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 <email@example.com>
Van Heflin and Alan Ladd became firm friends during the making of the film. In later years, Heflin's wife said one of the very rare times she ever saw her husband cry was when he learned of Ladd's premature death. See more »
There is a bus (some say truck, some say car, some say motorbike) moving left to right in the far background in one of the opening shots. (The vehicle appears to have been digitally removed from the current DVD version, although it is still visible in the accompanying re-release trailer.) See more »
Simple peaceful lifestyles threatened by land grabbing ranchers and sinister gunslinger, saved by a weary reluctant gunslinger.
This western epitomises how a film should be made.
Classic scenery and outstanding performances from all. From the various cultures of the farmers bonding together through the harshness of farming life. Happy to raise families on land built and developed by their own hands. This is then threatened by the ranchers unwillingness to share the common land. Brutality and force is their tool, they try to force out the farmers (even resorting to hiring the gunslinger - Jack Wilson - Jack Palance). One farmer holds the other farmers together (Starett - Van Heflin), though even his resistance is weakening until a lone retired gunslinger rides in to save the day...
The sheer quality of characters and acting makes this film. The friendly (though not always) banter over Torrey's rebel background, the bond amongst the children, the affection shown in all families. The turning of Chris Calloway, the cold hearted nature of Ryker.
Finally the performances of the main characters. Van Heflin and Jean Arthur as the Starett's have a simple but loving relationship. Their son Joey loves his parents, but is greatly impressed by the mystery and skill of Shane (Alan Ladd).
Shane is reluctant to return to the way of the gun until Ryker hires a top gunslinger (Jack Palance). Palance is the perfect clinically precise cold hearted killer. Every aspect of his manner portrays cold efficiency (even to drinking water and mounting his horse).
There is simple humour added, for example when Shane is hit with an "Easy Chair".
Even the two dogs could act ! When Shane finally confronts Wilson the dog in the bar skulks with his tail between his legs.
The scenery and music were the icing on the cake.
This film will remain a benchmark for all western's to follow.
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