Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GIANT is on TCM tonight

Rock was just hoping beyond hope that James's fist was pumping on something else of Rock's, I bet. 

This evening, TCM will air James Dean's third and final movie, GIANT.

Giant is based upon the book of the same name by Edna Ferber, and if you are like me and get very tired of the Texans who act like their shit don't stink, then this is a movie for you.

In a nutshell, Rock Hudson marries a non Texan (Elizabeth Taylor) and takes her home to his cattle ranch where she meets his insane sister, Mercedes McCambridge.   Liz discovers that her new husband and his sister treat the Latino and Latinas like they are children.    Liz spend the rest of the movie dealing with her husband, his people, an economic change and a social transformation, which comes at the end.

James Dean plays the man that Rock treats like shit, and then Rock sucks up to.  No idea who sucked who on the set, but Rock would have liked to have a bit of James Dean, me thinks.

While it may not be good Texas - and Texan's hated this movie when it came out - it is great Hollywood.

My only complaint is that in writing the script the gave the weight of Elizabeth's confident to Jane Withers, who plays Vashti Hakey as a female oaf.  In the book, Vashti is a bit of a Texas stereotype written as a socially awkward woman who grew up thinking she was going to marry Rock Hudson's character. Also in the book is Adarene Clinch, the sensible Texas good wife Elizabeth's confident.  In the movie they are one in the same, but buffoonish.  (Adarene Clinch gets demoted to a walk on role that was played by Mary Ann Edwards.)

Giant's interior set is also something of an icon - the grand stair case leading to twin galleries on the second floor.  In Giant, the stair's are adorned with a large window.  When the same staircase was reused for the interior of the of the VanTrapp mansion, it was changed from brown to gray, and the window replaced by the Villa's front door. Interesting how they reuse things.

Still, its fine cinema and worth while, especially when Rock Hudson's Bick Benedict becomes his own man at the end of the film.

1 comment:

  1. Love GIANT! I remember in the 1980's when my mother introduced me to this movie and revealed that there was truly nothing new under the sun. I realized that Dallas was probably Giant, the next generation.