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Shane (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 1 October 1953 (France)
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jack Wilson (as Walter Jack Palance)
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...
Douglas Spencer ...
Axel 'Swede' Shipstead
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Mrs. Liz Torrey
...
John Miller ...
Will Atkey - Bartender
Edith Evanson ...
Mrs. Shipstead
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Somebody's comin', Pa. ... Well, let him come. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

George Stevens' Production of Shane  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$20,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director George Stevens did not like the way composer Victor Young had scored the saloon showdown, so he substituted music that Franz Waxman had used in Rope of Sand (1949). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joey: Somebody's comin', Pa!
Joe Starrett: Well, let him come.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Brandon De Wilde See more »

Connections

Referenced in Married with Children: A Taxing Problem (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Put Your Little Foot Right Out
(uncredited)
Written by Larry Spier
Played at a dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hell Bent For Leather
31 May 2003 | by (Hollywood Bungalow!) – See all my reviews

Considered by most a masterpiece and by a few 'a waste of film', 1953's SHANE is a mini-epic that tells of the arrival of the mysterious stranger who comes to 'town' and impresses the innocent and threatens the guilty. A good versus evil western was never been more defined. Alan Ladd plays the stranger in an outfit that has been criticized since day-one. He wears a buckskin shirt ala Davy Crockett and if I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times, "that shirt ain't right"! Well, 'pards, I ask you, "Have you ever heard of "Buckskin Frank Leslie?" Just happens to be one of the baddest-ass real life western gunslingers who ever strapped on a gun-rig. Why they haven't made westerns about Leslie I will never know. Doc Holliday, known for reckless bravery, knew enough to stay out of Frank's way. And P.S. he was known for his 'patented' Buckskin Shirt. But I digress...

Shane was directed by George Stevens who admittedly directs with a strictness that borders on fascism. And yet he pulls it off with aplomb. Ladd's character is criticized as well, because he is played by Ladd himself, an actor that is an easy target for certain critics. There's the old joke about Ladd standing in a hole (outside of camera view) to match the heights of his leading ladies, or by standing on a ramp or box so their heights in close-ups would be matched for love scenes. Is this the 'stuff' of western heroes? Not hardly. So here we have "little Alan" taking on one of the most vicious actors that ever played 'Satan Incarnate', the incomparable Jack Palance! Jack's 'Lucifer' is a messenger from hell hired by the bad'uns to save them all from Ladd's goodness. Jack wakes up shortly after arriving in town to assassinate another little man, Elisha Cook Jr., in a scene which was completely and shamelessly ripped off by Eastwood in 'Pale Rider'. The death is completely believable and establishes Palance's character as unstoppable.

The characters in Shane are cut from a woodcarving, they glisten with familiar yet surprising motivations. Ben Johnson, the Sainted actor of westerns plays a very small part that almost steals the film. The bad guys in this film are a textbook rendition of meaness.

But some say that the action is subdued in Shane. But I say the build-up is worth the wait as the final climatic shoot-out has been described by many western film scholars as the best that was ever put to film.

Shane a waste of film? I think not.


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