"Giant" in Marfa (05:43)
"Giant" was pushing the boundaries of what a Western movie could be. It was also a major success, receiving numerous Academy Award nominations. It was filmed in the small town of Marfa, Texas and transformed the town for the summer of 1955.
Casting and Adapting "Giant" (09:01)
Director George Stevens choose superstars Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor for the two main roles. After a long casting process, Stevens picked newcomer James Dean for the third main role. Stevens and the screenwriters worked carefully to adapt the controversial novel by Edna Ferber.
Women in Westerns (07:15)
Stevens wanted to portray the importance of Taylor's character as a woman in the west and in a Western movie. Taylor's character of Leslie raises many of the topics covered in the film, such as feminism and racism. Ferber spent two years living and researching the novel in Texas
Mexican-Americans in Texas (05:00)
Mexican-Americans were treated poorly, despite their importance to industry in Texas. Ferber outlined that in her novel. Stevens cast numerous Mexican-Americans extras in the movie and portrayed the racism and discrimination they faced.
Set of "Giant" (04:58)
Stevens opened the set of "Giant" to everyone so they could watch scenes be filmed. There was no segregation as there was in town. Marfa residents got used to seeing the cast and crew in town.
Racism in Marfa and "Giant" (10:18)
For years, teachers at the Mexican-American school in Marfa tried to stop the children from speaking Spanish. James Dean was friendly to the Mexican-American residents and extras, but his character was the catalyst for the racist themes.
Vision for "Giant" (08:37)
On Ferber's advice, Stevens met with Mexican-American residents in Marfa to learn about their history. Actors talk about Stevens methods of film making and Dean's dedication to the role.
Discrimination in "Giant" (09:36)
Dennis Hopper and Elsa Cardenas' characters get married and face discrimination from their families and community. Cardenas talks about her experience playing the Mexican character in the movie. Being from Mexico, she was unaware of the racism in Texas at the time.
End of "Giant" Filming (05:33)
"Giant" filmed for 44 days in Marfa, Texas and moved production to the Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles for three more months of filming. Stevens spent a year editing the film. During a weekend off, James Dean entered a car race and died.
Opening of "Giant" (06:20)
Warner Brothers was nervous about "Giant" being show for the first time. It opened with great success but was facing harsh criticism in Texas.
Lasting Impact of "Giant" (11:04)
"Giant" was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. Stevens won for Best Directing. Dean was posthumously nominated for Best Actor. Discrimination in Marfa has changed slowly over time.
Credits: Children of Giant (01:08)
Credits: Children of Giant
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