Giant by Don Graham
Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Edna Ferber, and the Making of a Legendary American Film

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Stevens won an Academy Award; Hudson and Dean got best actor nominations. A readable, delightful work of film/cultural history for movie fans.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A larger-than-life narrative of the making of the classic film, marking the rise of America as a superpower, the ascent of Hollywood celebrity, and the flowering of Texas culture as mythology.

Featuring James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor, Giant is an epic film of fame and materialism, based around the discovery of oil at Spindletop and the establishment of the King Ranch of south Texas. Isolating his star cast in the wilds of West Texas, director George Stevens brought together a volatile mix of egos, insecurities, sexual proclivities, and talent. Stevens knew he was overwhelmed with Hudson’s promiscuity, Taylor’s high diva-dom, and Dean’s egotistical eccentricity. Yet he coaxed performances out of them that made cinematic history, winning Stevens the Academy Award for Best Director and garnering nine other nominations, including a nomination for Best Actor for James Dean, who died before the film was finished.

In this compelling and impeccably researched narrative history of the making of the film, Don Graham chronicles the stories of Stevens, whose trauma in World War II intensified his ambition to make films that would tell the story of America; Edna Ferber, a considerable literary celebrity, who meets her match in the imposing Robert Kleberg, proprietor of the vast King Ranch; and Glenn McCarthy, an American oil tycoon; and Errol Flynn lookalike with a taste for Hollywood. Drawing on archival sources Graham’s Giant is a comprehensive depiction of the film’s production showing readers how reality became fiction and fiction became cinema.

 

About Don Graham

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DON GRAHAM is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine and the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also past president of the Texas Institute of Letters and the author of the critically acclaimed biography of Audie Murphy, No Name on the Bullet. Among Graham's other works are Giant Country: Essays on Texas and Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas.
 
Published April 10, 2018 by St. Martin's Press. 326 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Dec 24 2017

Stevens won an Academy Award; Hudson and Dean got best actor nominations. A readable, delightful work of film/cultural history for movie fans.

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