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Directed by George Stevens

United States 1956 201 mins.

Featuring James Dean in the final role of his mercurial career, Giant transcends it’s myth-laden reputation to be a key film of the mid-50s. A grand, sprawling epic, it  follows two generations of a Texas cattle family in the years leading up to and following World War II. Rock Hudson plays patriarch Bick opposite Elizabeth Taylor as his new bride Leslie, leading the family ranch through an oil boom against the backdrop of institutional discrimination, here focusing on Mexican immigrants employed by the family. Dean’s Jett Rink troubles the waters while working for Bick’s sister when he becomes enamored with Leslie—leading to inevitable tragedy. In addition to the excellent performances by the three leads, the film builds room for several key supporting roles, including turns by Dennis Hopper, Mercedes McCambridge, Sal Mineo, and Carroll Baker.