ShaneDirector: George Stevens, Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
The simple story of a Wyoming range war is elevated to near-mythical status in producer/director George Stevens' Western classic Shane. Alan Ladd plays the title character, a mysterious drifter who rides into a tiny homesteading community and accepts the hospitality of a farming family. Patriarch Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) is impressed by the way Shane handles himself when facing down the hostile minions of land baron Emile Meyer, though he has trouble placing his complete trust in the stranger, as his Marion (Jean Arthur) is attracted to Shane in spite of herself, and his son Joey (Brandon De Wilde) flat-out idolizes Shane. When Meyer is unable to drive off the homesteaders by sheer brute strength, he engages the services of black-clad, wholly evil hired gun Jack Wilson (Jack Palance). The moment that Wilson shows he means business by shooting down hotheaded farmer Frank Torrey (Elisha Cook Jr.) is the film's most memorable scene: after years of becoming accustomed to carefully choreographed movie death scenes, the suddenness with which Torrey's life is snuffed out -- and the force with which he falls to the ground -- are startling. Shane knows that a showdown with Wilson is inevitable; he also knows that, unintentionally, he has become a disruptive element in the Starrett family. The manner in which he handles both these problems segues into the now-legendary "Come back, Shane" finale. Cinematographer Loyal Griggs imbues this no-frills tale with the outer trappings of an epic, forever framing the action in relation to the unspoiled land surrounding it. A.B. Guthrie Jr.'s screenplay, adapted from the Jack Schaefer novel, avoids the standard good guy/bad guy clichés: both homesteaders and cattlemen are shown as three-dimensional human beings, flaws and all, and even ostensible villain Emile Meyer comes off reasonable and logical when elucidating his dislike of the "newcomers" who threaten to divest him of his wide open spaces.
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- Paramount Catalog
Cast & Crew
|Jean Arthur||Marion Starrett|
|Van Heflin||Joe Starrett|
|Brandon DeWilde||Joey Starrett|
|Jack Palance||Jack Wilson|
|Ben Johnson||Chris Callaway|
|Edgar Buchanan||Fred Lewis|
|Emile G. Meyer||Rufe Ryker|
|John Dierkes||Morgan Ryker|
|Ellen Corby||Mrs. Torrey|
|Edith Evanson||Mrs. Shipstead|
|Leonard Strong||Ernie Wright|
|Janice Carroll||Susan Lewis|
|Martin Mason||Ed Howells|
|Helen Brown||Mrs. Lewis|
|Nancy Kulp||Mrs. Howells|
|Ewing Miles Brown||Actor|
|Elisha Cook||Frank Torrey|
|George Lewis||Ryker Man|
|Chester W. Hannan||Ryker man|
|Bill Cartledge||Ryker man|
|Steve Raines||Ryker man|
|Beverly Washburn||Lewis Daughter (uncredited)|
|Joe de Young||Consultant/advisor|
|Edith Head||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|William W. Hornbeck||Editor|
|Gordon Jennings||Special Effects|
|Emile Kuri||Set Decoration/Design|
|Hal Pereira||Art Director|
|Walter Tyler||Art Director|
|Victor Young||Score Composer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I first saw Shane when I was five; it has stayed with me ever since and I am now 51. For years I was drawn to Alan Ladd's magnetic performance. The secretive mystery that he conveyed. Ladd was born to play Shane and delivered the goods in a performance that should have been rewarded with an Academy Award. But it is when you see that Shane is a George Stevens movie that you begin to understand how sensitive a movie it is. With an Oscar for cinematography, precise and sharp editing,sweeping panoramas of the breathtaking Teton mountain range, a musical score that fits like a glove and captures the moment, all these elements provide a momumental film in the hands of the movie master Stevens. Shane benefits from an all-star cast who all reach down in their veteran past and somehow make you believe that they too knew at the time that they were involved in not just the greatest western ever made, but in my humble opinion the, arguably, greatest movie ever made. Note especially the perforances of Ben Johnson, a bad guy for once who is redeemed, Elisha Cooke Jr., and the child actor Brandon Dewilde(who would later star in Hud). The opening credits show Walter Jack Palance, who was nominated for an Oscar for his steely portrayal of the hired gun. I always tell people that seeing Shane is one of those things that are a must before they pass. Remember Henry Winkler, as Fonze, on Happy Days saying 'you've never seen Shane.' Finally I'd like to share that I always promised myself that I would stand in that valley by the Tetons where Shane was made, because the movie inspired me that much. Last summer, I got to do just that. Shane is an American movie legend that will never fade away.
Pure, great movie making. The protagonist, Alan Ladd, has committed past sins, which he never mentions, yet he behaves with humility and nobility. The family that he befriends, is decent, hardworking and honest. The villians range from weak to Jack Palances: cold reptilian gunfighter. The Direction, cinematography, and script are perfection. This movie would never be made today. There is a decency in the characters, that is foreign to Hollywood today. Shanes interactions with Jean Arthur, the farmers wife, are respectful, though a fondness is apparent.Their son idolizes Shane, yet he is very much a child, not an obnoxious brat. There is plenty of action, but the pacing is perfect. I can say no more except this is how movies should still be made.
I wish this movie would come out in Blu Ray. As westerns go, this is definitely in the top 5. Great acting, great musical score, and great cinema. I was about 8 or 10 when seeing this movie with my folks in the theater in Germany as my Father was a soldier, and it had made a lasting impression on me throughout my life. My Father, after the movie, said to me that that was one of the best westerns he had seen, and that further impacted the way I wanted to grow up, being honest and hard working.....and I did just that!!!
wonderful movie!!! One of my favorites, it has something for everyone and is not a western - it is so much more. Stands the test of time plus is a good read.
¿SHANE¿ -- The Quintessential Western bar none. This simply outstanding standard-setting western was rigorously imitated in plot and character decades later by a flick called ¿Pale Rider¿ starring Clint Eastwood, a good movie but not close to being in the same league as SHANE nor garnering the same performances. Alan Ladd is superb as Shane. Enough said. Van Heflin is great. Jack Palance is the epitome of a gunslinger-assassin. After first seeing this film in my youth, I could not forget the portrait of the purely evil gunman played by Palance. Years and years later, standing in line to convert money at Heathrow Airport in London, I bumped into Jack Palance and talked with him. His eyes blew me away and I could almost see him drawing down on Alan Ladd. This movie is a five star western of westerns. Don¿t miss seeing it, even three or four or five times.
Based on Jack Schaefer's short novel, Shane is the story of a gunfighter in buckskins who knows his time on the western range is passing. Alan Ladd - in the title role - is a man who seemingly wants to put his past behind him. He hires out to a farming family - doing odd chores - and puts away his buckskins. This is a story of simple people who want to live in peace on the Western range and of the cattlemen who think the land is theirs. The cattlemen make conflict and violence their weapon. The farmers are hard pressed to hold their own. Ladd's Shane is really closer to the violent ways of the ranchers than he is to those of the farmers. At film's end, he returns to the gun and to the life he formerly knew.