is a 1956 Epic Movie
starring Elizabeth Taylor
, Rock Hudson
and James Dean
. Based on the novel by Edna Ferber, the film is more famous for being James Dean's last role
(some of his lines had to be dubbed).
The film is about the Benedict family, beginning when Texan Rancher
Jordan "Bick" Benedict heads east to Maryland to purchase War Winds
from Dr. Lynnton and ends up marrying his daughter, socialite Leslie. They start life at Bick's ranch, Reatta, and have three children. Leslie has a hard time dealing with the sexism and racism
of Bick and bascially everyone around her, she leaves Bick for a time but they eventually reconcile. After Bick's sister dies, she leaves Jett Rink a small plot of land, which he refuses to sell to Bick even though he's offered twice its value
. He then strikes oil
, which eventually happens around the region with even Bick getting rich off oil after he swore to keep the ranch only cattle. Bick's attitudes are put to the test when his kids grow up and not only do none of them want to run the ranch after him, but his only son Jordy marries, Juana, a Mexican-American.
The movie culminates in the opening of Jett Rink's hotel and airport, and at the big party
Jordy tries to fight Jett Rink when he finds out that him and his wife were only invited so that Jett's employees could deny them service. Bick almost gets into a fight with Jett away from the eyes of the people but he is so disgusted by the wasted, over the hill shell of a man that Jett has become that Bick simply tells him there's no point in beating him down - and later Jett passes out at his own party. Later on the way home, they stop at a diner and Bick gets into a fight
with the racist owner when he refuses to serve a Mexican family - while he doesn't win the fight he does reignite the love and respect of his wife.
This work contains example of the following tropes:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Luz's crush on Jett Rink, they later start dating.
- Actor Existence Failure: James Dean died before the film was edited so his speech (called the Last Supper) was dubbed by another actor.
- Awesome McCoolname: Jett Rink.
- Badass Grandpa: Bick at the end of the movie.
- Big Fancy House: Bick's house gets even bigger and fancier after they make money in oil.
- Broken Aesop: Bick's refusal to drill for oil on Reatta is this after he changes his mind when World War II comes around.
- California Doubling: Only in the case of the Maryland scenes, which were shot in Virginia. The exterior scenes at Reata were all shot in Texas.
- Cattle Drive
- Cool Horse: War Winds. Bick buying the horse was how he met Leslie and later, his sister Luz riding the horse with spurs led to her death.
- Cool Old Guy: Uncle Bawley, who could be also considered a piano player of sorts.
- Conspicuous Consumption: One lady comments about how she likes how Texas is a place to outspend everyone.
- Dead Girl Junior: Luz is named after her aunt, who died before she was born.
- Dirty Old Man: Jett Rink gows into one of these.
- Diner Brawl: As mentioned above, Bick gets into a fight with the racist diner owner when he refuses to serve a Mexican family.
- Everything Is Big in Texas
- Fainting: Leslie faints when she is overcome by the heat. This makes Luz disapprove of her more. But she bounces back and vows never to faint again. Bick is still concerned for her though.
- Foreshadowing: Luz doesn't like Leslie rising war Winds, saying she'd "fall off and break her neck", but this is what happens to Luz.
- Frontier Doctor Jordy becomes a modern version of one of these.
- It's All My Fault: Bick blames himself for Luz's death.
- Kick the Dog: Luz uses spurs on Leslie's horse, War Wings. It doesn't end well...
- Lad-ette: Bick's sister Luz, and later his daughter Luz II.
- Love at First Sight: Bick and Leslie and later Jordy and Juana.
- May-December Romance: Luz II is May and Jett Rink is December.
- Nice to the Waiter: Leslie is this to the Mexican servants, practically no body else is. At least at first. Bick is particularly rude to Jett.
- Noble Bigot: Pretty much everyone but Leslie at the start of the film, and it takes a long time for Bick to stop being this even after his son's marriage.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Plenty to choose from at the hotel opening scene.
- Playing Against Type: This was James Dean's attempt to stop being typecast after his roles as the angsty teenager in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause.
- Pretty in Mink: A number of furs are worn, including one rich lady sporting a huge white fox wrap.
- Scenery Porn
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Jett Rink refuses to sell the land Luz left him back to Bick for twice it's value, though it isn't explained why. Later on, this is Bick's reasoning for not allowing oil to be drilled at Reatta, but it's a Broken Aesop as they end up getting rich off oil during World War II
- Sleeping Single: Strangely, Bick and Leslie. Which is strange as they're Happily Married and are sharing a bed at first.
- Luz was at first going to put Bick and Leslie in rooms on the opposite sides of the house until Bick insisted on connecting bedrooms.
- Socialite: Leslie
- Shoot the Dog: Bick shoots War Winds after Luz's death, he says he's the one who had to do it.
- Stalker with a Crush: Jett Rink could be considered one of these towards Leslie, he later dates her daughter Luz.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Leslie calls Bick out on this when he patronislingly tells her that women shouldn't talk about business or politics, saying that he knew she had a mind of her own when they married.
- Team Dad
- Team Mom: Leslie, she wants the kids to be whatever they want.
- Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Jordy and Judy.