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Giant 50th Anniversary Screening


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Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend a wonderful fiftieth anniversary screening of Giant at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I'd never before attended an Academy screening, so I didn't know what to expect. The film was presented in the beautiful Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, and the lobby was filled with lobby cards, one sheets, and still photographs from the set. At 7:00 PM they started with a new documentary about the celebration that took place this July in Marfa, Texas. The next short was an oddly out of the place Columbia cartoon about some kid who's voice emitted "bong bong" sounds. Quite odd. Then, at 7:30, the real treat started. Carroll Baker, who was unable to attend, provided a warm taped message with some funny stories. Then, to my complete surprise, three of the five remaining stars appeared on stage: Earl Holliman, Noreen Nash (Mrs. James Whitmore), and Jane Withers. In addition, Bill Blast, author and friend of James Dean was on the panel. There was a moderator who asked the questions, and all the panel members had fascinating stories. Everyone though Jane Withers was a riot. She was a ball of fire and had the audience in her palm. The film started at 8:00 promptly. Unfortunately, the print was mediocre, partially victim from the poor WarnerColor negative. However, nothing could detract from the magic of this great film. I'd seen Giant many times before, but never had quite inhaled all of its might. It was a night I shall never forget.

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