A Time of Change

Giant is the late James Dean’s third and final acting performance. Sadly, Dean only made three movies in his short life. Unlike his other two performances, Dean actually doesn’t star in Giant. It actually stars Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. James Dean is much more of a supporting player this time. Giant is a western epic that’s 3 hours and 21 minutes long. The length didn’t bother me, because the story was interesting. Giant takes place over the course of several years, following the love story of socialite Leslie Lynnton and Texas rancher Jordan “Bick” Benedict Jr. Their entire lives are depicted including: when they meet, get married, have children, and when their children have children. I was actually amazed at how ahead of its time the movie was. Themes of female empowerment, racism towards hispanics, and the cost of power are all explored (bare in mind that this came out in 1956). James Dean plays Jett Rink, a surly ranch hand who taps oil and becomes a millionaire. Some of it had to be shot with a stand in due to his death the year before. He was also posthumously nominated for a performance that included old age makeup (the closest thing to him aging). Giant may not be the most memorable James Dean movie, but like East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, it’s a landmark movie that everyone should see.


Jett drives Leslie around

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