Giant (Movie Review)

Giants are creatures or individuals of extraordinary size. While the term is most frequently applied to extremely tall humans, animals, and objects also qualify. Derived from Latin giganteus (meaning large or great), the term can also be applied to objects or events that dwarf others. Giants appear often throughout mythology, folklore, and literature and can either be depicted as brutish and violent or heroic figures depending on how the image is drawn.

Giant is a multigenerational western/generational saga adapted from Edna Ferber’s novel of the same name and depicting familial evolution as it unfolds alongside shifting social and economic attitudes at the turn of the 20th century America. While its soap operatic family drama can be gripping, it also addresses significant social themes subtly; Leslie Howard’s slow acknowledgement for Mexican ranch workers echoes American society’s changing views towards ethnicities during postwar America.

George Stevens’ adaptation of Texas-sized novel with an expansive budget and three-hour-and-17-minute running time is nothing short of astounding. Combining excellent writing, stunning technical elements, fabulous direction and outstanding performances with its prodigious length (despite never feeling that long!), George Stevens achieved remarkable results; especially thanks to Rock Hudson’s outstanding portrayal as Bick (an Oscar nomination earned).