This documentary explores how the making of a classic Hollywood movie transformed the lives of the residents of the small Texas town of Marfa. Giant (1955) starred a legendary trio – Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean – along with the young actor Earl Holliman and 16-year-old Elsa Cardenas, who portrayed Juana, the Mexican American girl who marries into the powerful Benedict ranching dynasty. Based on Edna Ferber’s controversial novel, Giant was a different kind of western, one that took an unflinching look at feminism and class divisions and one of the first films to explore the racial divide in the Southwest. Giant earned 10 Academy Award nominations, with a win for George Stevens as Best Director.
Now, 60 years later, return to Marfa and explore the dramatic story behind the making of the film and its enduring legacy. The program combines interviews with the surviving cast and crew of Giant –including George Stevens Jr., Earl Holliman and Elsa Cardenas – with the recollections of residents who participated in the production, many of whose lives mirrored the controversial themes of racism and segregation explored in the film.