Edit
Shane (1953) Poster

(1953)

Trivia

Filmed between late July and mid-October 1951, the film was held back until its Manhattan premiere at Radio City Music Hall on August 21, 1953, due to director George Stevens's extensive editing.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jean Arthur was over 50 years old when she played Marian Starrett--she was, in fact, ten years older than Emile Meyer, who plays grizzled old cattle baron Rufus Ryker.
The scene where Alan Ladd practices shooting in front of Brandon De Wilde took 119 takes to complete.
George Stevens originally cast Montgomery Clift as Shane and William Holden as Joe Starrett. When both decided to do other films instead, "Shane" was nearly abandoned before Stevens asked studio head Y. Frank Freeman who was available. Upon seeing a list of actors under contract to the studio, Stevens cast Alan Ladd, Van Heflin and Jean Arthur within three minutes.
In the funeral scene, the dog consistently refused to look into the grave. Finally, director George Stevens had the dog's trainer lie down in the bottom of the grave, and the dog played his part ably. The coffin (loaded with rocks for appropriate effect) was then lowered into the grave, but when the harmonica player began to play "Taps" spontaneously, the crew was so moved by the scene that they began shoveling dirt into the grave before remembering the dog's trainer was still there.
Jean Arthur, then over 50, came out of semi-retirement to play Marian Starrett, largely as a favor to her friend, director George Stevens. She would retire completely from the film business after this picture.
According to the commentary on the DVD, during the scene where Shane and Joe are fighting in the corral, the tied horses were supposed to panic. To instill hysteria in the horses, director George Stevens had two men dress in bear costumes to scare them.
During the filming Jack Palance had problems with his horse. In the scene at the Starrett ranch where Alan Ladd (Shane) and Palance (Jack Wilson) first look each other over. Palance was to dismount for a minute then remount his horse. He could not remount, so the director had Jack dismount his horse slowly, then ran the film in reverse for the remount.
The film cost so much to make that at one point Paramount considered selling it to another distributor, feeling that it would never earn back what it cost to make. It ended up making a significant profit.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #45 Greatest Movie of All Time.
Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Western" in June 2008.
The movie was released within a year after another landmark western, High Noon (1952). It was actually made before the Gary Cooper film, but it spent several months in the editing rooms.
Alan Ladd was only 5'6", and this had to be compensated for. When he is in scenes with Van Heflin the two are about the same height, although Heflin was far taller. When Ladd is shown with Jean Arthur he is perhaps a bit taller than she. When Heflin is shown with her, Heflin is far taller than she.
At the time of filming, Jack Palance was not comfortable with horses. The one good mount he achieved during the numerous takes was used in the film.
The first flat widescreen color Western. Although shot in 1.37:1 Academy ratio, the studio dictated that it be cropped in the movie projector to compete with the new CinemaScope format. The music was also recorded in stereo.
"Shane" was originally scheduled for 28 days of shooting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and 20 at the studio with a budget of $1,980,000. It finished after 75 days of shooting at a cost of over $3,000,000.
Meticulous care was taken at all levels of production. All the physical props were true to the period, the buildings were built to the specifications of the time and the clothing was completely authentic. Director George Stevens even had somewhat scrawny-looking cattle imported from other areas, as the local herds looked too well-fed and healthy.
Katharine Hepburn was originally suggested for the role of Marian.
During the bar fight between Shane and Calloway, the off-screen voice that says "knock him back to the pig-pen" is that of director George Stevens.
One of the Ryker men in the fist fight with Shane, listed in the cast as Rex Moore, would be better known to viewers as Clayton Moore--The Lone Ranger. "Shane" was filmed while Moore was in a salary dispute with Jack Wrather, producer of The Lone Ranger (1949), and John Hart had replaced him on the show Moore eventually got his raise and resumed his legendary role.
The music cues for the climactic ride that Shane takes to the showdown are from an earlier Paramount film, Rope of Sand (1949).
Shane's fancy gun twirling in the climactic showdown was actually performed by Rodd Redwing. Earlier, when Shane demonstrates his prowess for Joey, and it is clearly Alan Ladd himself on camera, the actor had been given a different, easier-to-use revolver for the scene.
The movie's line "Shane. Shane. Come back!" was voted as the #47 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
The background music played when Shane walks into the bar for the final confrontation with Ryker and Wilson is the exact same music played in The Glass Key (1942), also starring Alan Ladd. The music and rhythmic drum beating occur during two different scenes, one early on in the film when Ladd confronts several villains and then later on in the film, again during a confrontation with them.
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".
Jean Arthur, a committed animal lover, took it upon herself to personally inspect the conditions that the film's roster of livestock were being kept in. If they weren't up to her satisfaction, she would ensure that the matter was rectified.
The scenes of Joey chasing after Shane when he rides off to the final battle, and the classic subsequent "come back Shane!" scene happen in the dead of night in the film (in a day for night style), but in the accompanying trailer on current home video releases, the scenes are shown happening during broad daylight.
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).
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Final film of Jean Arthur.
Although the movie is generally remembered for its blue sky vistas, the weather was actually cloudy or rainy for a great deal of the shoot. However, if you look beyond the mud in the town, you can see that the ground is dry. Obviously, part of the town had been watered down.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie's line "Come back, Shane!" was voted as the #69 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The only Alan Ladd movie to have played at Radio City Music Hall.
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Jack Palance died in 2006, he was the last living billed cast member.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 22, 1954 with Alan Ladd and Van Heflin reprising their film roles.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When writer A.B. Guthrie Jr. came on board the project, he didn't know what a screenplay looked like.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lee Aaker was originally set to play Joey Starrett, but it was eventually given to Brandon De Wilde.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film was completed in 1951 but George Stevens' editing process was so rigorous that it wasn't released until 1953. This drove up the costs of what should have been a simple, straightforward Western; in fact, they spiraled so much that Paramount approached Howard Hughes about taking on the property, but he declined. He changed his mind when he saw a rough cut and offered to buy the film on the spot. This made Paramount rethink its strategy--originally it was going to release it as a "B" picture but then decided it should be one of the studio's flagship films of the year. This proved to be a good decision, as the film was a major success and easily recouped its inflated budget.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Having witnessed during his WW2 service the profound effects a bullet could have on a man, realism was important to George Stevens during the making of the film. This therefore is one of the first movies to use stunt wires to pull the actors or stuntmen backwards to simulate when they've been shot.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Prior to this film, Jack Palance was better known as a theater actor and had no experience with horses and guns. When he arrived on set, the film was subject to delays so Palance spent all his spare time practicing getting on and off horses and improving his ability with pistols. By the time filming resumed, he had become highly proficient at both.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jack Schaefer's novel was a huge success when it was first published in 1949 with Paramount swiftly snapping up the film rights.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Paramount's first widescreen movie.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Over the years, the film was spawned many imitations of which Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider (1985) is probably the closest.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
George Stevens referred to this film as being his war movie.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Alan Ladd, who was under contract to Paramount, earned $145,000. Jack Palance earned $12,500 for 10 weeks work.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page