Il gigante (film di George Stevens del 1956)

IL GIGANTE è un film drammatico del 1956 diretto da George Stevens con Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson e James Dean. Proprio verso la fine delle riprese, avvenne l’incidente d’auto che portò alla prematura scomparsa di James Dean. Tratto dal romanzo di Edna Ferber, nonostante numerose candidature all’Oscar la pellicola di Stevens si aggiudicò solo una statuetta, consegnata proprio al regista. In tempi recenti è stato inserito al posto numero 81 tra i migliori 100 film americani di sempre.

Il “gigante” a cui fa riferimento il titolo è lo stato del Texas, dove si svolge gran parte del racconto. Jordan Benedikt, ricco allevatore texano, sposa Leslie Lynnton, una bella e scaltra ragazza del Maryland. Dopo alcuni anni difficili, causati dal cambiamento di stile di vita di Leslie e dal rapporto che essa ha con Luz, la sorella di Jordan, quest’ultima morirà cadendo da cavallo. La coppia supera questa impasse, anche grazie ai 3 figli che avranno: 2 femmine e un maschio. Jett Rink, un bracciante dei Benedikt, riceve un pezzo di terra in eredità da Luz e ne saprà sfruttare appieno le potenzialità, visto che di lì a poco ne sgorgherà il petrolio. Jett diventerà molto ricco e potente e riuscirà a tenere sotto scacco la famiglia Benedikt. Nel frattempo gli scontri fra Leslie e Jordan saranno sempre più frequenti ed i loro figli, crescendo e divenendo adulti, faranno le loro scelte.

IL GIGANTE è da considerarsi un vero kolossal del cinema hollywoodiano, sia per la durata di oltre 3 ore, ma soprattutto per la struttura sapientemente romanzata da tutta la troupe. James Dean reciterà per l’ultima volta lasciando non solo un grande vuoto artistico e umano, ma anche delle domande su come sarebbe stato il suo futuro nel mondo del cinema.

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