Directed by George Stevens. The movie was adapted by Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat from the novel by Edna Ferber. It stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Mercedes McCambridge, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor and Earl Holliman. Giant was the last of James Dean’s three films as a leading actor. The film earned James Dean his second and last Academy Award nomination, of three starring roles. He died before Giant was released. Nick Adams was called in to do some voice-over dubbing for Dean’s role.
Giant, to me, is the second greatest historical drama movie all time, next only to GONE WITH THE WIND. The production was flawless,the story was riveting and the acting was some of the best ever done by Hudson, Taylor and Dean, not to mention the secondary roles.
The lead character, Jett Rink, was based upon the life of Texas oilman Glenn McCarthy (1908 – 1988). The real Glenn McCarthy was an Irish immigrant who would later be associated with a symbol of opulence in Houston, Texas: the Shamrock Hotel, which opened on St. Patrick’s Day, 1949. It was the highest grossing film in Warner Bros. history until the release of Superman (1978).
Giant is number 2 behind To Kill a Mockingbird as my favorite film ever.