Based on Edna Ferber's controversial novel, "Giant" is a sweeping family saga of jealousy, racism and the clash of cultures set in Texas during the days of the oil boom. Elizabeth Taylor portrays Leslie Benedict, a strong and progressive woman from Maryland, who, new to Texas, marries wealthy rancher Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson). She is socked by the racial bigotry of the White Texans against the local people of Mexican descent and acts to stem the patterns of injustice. A dirt-poor cowby Jett Rink (James Dean) discovers oil on a smal plot of land, and while he uses his vat, new wealth to buy all the land surrounding the Benedict ranch, the Benedict's disagreement over prejudice fuels conflict that runs across generations. In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." (Gary Reber)
Special features include previously released commentary by Director George Stevens Jr., Screenwriter Ivan Moffat and critic Stephen Farber and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.
The 1.66:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on 35 mm film stock and sourced from a 4K restoration master Digital Intermediate format from the original camera negatives and protection RGB separation master positives. The restoration was in collaboration with The Film Foundation with special thanks to George Stevens Jr., Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg. While this sounds as if the picture quality should be superb, the result is in the range of excellent for its period much is mediocre quality. The imagery is clean though film grain is visible throughout, though generally not objectionable. The color palette is inconsistent in fidelity with at times over saturation and at other times generally realistic. Given the environment of the dusty Texas landscape the colors tend to favor brownish hues and other earth tones. In scenes in Maryland, the green foliage is lush. Leslie's black stallion is perfectly hued. Black crush appears during some of the darkest segments. The Benedict mansion's interiors exhibit reddish hues. The hotel party scenes look lavishly hued with excellent contrast. Hues are rich and warm. Flesh tones generally appear natural though at times a bit over saturated. Contrast is acceptable. Resolution is acceptable as well and at times reveal good detail., such as on clothing patterns. But backgrounds are rendered soft and often appear blurry. Overall the appearance is dated but fans should be pleased with the presentation of this film classic. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 soundtrack was sourced from a 1995 protection copy of the Original Magnetic Mono soundtrack. Audio quality is poor, The sound is muddied and compressed. Bass rumbles deep when Jett strikes oil and his well shoots sky high. Dialogue is intelligible and generally natural sounding. While there is no distracting hiss, overall, this is an undistinguished dated soundtrack. (Gary Reber)