Giant (1956)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

George Stevens' sprawling adaptation of Edna Ferber's best-selling novel successfully walks a fine line between potboiler and serious drama for its 210-minute running time, making it one of the few epics of its era that continues to hold up as engrossing entertainment across the decades. Giant opens circa 1922 in Maryland, where Texas rancher Jordan "Bick" Benedict (Rock Hudson) has arrived to buy a stallion called War Winds from its owner, Dr. Horace Lynnton (Paul Fix). But much as Bick loves … More

Rating: G
Genre: Western, Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Fred Guiol, Ivan Moffat
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 10, 2003
Warner Bros. Pictures


as Leslie Benedict

as Bick Benedict

as Jett Rink

as Luz Benedict

as Luz Benedict II

as Vashti Snythe

as Uncle Bawley

as Angel Obregon II

as Jordan Benedict III

as Mrs. Horace Lynnton

as Dr. Horace Lynnton

as Sir David Karfey

as Bob Dace

as Pinky Snythe

as Whiteside

as Lacey Lynnton

as Bale Clinch

as Adarene Clinch

as Gabe Target

as Angel Obregon I

as Mrs. Obregon

as Dr. Guerra

as Lorna Lane

as Watts

as Harper

as Dr. Borneholm

as Mary Lou Decker

as Verne Decker

as Clay Hodgins

as Clay Hodgins Sr.

as Essie Lou Hodgins

as Bartender

as Assistant Manager

as Young Woman

as Toastmaster

as General's Wife

as General

as Governor

as Governor's Wife

as Mrs. Sarge

as Jordan (age 4)

as Luz as an Infant

as Angel as an Infant

as Angel (age 5)

as Judy II (age 2)

as Jordy IV (age 2)
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Giant

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Giant

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7)

An excellent film which registers strongly on all levels, whether it's in its breathtaking panoramic shots of the dusty Texas plains; the personal, dramatic impact of the story itself, or the resounding message it has to impart.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Top Critic

Much of it is awful, but it's almost impossible not to be taken in by the narrative sprawl.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Stevens' sprawling epic of Texan life, taken from Edna Ferber's novel, strives so hard for Serious Statements that it ends up as a long yawn.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A real movie is big, grand, magnificent and regales you with all the power that movies can wield upon a viewer's imagination and spirit. George Stevens' 1956 production, Giant, is a real movie.

June 14, 2003
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Giant, for all its complexity, is a strong contender for the year's top-film award.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

At 202 minutes, it's just too long, yet it has the pull of nostalgia (if you're of a certain age) and sustains its emotional impact as a portrait of a durable marriage.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Giant

A film that lives up to its title, truly grand in scope and (unfortunately) in length. Though it's beautiful to look at and though the acting - particularly by James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor - is quite accomplished, many scenes don't do a lot to advance the plot, and many subplots come off as extraneous. I liked that this was a sort of love letter to Texas, a take-it-or-leave-it account of the frontier spirit and the state's growing pains, and the concern for what happens when that trail-blazing mentality becomes cold competition two or three generations down the line. The film was setting up to be a tragedy, and almost delivered in a way that would've made American Shakespeare of it, but it opted for the anti-racism angle in the end; though I'm sure that broke ground in 1956, assessing it from a story standpoint instead of a social one, the ending - in fact, the last half-hour or more - gets away from what the story was about: ambition. The film is in a way a lot like its central character, falling flat on its face in the end due to its grandiose objectives, but to sustain my attention for over three hours, it had to have done something right. Just compelling enough to not turn off, and something you should make yourself watch, but it's wishy-washy for an epic and it's just not all that it's cracked up to be.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


George Stevens is lucky he made this when he did, since I doubt he'd have been able to get away with making a film that favored storytelling over running time in this day and age.

Yeah, that's right, this sucker is 210 gloriously excessive minutes of soapy melodrama on a grand scale, covering the lives of a few generations of rivalry and love between old money Texas cattle barons and new money Texas oil tycoons during the early 20th Century. It touches upon an interesting bit of Texas history, and deals with issues of racism, classism, and female independence as well, although these last three issues don't come as revolutionary like they did in 1956.

This is a sprawling film, and, though it does have some really good moments, I hesitate to call it a classic. It's overlong (in places), really soppy and melodramatic, a bit dated, and doesn't have the weight it could. I sure as hell dug the production aspects though, that's for sure. This sucker as great cinematography, wonderful sets and costumes, decent music, and some excellent shooting locations.

Oh yeah, and the performances are pretty decent, too. You've got young Elizabeth Taylor putting in some solid work, a decent turn from Rock Hudson, and James Dean in his final film (he died a few days after he finished shooting his scenes) knocking it out of the park in a very histrionic performance as the rugged rogue. There's also young Dennis Hopper and scene stealing Mercedes McCambridge.

All in all, a decent film, but nothing truly remarkable beyond the surface. It's definitely deserving of the title epic though, even if it is fluff.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


A brave, and epic film for its time. You cannot help but be amazed by its bold message, it's strong acting, and the amount of issues he tackles in this film.

Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Giant Quotes

– Submitted by Claudia S (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Giant on our Movie forum!