Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Like a 3 hour episode of Dallas
on 12 June 2008
George Stevens' 3 hour epic of Texan life strives so hard for serious statements that it ends up as a 3 hour episode of Dallas. Dealing with the two men who love Liz Taylor - stud rock Hudson, and the loner rancher who strikes it rich with oil (James Dean) - the film attempts to conduct some sort of attack on rampant materialism, as well as offering an elegy for the olden times.....
But the pace is plodding as the story tries to cover too many characters. The best character is the fine landscape photography; and Dean's surprisingly convincing portrayal of a middle-aged man- Jett Rink. Unlike Rebel Without a Cause and to a lesser extent East of Eden, Giant is not so much a James Dean film, rather than one in which he plays a leading role rather than being centre stage. And as such, it does give us some insight into how his career might have progressed if he hadn't died during production. (He'd finished shooting all his scenes and was going to make Somebody Up There Likes Me next, when he had his fatal car accident. Nick Adams, uncredited, looped some of his dialogue.)
This dvd is loaded with extras. On Side B of Disc One is a documentary made in 2001, George Stevens: Filmmakers Who Knew Him, a set of interviews with directors old and new who had worked with Stevens. The interviewees, each of whom has a separate chapter to himself, are Warren Beatty, Frank Capra, Rouben Mamoulian, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Alan J. Pakula, Antonio Vellani (associate producer of The Greatest Story Ever Told), Robert Wise and Fred Zinnemann. Although it's a tribute to a famous late director, as quite a few of these men have since passed on themselves, or in Wise's case still alive but very elderly, this is a valuable record of them as well. This featurette is superb.