James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson's 1956 Movie Giant Was Filmed in Marfa, Texas

·2 min read

Calling all movie buffs. If you're a fan of classic movies, you've likely seen the 1956 drama, Giant, that centers around the life of Texas cattle ranchers and what happens when one of them strikes oil and gets rich. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, and Rock Hudson, you can watch the trailer below.

As you may have gathered from the trailer or having seen the movie, the sprawling state of Texas also plays quite the role in the Golden Age of Hollywood film. "This is Texas. Mighty colossus of the Southwest. A land of infinite variety and violent contrasts, a land where today's ranch hand can become tomorrow's multimillionaire," the trailer begins. And the setting for such an ode to Texas was none other than the west Texas town of Marfa, which has enjoyed surging levels of interest in the past few decades thanks to its art scene.

James Dean Filming "Giant"
James Dean Filming "Giant"

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The epic was filmed on Ryan Ranch, just outside of downtown Marfa, which, as NPR 's All Things Considered shared in a 2011 piece commemorating "50 Years of Movie Magic" is "a sea of rippling wheat-colored grass more than 1 1/2 times the size of Manhattan."

As the segment reported, Ryan Ranch owner Clay Evans was 19 when the film crew and actors arrived on his family's ranch. "Aw, I remember Elizabeth Taylor," Evans says of the then 23-year-old star. "She cussed a lot and we thought she was good lookin' but we didn't pay much attention to her." As the movie shows, cowboys will be cowboys.

Meanwhile, watching that trailer has us so ready to travel vicariously to the vast acreage of western Texas and to watch Giant over the weekend. Texas, romance, suspense...what more could you want out of a holiday weekend flick? Oh, right: James Dean.