAN TEXAS ITS SELF , WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AS DEANS LAST WORK. 5 stars
10/30/05 Mike One of Taylor's best perfromances. Rock's best ever. Dean is superb. 5 stars
8/22/04 ranger4e Ok movie 3 stars
7/29/03 luke lemaster James dean is the only thing that makes this movie worth watching. 5 stars
11/02/02 pete peterson excellent 5 stars
10/08/02 Bobbalooey SUCKS MAJOR COCKASAUR! 1 stars
4/02/02 Bret Wedemeyer This movie has been one of my favorites since I was ten years old! It's a classic! 5 stars
2/07/02 R.W. Welch Lengthy but entertaining rangeland saga, well written and directed. 4 stars
1/15/02 Andrew Carden Quite Good, but A Little Bit Over-Hyped. 4 stars
1/15/02 Rina Keaton Excellent, but a little heavy-handed. Rock Hudson was superb! 4 stars
8/07/01 Tracy A total surprise; I had expected to loathe it. It had some genuinely funny moments. 4 stars
7/26/01 Elvisfan Frigging horrible...just kidding! Rock, Liz, Jimmy..I'm in awe of all three 5 stars
6/27/01 Merle Hill It was all about Dean for me.He was the best. 5 stars
6/18/01 Noor Mohideen (noormoh@pd.jaring.my) A Great Film. Rock Hudson was Excellent as Bick Benedict. 5 stars
6/04/01 Gordon Bick's having to square his earliest dreams for his son with his kids' choices is "choice." 4 stars
10/22/00 John Great Movie 4 stars
10/08/00 AB Goldberg If only Dean had lived to see a long career, imagine the wonderful work he would have done. 5 stars
3/08/00 Big Johnson James Dean's best movie 5 stars
2/29/00 LEAH JAMES DEAN WAS AWESOME IN GIANT - THE "TEAPARTY" SCENE IS UTTERLY CHARMING!!! 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob An overrated film, with great performances. 3 stars
8/25/98 Pete Interesting, but sprawling epic. A bit too long. Good perfs. Dean was amazing. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Oct-1956 (G)
  DVD: 31-May-2005

UK
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