|Key Cast||Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Jack Palance, Brandon De Wilde, Ben Johnson|
|Genre(s)||Western, Drama, Adventure|
“Shane. Shane. Please come back!”
These are one of the most memorable lines ever uttered in a western movie.
“Shane” is an enduring classic western that many film critics have described as being in the same league as the movie “High Noon.”
Alan Ladd stars in “Shane” as an understated, former gunslinger who is trying to live a peaceful life, but finds himself in the middle of a developing showdown.
Shane is a mysterious drifter who rides into a small homesteading community one day and accepts a job helping out the Starretts on their struggling farm. The Starrett family consists of Joe Starrett (Van Heflin), his wife Marian Starrett (Jean Arthur) and son Joey Starrett (Brandon De Wilde).
Initially, the wife, Marian, and son, Joey, are leery of the stranger. Shane doesn’t like to discuss his past (which they find suspicious) and it becomes obvious to them that Shane is handy with a gun. But as he spends more time helping them on the farm, they increasingly like him. The son, Joey, starts idolizing Shane. The wife, Marian, develops a growing attraction to him (unbeknownst to her husband).
All of this is in the background to a more dangerous and foreboding situation that is developing in the community. Major cattle rancher, Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer), wants all of the valley land for himself. To achieve this goal, he is going to have to get rid of all of the local homesteaders in the area, including the Starrett family.
Ryker hires a ruthless, black-clad gunman named Jack Wilson (Jack Palance) to help him. It is only a matter of time before someone gets killed.
Will Shane help?
• Shane was actually filmed during the summer and fall of 1951, but it wasn’t released until almost two years later. The reason was because the director, George Stevens, spent a lot of time editing the film. This was considered an unusually long editing time for a movie, but the result was a blockbuster western that has endured for many generations. Some critics argue that “Shane” is one of the best representative films of the western genre in the 1950s.
• “Shane” was filmed near Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the Grand Teton mountains as a backdrop. It is this picturesque location that lends itself to the great cinematography of this classic western. In fact, Loyal Griggs won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on this movie.
• “Shane”, the movie, is based on the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer. Jack Schaefer wrote a number of western books. (Another one of his books, Monte Walsh was also made into a big screen western movie.) Schaefer had a lengthy career as a western novel writer. During his career, he is credited with writing over 25 books and short stories about the west, including two children’s books. When Schaefer was asked at his alma mater, Oberlin College in Ohio, what he thought about the casting of Alan Ladd in the movie version of his book “Shane,” Schaefer replied that he initially had some misgivings about Ladd. The reason is because Schaefer’s original vision for Shane was that of a dark, deadly person. However, after he saw the finished film, Schaefer said that he was pleased with Ladd’s casting and how the character was more positively portrayed in the film.
• The line “Shane. Shane. Come back!” is considered one of the most memorable quotes from a film. In fact, the American Film Institute voted this quote #47 in its Top 100 movie quotes of all time.
• Many critics consider Clint Eastwood’s movie “Pale Rider” essentially a remake of “Shane” because it contains many of the same elements and similar storyline.
• “Shane” is one of the few western movies to be officially listed in the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry. The movies chosen for this special honor are selected because they are of cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to the United States.
• “Shane” won an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography (Loyal Griggs) and it was nominated for five additional Academy Awards: Best Director (George Stevens), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Palance), Best Supporting Actor (Brandon De Wilde) and Best Screenplay Writing.
Alan Ladd stars as “Shane” in this classic western that has one of the most memorable movie quotes ever uttered “Shane. Shane. Please come back.” This is one of the few western movies to be selected for the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry.
Watch this western on Blu-ray which offers excellent picture quality. Alan Ladd is larger-than-life as a drifter and retired gunfighter who finds himself in the middle of a land war that he doesn’t want to fight. This Blu-ray disc contains the theatrical trailer and a special commentary discussion with George Stevens, Jr. the son of the late director of this movie.
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