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Acclaimed director George Stevens' legendary rendition of the quintessential Western myth earned six Academy Award nominations and made Shane one of the classics of the American cinema. The story brings Alan Ladd, a drifter and retired gunfighter, to the assistance of a homestead family terrorized by a wealthy cattleman and his hired gun (Jack Palance). In fighting the last decisive battle, Shane sees the end of his own way of life. Mysterious, moody and atmospheric, the film is enhanced by the intense performances of its splendid cast.
Consciously crafted by director George Stevens as a piece of American mythmaking, Shane is on nearly everyone's shortlist of great movie Westerns. A buckskin knight, Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into the middle of a range war between farmers and cattlemen, quickly siding with the "sod-busters." While helping a kindly farmer (Van Heflin), Shane falls platonically in love with the man's wife (Jean Arthur, in the last screen performance of a marvelous career). Though the showdowns are exciting, and the story simple but involving, what most people will remember about this movie is the friendship between the stoical Shane and the young son of the farmers. The kid is played by Brandon De Wilde, who gives one of the most amazing child performances in the movies; his parting scene with Shane is guaranteed to draw tears from even the most stonyhearted moviegoer. And speaking of stony hearts, Jack Palance made a sensational impression as the evil gunslinger sent to clean house--he has fewer lines of dialogue than he has lines in his magnificently craggy face, but he makes them count. The photography, highlighting the landscape near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, won an Oscar. --Robert Horton
- One of the greatest!
This movie is an absolute classic. There are plenty of reviews here to read about Shane but I just wanted to let any younger people out there know that old movies are still just as enjoyable to watch.
Classics are classics for a reason, and will last forever in the cinema world.
Plus, you get to witness one of the greatest movie endings - still strapped with mystery. When Shane is riding off into the distance on his horse slumped over, you never find out if he is injured or dead.
Producers, critics and fans alike will never fully know....more info
- A Good Movie
I remember this movie from when I was very young and me and my mama watched it. A very good movie......more info
- Come Back!
Shane is more than a movie, it's a legend, supported by one of the finest casts of people ever assembled for one film, and directed by the master of the craft, George Stevens. Mr. Stevens also directed such notables as "Giant" ; "Hud" and he was in a class by himself at the time.
For me, there was only one critique - a real cowboy's horse never wore a bridle such as the one worn by Shane's horse and Tory comes home remarkably clean across his saddle after having been shot dead into a large mud puddle in front of the saloon, but oh, well. You can't have everything, and with this remarkable film, the viewer almost does, so that must be forgiven.
The story is based on fact, and a lot of that comes through starkly, harshly in spots, as intended in true artistry, muted in other places, since history always has many facets - such as the night scene in the corral between Starrett's family, Shane and Jack Wilson, the hired gun. You feel a certain amount of empathy for the hard-bitten old rancher, Riker, as he makes his last stand against the encroachment of a new people he sees as the only - and final - threat he hasn't been able to handle thus far - people with "rights".
This is, in fact, loosely based on the true story of the Johnson County Cattle War, Johnson County, Wyoming. The actual location of the history unfolded near Buffalo, but it was filmed in Jackson for visual effects, with the magnificent Tetons as the silent "supporting" actors in a film destined to become one of the best ever filmed. The Johnson County War was a cold-blooded attempt by big ranchers, some headquartered out of the country, with no interest in anything other than free range without fences - to drive out homesteaders, and the method didn't matter. The lawless action was actually supported by the Governor at that time. Once intimidation failed, hired guns (such as Jack Wilson) were brought in from Texas and Oklahoma, killers who took money for their work. Though modified by an excellent screen play (and a haunting, unforgettable soundtrack) to fit the story line of a good man gone bad coming full circle - trying to outdistance his past and begin anew, this cattle war is what the underlying current that powers the story is all about.
The immediate attraction between Shane and Marion, the homesteader's wife, is subtle, but electric. The glances at the table; the scene in the wagon as they prepare to head for town; the dance; all are masterfully done with no doubt left to the viewer as to the portent, though not a word is passed.
Jack Palance as Jack Wilson is as important as the character work done by Alan Ladd for his "Shane." His role rounded out the story, making it not only a great film, but one of a kind, all things taken separately. The "showdown" is poignant, gripping, sad and final for everyone, those still standing do not escape the outcome.
The last words spoken in the film by the little boy not only make chills come to your back, they will follow you forever, as will the last glimpse of Shane.
I had to write this review, though this is an old movie, for younger people who may be looking for something spectacular from out of the past - and because I have seen it over and over, like an old friend. I hope you enjoy it and look for the special beauty between the lines as well as in the superlative filmography....more info
- the best role alan ladd ever had
if you love westerns(and you must if your looking at this)then this is one movie that you must have in your collection. never before or after was alan ladd asc good as he is here. his shane wants to stop wandering and wants to settle down. he finds a homesteder in need of help and sets out to work for him. the ranchesr in the area want the farmers out and have hired a very nasty killer(jack palance in an oscar nomatited role,just dripping venom at every few words he speaks) so before long shane must strap on the guns again. as a counter to all this we get brandon de wilde as the little boy who thinks shane is so cool, even more cool than his father. this is a great one and is a must for your collection!...more info
- One Of The Greatest American Westerns
Alan Ladd portrays Shane, a retired gunslinger who wanders onto the Starrett ranch and befriends the family, eventually working for them. Right from the beginning the character of Shane comes across as a little strange and mysterious, and not much information is given as to his background or past affairs. The cast includes Van Heflin as Joe Starrett, Jean Arthur (in what is to be her final film appearance) plays his wife Marian and Brandon De Wilde as their little boy, Joey. The Starrett family alongside many others are living in the vicinity of a small community with no established law. In other words, trouble flows frequently and the peacemakers of the bunch find themselves and their property threatened by wild and stubborn cowboys, who harbor an intent to drive the settlers out of town.
Meanwhile, a cattleman named Ryker (Emile Meyer) wants to buy the Starrett property, but Joe is adamant in his decision and refuses. Leaving him with no alternative Ryker sends for an infamous gunslinger named Wilson to take care of Starrett, but Shane ultimately intervenes and saves the town from overpowering corruption.
"Shane" is a movie about conflict; about how one man, a stranger, can put a troubled town back on its feet and, at the same time, change the standing of one family. The showdown between Shane and Wilson, played by Jack Palance, is short, quick and to the point. Palance has such a strong presence as Wilson, yet all it takes is a single bullet. That scene looked and felt like a real showdown. It is a beautiful looking movie with wonderful cinematography, not to mention a story that really gets into your heart. Its classic ending really is what everyone says it is. Very few westerns get any better than this....more info
- Very touching Western
I'm not usually a fan of Westerns and I never saw Shane until today. I remember hearing about it and listening to countless people imitating the cries of Brandon de Wilde at the end so I thought it was something to avoid. Last week I found it on the shelf of the public library and only watched it when I had gone through the others.
So, you can imagine my amazement at how wonderful this was. It is hard for me to really figure out what makes it so good. Reading quite a few of the readers' reviews maybe helps. I think it is the mystery of Shane...We don't know his first name, we don't know anything about his past, except what we can glean from his few comments. He is the classic mysterious hero, almost like an angel, who appears when needed, sacrifices himself, and then leaves just as quickly.
Some people here have commented that Alan Ladd had a tormented life. I know very little about that, but I'm wondering if that quality brought something special to his performance that made it so gripping. Shane sublimates his feelings, from his first encounter with the bad guys in the bar, when they taunt him for buying soda pop, to the end...when he rides out of town with blood on him. It's not what he says, but what he doesn't say that gets you. Underneath that very calm and collected exterior we can imagine worlds of emotions.
George Steves handles all of this with great subtlety, which is part of the charm of the film. We see the attraction of the pretty wife to Shane and we see that he likes her too, but we aren't hit over the head with this. (At first I thought she might have known him before and was waiting for some revelation of a past romance.) Shane obviously notices her beauty and goodness and yet he stands by, silently, as he knows that he will never be able to touch her. He loves the child, too, and the whole community scene, but, as he says in the end, he can't change who he is. The joys of domestic life aren't for the gun slinger, even a reformed one. So, the whole heartbreaking romance of un-fulfilled love in its many forms is what gets you. In the end, too, we don't know what happens to him. Is he mortally wounded? A flesh wound? Where will he go? Again, it's the unknown that's part of the appeal of the film.
At first I thought Alan Ladd didn't look right for the part...maybe because the only other roles I'd seen him in were sort of city slicker or playboy types. He is small and with that blond hair and those pretty features, he certainly doesn't seem the type to "whoop" a whole tavern full of roughnecks. But it works...it's part of the improbable that makes the movie stick in your mind.
The setting of the Grand Tetons could not be more magnificent. Several people here who have read the book complained that the film didn't match the book; few do...but here we get what the book can't provide..the amazing shots of this gorgeous area.
I though Van Heflin was awfully good. His rough hewn sincerity was the perfect compliment to Ladd's smooth quietness. Brandon de Wilde was just perfect. I find child actors often really annoying but this performance was wonderful. Seeing the story through his eyes is another factor in the magic of the film. This is how kids look at things..larger than life heros.
I don't really get the appeal of Jean Arthur but she was ok here. Jack Palance gave a striking performance as the really really bad guy! It was fun to pick out Ellen Corby who later played Grandma in The Waltons and I think Nancy Kulp who later starred in some tv series was among the villagers, too. The dog was great and the deer was fantastic!
Alltogether a memorable movie, well worth watching over and over.
- One of the greatest westerns
Whenever a list of the greatest westerns is made, "Shane" is always on that list. Why? Simply because it is one of the best, most iconic, most memorable westerns ever made.
The story is beautiful in its simplicity: a mysterious gunman rides into town, taking up residence with a family. Soon, this gunman is called upon to rid the town of the villains who reside there. You've heard it before, right? But "Shane" is something different. The storyline may be basic, but how that story is told is what makes "Shane" one of the best films ever made.
Alan Ladd gives a career-best performance as Shane. One of cinema's great tragedies is how Ladd will be remembered solely for this movie, instead of having many more great films to his credit.
Jean Arthur's last role is probably her best. Brandon DeWilde, as young Joey, also demonstrates a mastery of acting at a young age.
Emile Meyer, as the town's lead villain, is particularly memorable. And Jack Palance (in a well-deserved Oscar-nominated role), as Meyer's hired gun, is one of the most evil, menacing characters in the history of film. Curiously, Jack Palance would win an Oscar years later for playing in another western, this time the comedy "City Slickers." Who can forget the one-armed pushups from his acceptance speech?
But perhaps the best performance in the film belongs to Van Heflin. His portrayal of Joe Starrett, the kind, decent, honest farmer who is the head of Shane's "family" is marvelous.
Victor Young's marvelous score (which somehow managed to miss out on an Oscar nomination) also deserves note. Young, one of the most prolific and talented of Hollywood's Golden Era film composers, was up for numerous Oscars throughout the course of his distinguished career. The catch was that he died before he had a chance to accept his one and only win.
George Stevens did a fine job of directing, as always - this is the man behind "A Place in the Sun," "Gunga Din" and "Giant." But the most beautiful thing about this film is the cinematography. The misty mountains in the distance, the solitary town, the Independence Day dance... all these scenes - and many more - linger in our minds. The beautiful backdrop of Jackson Hole, Wyoming was the perfect setting for this western masterpiece.
And it is a masterpiece. If ever a film deserved that title, "Shane" is it. When viewing this great piece of cinema, you can tell why it is in the pantheon of the all-time great movies. A unique, simple, beautiful western that can be watched again and again, "Shane" should be in every film-lover's collection....more info
- An immensely beautiful film, turned into a classic!
'Shane' is not a Western like Howard Hawk's 'Red River', nor a meditation on history and character like John Ford's "The Searchers." It is the most tasteful achievement ever invented to create a legend, an instant myth... Only Stevens' meticulously picturesque visuals and his evident desire to treat Western as art, could have mastered the archetypal simplicity and vitality of 'Shane.'
In 'Shane,' the good and evil govern Stevens' mastery of technique... With his golden good looks, his calm authority, and his almost magical magnetism, Alan Ladd is the mysterious lone rider called Shane... His antithesis - a sinister figure all in sable - and enemy, a merciless gunfighter from the Cheyenne area, named Jack Wilson (Jack Palance).
Wilson is dark, dresses in black, and even drinks black coffee from a dark black pot... Shane sparkles with personality and presence... Wilson spreads menace and evil... Shane is 'the fastest gun alive' who shoots to kill only when it is inevitable... Wilson - wearing two guns, and walking with jangling spurs - is a psychopath and a sadist, a man totally without moral redemption...
The film controls that mystical force that runs like a fine thread through a Western story - the mysterious gunslinger who rides into town at exactly the right moment that history requires him, fulfills his destiny and then rides on...
There is novelty and charm in 'Shane' because the stranger, who appears from nowhere, is a man of exceptional quality, admired by a wonderful kid with bright face and resolute boyish ways... Shane tests the spirit of this little eight year-old boy, Joey Starrett (Brandon De Wilde) in the midst of all the tensions and excitements on that open range...
What is admirable about Shane is not his skill with his gun, but his restraint in using it... Shane knows that Joey is admiring him for the wrong reasons-- even though he knows that if he kills Wilson, he'll have to leave the valley... He tells Joey: 'There's no living with a killing.' However we want him to show Joey how brave and fast he is... The ultimate confrontation in that depressed and faint saloon gives the movie the quality of a fine album of paintings of the frontier...
Joey's plaintive call ('Come back, Shane') is the famous cry of all the audience for a mythical idolized hero so complete and correct, who would not permit himself to be admired by a boy for living by the gun... The closing scenes remain among the most haunting memories in the history of cinema...
The characters that Stevens' actors have drawn might be considered portraits of familiar frontier types:
- Marian Starrett (Jean Arthur) is the mother who criticizes Shane for initiating her young boy into young manhood by passing on his values... She is the little woman unsettled who always wanders: 'What are you fighting for? She is the married woman who reveals an unspoken love...
- Joe Starrett (Van Heflin), is the stubborn father and a hard working rancher determined, with his forcible patience and fortitude, to build a life on the land for his family...
- Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer) is the evil aging cattle rancher who considers the arrival of homesteaders is reducing grazing opportunities for his herds limiting their access to water... He does everything to rid the land of the humble farmers...
- Morgan Ryker (John Dierkes) is Rufus' brother/foreman, who invites Starrett to "talk" reasonably...
- Chris Calloway (Ben Johnson) is the authentic cowboy who has had a change of heart and has quit Ryker's bunch... He warns Shane in the barn that "Starrett is up against a stacked deck."
- Frank 'Stonewall' Torrey (Elisha Cook Jr.) is the pale-eyed pathetic local farmer who, in a fit of fury and mad courage, attempts to challenge his tormentor... But an outraged amateur can never beat an accomplished professional... He is brutally gunned down in the first shocking and horrific showdown on the Western screen... Palance toys with the little man and kills him in one of the most realistic scenes staged until that time...
"Shane" is an immensely beautiful film, stunningly photographed in color, rich in memorable and exhilarating moments... Every scene is composed with extreme care:
- The deer will raise its head and frame the oncoming rider perfectly between the branches of his antlers...
- Shane's first appearance descending into a majestic valley rimmed by mountains, shining a pearl-handled 'six-shooter' gun...
- Shane friendship with Joe Starrett, cemented that evening as together they swing axes in common task to cut and pull up a large tree stump...
- Their energy battle (filmed through the windows of the cabin and through the frantic, kicking hooves of horses disturbed by their vicious struggle) to determine who will go to town to face Ryker's hired gun...
- Shane slow ride into town for a showdown... The low tracking camera angle, the darkness, and the musical soundtrack emphasize Shane's heroic yet lonely position on the horizon, set among the wide view of the mountains...
Certainly "Shane" is a romantic film, and yet it is full of integrity about time and place... It may be interesting to compare the idealized interest, attraction and love between Shane and Marion with the unspoken love between John Wayne and Dorothy Jordan in 'The Searchers.' In the latter film, Dorothy caresses Wayne's army cape and is observed by Ward Bond, who simply notices her gesture and looks away... In 'Shane', Marion implies her love for Shane as she cautions her son Joey about becoming attached to him...
In "Shane," Stevens combined so many elements that are 'classically' required and combines them so well... He directed 'Shane' with great feeling, and turned it into a classic... ...more info
- The saloon scenes are classic.
I had never watched this movie from start to finish until I was in my early 30's. When I finally DID watch it, it blew me away.
Every scene that takes place in Grafton's store/saloon is riveting. And the final gunfight is one of the most classic scenes in all of movie-making history. I heard that they intentionally increased the sound of the gunshots in this film to add to the impact.
This movie might be a little too wholesome for some people, especially younger people who are used to watching constant action and violence. You'll almost feel as if you are watching a clean-cut Disney movie. And there are a couple of slow spots, such as the 4th of July party and the burial scene. But, what sets this movie apart from most others is the story itself, the morality, the beliefs, and the human interaction. In the movie, you have a hard-headed father who wants to fight for his "claim". You have the frontier mother who develops a crush on Shane. You have the big, bad cattle rancher who is trying to get rid of all the homesteaders who are encroaching on his empire. You have Jack Palance as the fast-gun villain. You have an aging gunslinger who is trying to turn over a new leaf. And you have a little boy who envies the man they call Shane. This movie will be retained in your memory for a long time to come. If you want to watch one of the finest Westerns ever made, watch Shane from beginning to end. ...more info
- A Classic
If you are an Alan Ladd fan - you will love this movie. It's a good western with an all-star cast. A must in your movie library....more info
- great western movie
Shane is for me the greatest western film of all time. It has much emotional depth, and stands as a great work of art. Alan Ladd, in my opinion, is perfect in the role (regardless of his size). Shane's nobility of character in spite of hard circumstances is a marvel, making him one of the most memorable characters ever on film. The music (which is always an important part of any movie) is also very good, capturing the whole feel of the movie from the more wistful scenes to the more violent scenes. The movie also has some very interesting realistic moments for a movie made in its time such as the little girl's behaviour during the funeral of the one sod buster that was killed by Jack Palance.
The movie has a quiet yet stirring quality rarely found in other movies both in the western or other genres. Not only is the central character very well played, but the direction is also superb. Every detail of the movie was carefully thought out. Compare this movie with a couple of the other highest acclaimed westerns. High Noon had a great start in the movie, but by two-third's of the way through, the central plot had become somewhat overdone, and even the inevitable climactic gunfight didn't offer any real surprise in its action sequences to the modern viewer. The Searchers had an interesting central character in John Wayne's Ethan, who is the real highlight of the film, but the story meanders somewhat between the subplots, and the quick reversal of Natalie Wood's attitude towards the two Searchers at the end is clearly underdeveloped. But Shane is in a different league, being brilliantly thought-out and executed from beginning to end with no filler. It is an absolute masterpiece....more info
- Shane: the best western ever!
Shane has such great & noble themes. I used to think The Searchers was the best western, but Shane beats it hands down.
(#2 isn't bad.) I'm glad I got it. Good acting & beautiful scenery make it a good movie to see....more info
- A WESTERN ICON
George Steven's rendition of Jack Schaefer's novel, SHANE, ranks as one of the greatest westerns ( or movies from any genre, for that matter ) ever made, and the quiet, subtle performance of Alan Ladd in the title role is extremely powerful. Brandon De Wilde as the son of the farmers ( well played by Van Heflin, and Jean Arthur ) Shane befriends, is superb. Jack Palance as a chiselled, cold-eyed killer, is unforgettable- as is this monumental film. This is the stuff of legends....more info
Well, how d'ya like that? George Stevens directs what's probably, arguably, maybe the greatest western ever and it's rated third among his movies over at that great big internet database of movies, trailing both his wartime comedy about the housing shortage in the nation's capital - The More the Merrier (1943) - and the Irene Dunne vehicle about an immigrant Norwegian family, I Remember Mama (1948). At least SHANE (1953) leads what some have called the greatest action flick of all time, 1939's Gunga Din.
If you accept the definition of a classic movie as one you can return to again and again and continue to find something new, then SHANE fits the bill. I've watched this movie so many times, it's such a part of the movie culture, I find it hard to believe any movie lover hasn't seen this one. You don't have to love it, or even like it, but it's about as essential as they come.
The movie, of course, is about the mysterious stranger, Shane, who interrupts his drifting long enough to protect an embattled group of farmers from the murderous ways of the local cattle baron. Since I figure I'm pretty much preaching to the choir here I'll strongly urge you, if you haven't seen SHANE for a while, to get your hands on 2000 Paramount reissue. The images and sound have been cleaned up, and you're almost guaranteed to see something new. Even the George Stevens, Jr. and Ivan Moffat commentary track is worth a listen. I hadn't realized George Stevens had intended to cast Montgomery Clift and William Holden for the parts played by Alan Ladd and Van Heflin.
The first couple of times I watched this I was tremendously impressed with Jack Palance as the villain, the other wandering stranger, this one in black. I still think, in this one, he's one of the greatest screen villains ever. Later viewings brought out the `eternal triangle' (Ivan Moffat's phrase) between the farmer (Heflin,) his wife (Jean Arthur, in her last big screen role,) and Shane. This time around, after swimming through a sea of cattle barons vs. squatter movies, I was impressed by the relatively sympathetic treatment Stevens gives to the bewhiskered, nasty Rufus Ryker, played with great presence by veteran nasty Emile Meyer. This is a multi-layered and textured movie that doesn't hedge its bets by making the bad guy totally bad. And it's one that's influenced movie makers from Sam Peckinpah to Clint Eastwood. A lot of it has to do with Stevens' treatment of violence. When you watch this pay special attention to the last scene Elisha Cook's in, the one with Jack Palance and the muddy streets. That realistic treatment of violence hadn't been seen before, and it changed the way you made westerns. For some movies five stars isn't enough, and SHANE definitely falls in that category.
Down here that is what we used to call Westerns. I really don't care about the colour or the acting. I just enjoy these type of Flicks. I'm an oldie now but Flicks like "Shane" can transport me back to Saturday at the Pictures. Love it. Well worth watching over & over. Beside that I was taller than Alan Ladd....more info
- An unusual western
This is not a typical but an unusual western. Although the plot is very simple and you can notice that the film was made several decades ago, the performance of actors like Van Heflin and the boy are timeless. It is a story that will be enjoyed by all the members of your family. ...more info
- a Classic!!
always wanted to get this dvd. an excellent buy for the money. plays well on my dvd at home. would recomend it to any one....more info
The copy was very poorly made, too dark, can not see the picture at all. I rather have a VHS with black and white, old fashion, I'm very disappionted.
- Shane is a classic old western film.
This film was just good but I wouldn't say it was brilliant, if you like old westerns like Highnoon then your going to love this film I thought that Highnoon was better but still these two films were both classics.
A mysterious drifting gunfighter named Shane (Alan Ladd) comes to the rescue of a homstead family terrorized by an ageing cattleman and his hired gun (Jack Palance) who is a tall and very menacing villian that won't let anyone stand in his way.
The cattle ranger wants all the homesteaders to leave cause he wants thier land and he does this by beating them or bullying them so they could give up, of course everything changes once Shane arrives at first no one knows who this guy is even the corrupt ranchers give him a nickname like sodbuster or sodypop I think I can't remember and start laughing and ridiculing him but Shane ignores them untill a tragic incident happens and so Shane has had enough and will not tolarate there behaviour, the shocked community would rather leave cause they don't want another death to happen.
The film has great tense moments especially at the bar/saloon where most of the action takes place including a hillarious fight scene but then again I remembered that this film was done in 1953 so I wasn't that bothered. Everything from the script to the acting and cinamatography was great and I thought that it was a bit slow in the beggining but still remained to be a fantastic western. ...more info
This was a gift to a "former Marine" age 75. He had watched the VHS so many times that he knew every word of the movie. He is so thrilled with the DVD and all the info that it gives, he is watching it all most every night.
Thank you for making these old classics so easily available....more info
- Shane DVD
One of the best, if not the best, classic westerns of all times!!! Excellent ship time, packaging and price. It is great to have a classic like this available on DVD! We watch this many times a year!!! A must see for all classic western fans!!! ...more info
It is great to know there is a place where you can find hard-to-find movies. Shane is one of my favorite movies. I made the mistake to lend the copy I owned before and had a lot of trouble to find this new copy. Thank you....more info
- THE RAIN IN SHANE FALLS MAINLY IN THE PLAIN
Merely the best western ever made,far superior to its Oscar winning predecessor "High Noon".The film did win an Oscar for best cinematography,undeniably valid, but a rebuff to the picture itself.Director Stevens,per usual, seems able to attain top quality from everyone. First, Ladd's height is increased to a whopping 5'6" through the use of 2 inch boot inserts. The aging Arthur (why she never won an Oscar may be for Claude Rains and Cary Grant to answer) is perfectly cast with Van Heflin, and Jack Palance sets new standards for an evil western gunslinger. Add 9 year old Brandon DeWilde as an impressed young devotee of reformed gunslinger Shane, two brutal barroom brawls, several incursions by the local bad guys, the climatic barroom showdown, and a heart wrenching finale, and all you have is ,well, my opening sentence....more info
- Great Movie
This is a great movie as well as being a western classic. I would highly recommend it!...more info
One of the BEST WESTERNS of ALL TIME. It truly is the movie that started the beginning of the good guy helps out strangers against the bad guys. Then rides off in the distance....more info
- Shane Leaves Powerful Memories
This was the first film I remember seeing in the theater so it has some sentimental value. Now on DVD seeing it decades later, it certainly doesn't have the impact it did back then, but it will always be considered by me and many others as one of the great classics in film history.
These classics, particularly the westerns, were good vehicles in promoting values and definite good vs. evil stories. The evil here is personified by Jack Palance. He doesn't have many lines but he doesn't need them. His body language in this film spoke volumes, and he was one scary dude. However, an unsung role (eighth billing in the credits) in here was the one by Emile Meyer, who played the real villain in this story, "Ryker." (Palance was just called in at the end.) A young Ben Johnson plays a member of his Ryker's gang.
Alan Ladd, meanwhile, is the hero, the man who comes to the aid of family man Van Helflin, his wife Jean Arthur and young son Brandon De Wilde. The kid, De Wilde, steals the film and made himself into a young star with his role here. Whether feverishly chewing on his candy while witnessing Ladd fighting the bad guys or his plaintiff cries for "Shane!" at the end of the film, he made a memorable impression.
The only overdone part - as seen in so many old-time westerns - is the amount of punches people took, blow after blow, when in real life they would have knocked unconscious right off the bat! But, that's part of the genre, I guess.
"Shane" was a forerunner of many of western that copied its successful formula. This movie was so famous that a lot of newborns were named "Shane" for awhile.
"Powerful" is another adjective that describes this film - back then and still now. This story will get your blood pumping! ...more info
- Nothin' like the book...
When the beginning of this movie opened I was absolutely sure I wouldn't like it. It started out so far from the book it was laughable. First of all, the main character in the movie was Shane, however in the novel the main character happened to be the little boy named Bob (aka Joey as seen in the movie). Bob was the narrator of the entire book and we see what happens through a little boys' eyes. Not just as an observing fly on the wall, watching everything happen around it. Secondly, I didn't exactly enjoy the way it was so lacking in accuracy. When Shane first arrived at the Starrett farm in the novel he was wearing all black, and there seemed to be a lot of detail in the way Bob noticed him. While in the movie there was very little in describing Shane through the boy's thoughts. It seemed that the child said very little at all and had even less running through his mind. However if you wanted my honest opinion on the movie itself, I'd have to say it was good. I didn't have any problems with the acting in this film and found that the fight scenes were very much like the ones depicted in the novel. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who has NOT read the book!...more info
- Still the best Western ever
I first saw Shane when I was about the same age as little Joey in the film. Even at the age I am now, I still enjoyed watching the film and felt as much excitement as I did those long years ago. I still think that Shane is still the best Western ever, and even age, my age, has not wiped out the excitement of watching it. What is more, is that even my brother, who is ten years older than me, enjoyed it equally!
- A Biased and Distorted Attack on Free Enterprise
Anyone who knows the American West, as I do, knows full well that Ranching made these lands, not farmable except for a truck farm here and there, what they are today. The people behind this movie, and for ought I know the book which I have not read, have made a direct attack on ranchers, who have historically been manly and forceful men, but not immoral or lawless, as this movie Shane would have you believe. Why they choose to portray us this way, I do not know, but I do know that Hollywood was always full of Communists and I think it is possible that this circumstance has something to do with the false picture of a way of life that nobody needs to be ashamed of....more info
- Standard Western Made Magnificent
Shane is the typical power western. It is about the small farmer versus the giant rancher. The farm family is played by Van Heflin, Jean Arthur and a young Brandon de Wilde. They are befriended by a retired gunslinger turned drifter, Shane (Alan Ladd).
When Shane dispatches the thugs, the rancher hires a professional (Jack Palance). This culminates in the expected showdown in the bar.
What makes this film different from the others of its type is the subplot. The young boy's adoration of the loner. Brandon de Wilde's obsession of the loner is eerily similar to that of a stalker trying to emulate their obsession.
Alan Ladd as the title Shane, gives a perfectly controlled performance. Director George Stevens also showed that he had future potential with this simple yet complex film.
This is a definite must for western film fans and those who like great character studies.
DVD EXTRAS: Commentary by director's son George Stevens jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat.