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Shane (1953)

Not Rated | | 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:

George Stevens

Writers:

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

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Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

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Edit

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 Edith Evanson ... Mrs. Shipstead
Edit

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1953 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

George Stevens' Production of Shane See more »

Filming Locations:

Teton Range, Wyoming, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was George Stevens' first Western since Annie Oakley (1935). See more »

Goofs

As Shane rides to the climactic late night showdown (under a blue sky), his shadow alternates from his right side to his left. 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 Forsaken (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
Composed by Daniel Decatur Emmett
In the score at a meeting of the townfolk
Also played at a funeral
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
No More Guns In The Valley
19 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A lonesome stranger rides on to a homesteader's farm looking for water and right after him comes the big cattle baron with several riders issuing the latest of several warning to this particular squatter about getting off 'his' range. Something about the man's bullying attitude rubs the stranger the wrong way and he decides to stay and lend a hand.

So begins the classic western Shane which has entertained millions since its release in 1953. It gave Alan Ladd his career role and resulted in Oscar nominations for Jack Palance and Brandon DeWilde in the Best Supporting Actor category. It could have revived Alan Ladd's career, but for a fatal career decision by his agent/wife Sue Carol.

Shane was shot in 1951 completely on location in the Grand Teton mountains in Wyoming. Another reviewer pointed out that director George Stevens seem to meticulously shoot the same scene from many angles. He did just that and spent a year editing his masterpiece.

But in the mean time Sue Carol made a decision for her husband to leave Paramount and sign with Warner Brothers. Had she held out and waited for Shane's release, she might have gotten a great deal from Paramount that might have included better parts. As it was Paramount had no reason to push this film at Oscar time, so Ladd got no nomination for Best Actor which he could have with some studio backing. By the time Shane was out, Ladd was with Warner Brothers and doing some of the same routine action adventures films that he was doing at Paramount. No classic roles for that man any more.

The rancher versus homesteader is an old western plot story and there have been many films made from both points of view. Shane leaves no doubt that the homesteaders are in the right. The cattleman's point of view is eloquently argued in Elia Kazan's Sea of Grass by Spencer Tracy. That western icon John Wayne's been on both sides of the fence, in McLintock he's a cattle baron, in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance he's a small rancher and protector of the homesteader.

Even Emile Meyer as Rufe Ryker does make a valid point that his kind settled the west when it was really wild. Van Heflin as Joe Starrett argues equally eloquently that doesn't give him the right to say no one else has any rights in the territory.

Shane marked the farewell big screen performance of Jean Arthur. A talented, but terribly strange woman with a whole lot of issues, Arthur delivers a good performance as Van Heflin's missus. She felt she was miscast as a farmer's wife, in westerns she saw herself more in the frontier woman roles she did in The Plainsman and Arizona. And at that she much preferred screwball comedy to any western. They weren't making her kind of films any more as she saw it, so she left.

When Shane's done doing what fate brought him to do in the valley he has to leave. For the community to grow there must be no more guns in the valley as he well realizes. So he leaves to an unknown fate, living in the hearts and memories of the Starrett family and the rest of the small farmers, especially young Brandon DeWilde.

And in the hearts of all lovers of the western genre including this little cowpoke who saw him as a small lad on the big silver screen so many years ago.


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