A town marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
Shane rides into a conflict between cattleman Ryker and a bunch of settlers, like Joe Starrett and his family, whose land Ryker wants. When Shane beats up Ryker's man Chris, Ryker tries to buy him. Then Shane and Joe take on the whole Ryker crew. Ryker sends to Cheyenne for truly evil gunslinger Wilson. Shane must clear out all the guns from the valley. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the face-off between Wilson (Jack Palance) and Torrey (Elisha Cook Jr.), Torrey tells Wilson that he is "a low-down, lyin' Yankee". Although director George Stevens kept directing Palance at this point to smile--an expression of amused contempt at Cook--Palance continued take after take to show too much menace and not enough of a smile mixed in. Finally Stevens took Cook aside and whispered something to him. During the next take, Cook read his line, and added "and a son of a bitch, too!" This time, Stevens got his take. When Shane faces Wilson, Shane says, "You're a low-down Yankee liar". See more »
When Joe and Shane are being cared for by Marian, she prepares a
wet cloth and moves as if to put it on Shane's head, but in the next shot she is giving it to Joe. See more »
Often mentioned as one of the greatest westerns ever, it is easy to see why.
This film stands as a masterpiece of the art, even more so since it was
filmed so long ago. It starts with a great story, the story of Shane (Alan
Ladd), a quiet gunslinger who is trying to escape his past and befriends a
pioneer family who have settled out west. He attempts to settle down and
become a hired hand to Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) and his wife Marian (Jean
Arthur), but the ranchers who need to drive cattle through the homesteader's
property are attempting to drive them out. Shane tries to stay out of the
disputes, but keeps being drawn in and is finally compelled to put his six
shooter back on when the ranchers hire Jack Wilson (Jack Palance) a noted
gunfighter to intimidate the farmers.
This story is outstanding in so many ways. It is a classic battle of good
and evil. It has its share of fist fights and shoot outs, but this film is
more about principles than action. It exemplifies principles and values
that unfortunately have become outdated in today's society such as,
character, integrity, loyalty, pride in accomplishment, persistence and the
willingness to fight for what is right. It is also an excellent human
interest story and succeeds in getting the viewer to love the homesteaders
and hate the ranchers.
George Stevens directed this film late in a notable career and does a
splendid job. The locations were breathtaking, shot with majestic mountains
in the background of almost every scene. The cinematography was stunning,
and the color rich despite the fact that it was filmed almost 50 years
The acting was superlative. Van Heflin wins us over almost immediately with
his high minded principles and unshakeable character. He actually has far
more lines than Ladd, who was more of an icon of strength than a vocal
character. Jack Palance is the archetypal western villain and went on in
his career to become the most prominent and enduring villain in movie
history. His sneering arrogance and haughty gait made him the villain we
loved to hate for decades.
Elisha Cook, as Stonewall Torrey, had a prolific career as a supporting
actor, with over 150 appearances in film an TV that spanned almost 60 years.
This is one of his best an most memorable roles as a fearless, proud and
petulant former confederate that gets goaded into a gunfight with Jack
Brandon DeWilde as young Joey, gave a compelling performance. One of the
best scenes in the movie was when he asked Shane to shoot at a small rock
and Shane shot it 5 or 6 times and hit it every time. The wide eyed look of
surprise was terrific. Though he went on to do about a dozen mostly minor
films, he was never able to capitalize on his success in this
Finally, there is Alan Ladd. I've often heard criticisms of his performance
of being too low key. I could not disagree more. His understated
performance made him loom large as an imposing figure in the film. It
created an almost godlike presence. This strong silent portrayal is very
attractive adding humility to his many positive qualities. This unassuming
style is also what made Gary Cooper so popular.
This film is on my top fifty list of all time. It is a magnum opus that the
film industry can be proud of. It combines great filmmaking, direction and
acting with a memorable and morally instructive story. This should be
required viewing for any serious film buff. A perfect 10.
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