7.6/10
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313 user 88 critic

Shane (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 1 October 1953 (Japan)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

A.B. Guthrie Jr. (screenplay), Jack Sher (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Shane
Jean Arthur ... Marian Starrett
Van Heflin ... Joe Starrett
Brandon De Wilde ... Joey Starrett
Jack Palance ... Jack Wilson (as Walter Jack Palance)
Ben Johnson ... Chris Calloway
Edgar Buchanan ... Fred Lewis
Emile Meyer ... Rufus Ryker
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Stonewall Torrey
Douglas Spencer ... Axel 'Swede' Shipstead
John Dierkes ... Morgan Ryker
Ellen Corby ... Mrs. Liz Torrey
Paul McVey ... Sam Grafton
John Miller 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:

From the master producer-director George Stevens See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

The name Starrett is variously pronounced "Stark" or "Start" or with two syllables with the first pronounced like the word "stare". 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 »

Alternate Versions

The film was shot in Academy Ratio (1.33:1 or 4:3), but this was done around the time widescreen filmmaking was coming around. As such, many theatres cropped the film into a widescreen ratio to take advantage of this, with many DVDs being cropped as well. The 2013 Blu-ray Disc release is in the proper Academy Ratio. See more »


Soundtracks

I Ride an Old Paint (I'm A-Leavin' Cheyenne)
(uncredited)
Words and Music by Frank Goodwin, ca. 1875
Played and sung by many at a meeting
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User Reviews

 
Irony, irony, and more irony
19 March 2017 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

After watching the massively depressing LOGAN (2017) and noticing that the closing scene pays homage to Shane (same dialog used to mark Logan's grave) I felt the need to do an update review on Shane.

According to traditional Hollywood history, Shane is one of the 100 greatest films of all time, iconic, and even the dialog is multi-layered.

There is a scene in the short-lived TV series THE OTHERS (done by the same two men who created X-Files) where one of the lead characters, who is blind, regularly goes to the movies to watch SHANE, over and over. In many ways, that has to be one of the grandest back-handed compliments you can pay to a film.

I wish however to also suggest there is a great deal of hidden irony in what otherwise appears to be a straightforward western.

For example, Ladd hated guns and, according to film legend (Wikipedia) had to do over 100 takes in the iconic scene where he teaches the boy to draw. Similarly, Jack Palance hated horses and was only able to do one successful "mount" after many takes. Director Stevens had to use this same piece of film over and over, even to the point of running the strip backwards to make it look like Jack was dismounting.

Wait, it gets better. Director Stevens hated violence and wanted SHANE to be be an anti-violence film. However, the trope he invented for the gunfight, where the actors were violently pulled backwards by ropes as bullets struck, is considered by film historians to have "forever changed the face of film action" and led to an entirely new generation of gunfighting in films where the violence increased by a factor of 100X. Even the infamous Hong Kong action film directors consider they owe a debt to Stevens.

The final irony is that, in the opinion of this reviewer, the film does not stand for what the screenwriter intended. To this reviewer, Shane is a metaphor for the evolution of the United States itself, an arc more visible when this review is penned (in 2017) than in 1953. Although even in 1953, at the end of WW2, the US as a nation was having to face introspection, as a nation which had hitherto prided itself on isolationism suddenly felt compelled to become policeman to the entire world.

Still a great film. But also an ironic one.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

George Stevens' Production of Shane See more »

Filming Locations:

Teton Range, Wyoming, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)| 3 Channel Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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