Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
A 60th Anniversary Screening of GIANT (1956) with a discussion with Academy governor Gregory Nava and actress Elsa Cárdenas
A part of the George Stevens Lecture Series
An epic clash between Texas cattle barons and oil tycoons with stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean, Giant was also the first commercial film to take on prejudice and racial intolerance toward Mexican-Americans. Its epic scope and iconic cast overcame boycott threats and censorship attempts. It earned George Stevens his second Oscar for directing and the film earned nine additional Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Adapted from Edna Ferber’s multi-generational novel, Giant captures the breadth of Texas history in the early part of the 20th century, when racism courses just beneath the surface. Maryland transplant Leslie Benedict (Taylor) shocks her husband’s friends and family by treating local Mexican-Americans with warmth and humanity. Eventually, her son (Dennis Hopper) marries a Mexican-American woman (Elsa Cárdenas) and faces prejudice as he introduces her to Texas society.
Determined to make movies that were as historically and culturally accurate as possible, Stevens often conducted extensive research with the writers of his films during preproduction. What he ultimately achieved in Giant was a film that masterfully merged the two major trends of 1950s filmmaking – the big-screen epic and the social problem film. DCP courtesy of Warner Bros. 197 min.