If you’re like me you often wonder how a movie actually gets made. From the studio authorizing it, to it being written, budgeted, cast, filmed and released. It’s the same today as it was in the 50’s. And now author Don Graham peels back the curtain on the Oscar Nominated movie Giant in his new book titled Giant, in stores Tuesday, April 10th, from St. Martin’s Press.
Jack Warner who was the legendary head of Warner Bros. pictures knew that Giant would be a hit. The rights were secured from author Edna Ferber and given to famed director George Stevens, He was given a budget and told to stick to it. Of course everyone that knew George knew that was possible. He would take his time and do it his way regardless. The book goes into detail on the script being written and edited down (and what a process that was)., The casting of the movie and who some of the big names were that wanted to be in it and how Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean got their roles (and also bios on each of them). The filming in Hollywood and on location. The fights and tension on set. Liz and Rock became fast friends and soon would somewhat isolate themselves from everyone else. Rock hated James for always upstaging him and having an attitude.
Make no mistake of the filming of this movie. It was long and hard. They filmed in a small Texas town where there was nothing going on. Reports on a potential romance between Rock and Elizabeth were rumored. Even though Rock was gay (they did everything they could to squelch them) and rumors that James Dean was gay or bisexual, it didn’t stop the gossip. Being out then could be the kiss of death for an actor.
Author Don Graham has done a great job with his research on the making of the movie. With great stories (like James Dean being so nervous filming with Liz that he just took a piss right there on set), memos from the studio, who the actors really felt, when James Dean died before the film was released and how the film was received once released. Like I said earlier if you want to know the behind the scenes of filming a big movie, this is the book for you!
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