Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Shane wears a white hat and Palance wears a black hat, but the buried psychology of this movie is a mottled, uneasy, fascinating gray.
The New York Times
Shane contains something more than beauty and the grandeur of the mountains and plains, drenched by the brilliant Western sunshine and the violent, torrential, black-browed rains. It contains a tremendous comprehension of the bitterness and passion of the feuds that existed between the new homesteaders and the cattlemen on the open range.
Chicago Tribune
Shane is one of those movies that I revisit at least once a year, just to remind myself how stirring a Western can be when the mix of myth and method is just right. [21 June 2002, p.C8]
Tries just a tad too hard to be a classic, with Ladd's Roy Rogers woodenness not quite getting the depths of author Jack Schaefer's fallen hero, but the support - Jean Arthur as the yearning farmer's wife, Ben Johnson as the conscience-struck bully - are excellent, and some scenes lodge forever in your memory.
The Seattle Times
George Stevens' mythic 1953 Western finally gets a video transfer that captures the crisp, bright beauty of its Oscar-winning cinematography. [17 Aug 2000, p.D3]
George Stevens handles the story and players in a manner that gives his production and direction a tremendous integrity. The casting is exceptionally good and the male stars have never been seen to better advantage.
Although the film is often brutal, there is such a positive sense of morality displayed here that Shane should be seen by the whole family.
Tampa Bay Times
The filmmaker who counted A Place in the Sun, Giant, and The Greatest Story Ever Told among his epic works made this rather intimate Western in which character dominates the landscape. [18 Aug 2000, p.9W]
Time Out
The slow pace and persistent solemnity reduce tension, prefiguring the portentous nature of Stevens' later work. That said, the cast is splendid, and both the emotional tensions between Ladd and Arthur, and the final confrontation with Palance, are well handled.
Here, as too often in his career, Stevens is aiming to have the last word on a genre: everything aims for “classic” status, and everything falters in a mire of artsiness and obtrusive technique.

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