Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Good "Bad" Movie...Giant

While channel surfing the other night, I ran across one of my favorite "good bad" movies on TCM. Giant, with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson is a three hour epic that illustrates the changing culture in Texas as oil became "liquid gold" and people who were ranchers became oil tycoons.  It also demonstrates the culture clash between Mexican immigrant workers and the ranchers.  Although I suspect this film is filled with stereotypes of the immigrant workers as well as the "good ol' boy" ranchers, it does provide a good illustration of prejudice. When Jordan Benedict III marries a Hispanic lady and gives birth to Jordan Benedict IV, the patriarch, is forced to meet his own inherent attitudes and beliefs. Also, there is a lot of "ye haws!" going on throughout the movie, which I doubt is an expression Texans regularly use.
    (Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) and Jett (James Dean) in "Giant", 1956)

The beautiful Elizabeth Taylor is Leslie Benedict, the strong willed  wife of Bick (Jordan II).  Her more liberated ideas and open mindedness sometimes clash with her husband's more traditional way of "how things have always been".  The clothing is very ranch stylish--Leslie wears suede skirts and button up blouses that look comfortable and realistic for working on the dusty ranch.While watching the movie on high definition television, the texture of the costumes as well as the colors created a mood for each scene.
Jordan "Bick" Benedict (Rock Hudson) & Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) in "Giant".

Still, for a fun retro movie night, Giant is a visually appealing, fun choice.