Classic Thanksgiving scene in 'Giant'

Video link. People who enjoy classic films and/or getting angry might enjoy this moment featuring the resplendent Liz Taylor in the classic 1956 film Giant. It has different significance for everyone, so please share what it means to you in the comments.


  1. My favourite American Thanksgiving scene in a movie is still the one the summer camp play from Addams Family Values.

  2. From a filmmaking point of view, it’s interesting how the pace of these scenes feels sloooow compared to modern movies and TV. I like the slower pace, it lets you look around at the grass, the fence, the walls of the house, the people’s clothes, the racial inequalities… all kinds of things.

  3. Children are usually upset when they figure out that what they are eating was once alive. Its only through conditioning that we are taught that its OK to eat animals. Do you remember when you figured that out? Does any of your friends or family?

    1. That’s a condition of urban/suburban living in the western world. Rural and farming communities have a closer connection to the food they eat. Children around the world regularly and happily slaughter animals for food whenever possible.

      And this clip tells me, “You’ve done the right thing not having children. And young Liz Taylor was so smoking hot.”

  4. Everything else aside – animals, racial injustice, patriotic flagwaving – when the youngest starts absolutely blubbering, literally overflowering with tears, my heart just breaks. What in the world did they do to that poor child actor to make her cry like that?

    1. “when the youngest starts absolutely blubbering, literally overflowering with tears, my heart just breaks”

      people are so different. i immediately turned the video off and felt for my vasectomy scar, to be sure.

  5. I’ve never seen that before, but that was awesome. The snot-dripping was a brilliant bit of acting from the youngest girl. I’ll bet you that audience focus-group testing makes putting that much child wailing into a movie now impossible.

    I’m told by my parents that at a certain age I regularly ruined their dinner with conversations like this:

    “What kind of aminal was this?”

    “It was a cow.”

    “The poor cow. The poor, poor cow…”

    1. @anon: while Dennis Hopper was in the film, he played Jordan “Jordy” Benedict III, the reluctant heir. It was his breakout role, and he was 20 when it came out.

    2. Actually, it’s not. Dennis Hopper was a (grown) young man when he was in Giant. Maybe you just mean that it’s his character as portrayed by a child actor.

  6. Damn. Why’s the turkey gotta be Mexican?

    Although I was aware of it, I’ve never seen Giant. That scene was a hoot on many levels. My Mother told me a story of being the only one of her brothers and sisters to realize that the family rabbit did not escape and it was not chicken that they were having for dinner. She just had some vegetables that night.

    1. > Damn. Why’s the turkey gotta be Mexican?

      Because one of the main themes of the movie is the racism against Mexican-Americans in Texas in the 50’s. In that context, this scene is showing the older generations ability to ignore the humanity of Mexicans while the naive younger generation hasn’t learned to ignore what should be obvious. Pedro isn’t just Mexican … he’s Mexicans!

  7. the way you said “getting angry”, I was thinking through the entire clip, “when does the whupping start?”

  8. I enjoy getting angry, but I found this clip amusing.

    Kids: so emotional, so innocent. . .so dumb.

    Nice house with fireplace and cow skull and a turkey all to myself? Heaven. Why so glum? Figure he’d relish the peace and quiet. . .

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. I got a kick out of this for a very different reason. I’ve known for years that “Giant” was filmed next door (and I mean literally next door), but I’ve never gotten around to watching it. As soon as I saw the mountains in that opening bit, I knew for sure that it was filmed right here. :)

  10. At first I thought I was gonna hear ET screaming about “little no neck monsters!” but that’s in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

  11. My 5yo: “Dad, why don’t you eat meat?”
    My 9yo: “How would *you* like it if someone shot your best friend and ate her?”


    No, my best friend is not a cow. It’ll be interesting to see if any of my kids decide to be vegetarians.

  12. When she was a child, a friend of mine had very mean grandmother. After a trip to a farm/petting zoo where she fell in love with a lamb, my friend was helping grandma wash the dinner dishes. Grandma turned to my friend and said “You liked that little lamb, eh?” When my friend smiled and nodded, grandma said “Well, that’s what we just had for dinner!”

  13. I have to watch Giant again, it has been a few years.

    I was struck by how moved the manservant was by the children’s demonstration. I started to wonder what was going through his mind. He appreciated their feelings for poor Pedro. And was probably sad to know that in a few years these kids would be completely out of touch with their capacity for such feelings.

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is more of a vehicle for Elizabeth Taylor’s smokiness.

  14. when my little sister was very young she would ask what animal we were eating for dinner, and then be very happy and excited to eat the animal all the time talking about the animal. No one was pushing this behavior she just really liked eating animals, especially sea food, I’ve never seen a little kid love seafood so much. My younger brother was the opposite, he would cry if anyone mentioned the species of what we were eating.

  15. Using logic with children- doesn’t work. Reading a letter to them doesn’t work either. Ironic, the children are crying about a slain turkey while wearing an Indian headdress.

  16. No amount of robotics, at least in my lifetime, could ever replace the ever-efficient and compliant

  17. No amount of robotics, at least in my lifetime, could ever replace the ever-efficient and compliant

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