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4.8 11
Director: George Stevens

Cast: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin


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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Often described as the "perfect" western, Shane simultaneously reaffirms and transcends genre conventions. This 1953 film's basic premise -- the violent struggle between greedy cattlemen and intrepid homesteaders -- is as old as the horse opera itself and is depicted by director George Stevens in stark, unambiguous fashion. The characters, too, are familiar types: the courageous farmer (played by Van Heflin), the dutiful wife (Jean Arthur), the hired killer (Jack Palance), and so on. Shane himself, played with admirable understatement by Alan Ladd, is positively archetypal. A former gunfighter, he seeks his redemption by helping the homesteaders, only to find them in desperate need of his "professional" skills -- the use of which, he realizes, will make him an outcast. Under Stevens's masterful direction, and bolstered by the Oscar-winning cinematography of Loyal Griggs and Victor Young's evocative musical scoring, every cliché seems fresh and every emotion rings true -- an achievement that ensures Shane a permanent place in the pantheon of great westerns.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Despite being burdened with grand pretensions, George Steven's Shane stands securely as one of the most intelligent westerns of its era. The story, underscored by potent historical conflicts between cattle ranchers and homesteaders, and broad philosophical issues contrasting the rugged individualist of American lore with the value of belonging to a community, is mythic in scope. The massive, imposing and ragged landscape of Wyoming's Grand Tetons, captured capably by Oscar winner Loyal Griggs, provides an appropriately awe-inspiring backdrop to the action. Stevens rarely passes up a chance to offer up attention-seeking directorial flourishes (long takes capped by extended fades), but in the end his faithfulness to the characters and their stories preserves the movie's greatness. Jack Palance, whose sneering charisma is palpable, is the embodiment of evil as the ranchers' hired assassin. Alan Ladd, who is enigmatic and mysterious as the neo-pacifist ex-gunslinger titular character, is quietly imposing (despite his lack of physical stature) in the role. As a man with a dark past, Shane willingly martyrs himself in order to atone for past sins and to save his newly adopted family. Therefore, it is appropriate that his son-by-proxy Joey provides the predominant point-of-view, since it is his coming-of-age that reflects the maturation of the American west. Some of the more subversive critics have pointed to the psychosexual nature of the exchanges between Joey and Shane as evidence of the film's subconscious perversity. Nominated for 5 Oscars, winner of one for its stunning color cinematography.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
[monaural, Dolby Digital Stereo]

Special Features

Closed-Caption Theatrical Trailer Commentary With George Stevens Jr., Production Assistant & Son Of The Late Director/Producer, George Stevens And Ivan Moffat, Associate Producer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Ladd Shane
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
Douglas Spencer Shipstead
John Dierkes Morgan Ryker
Ellen Corby Mrs. Torrey
Paul McVey Grafton
Edith Evanson Mrs. Shipstead
Leonard Strong Ernie Wright
Ray Spiker Johnson
Janice Carroll Susan Lewis
Martin Mason Ed Howells
Helen Brown Mrs. Lewis
Nancy Kulp Mrs. Howells
Ewing Miles Brown Actor
Rex Moore Actor
Henry Wills Actor
Charles Quirk Clerk
Jack Sterling Actor
Elisha Cook Frank Torrey
John Miller Atkey
Howard Negley Pete
George Lewis Ryker Man
Chester W. Hannan Ryker man
Bill Cartledge Ryker man
Steve Raines Ryker man
Beverly Washburn Lewis Daughter (uncredited)

Technical Credits
George Stevens Director,Producer
Joe de Young Consultant/advisor
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
A.B. Guthrie Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
William W. Hornbeck Editor
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Emile Kuri Set Decoration/Design
Tom McAdoo Editor
Ivan Moffat Producer
Hal Pereira Art Director
Jack Sher Screenwriter
Walter Tyler Art Director
Victor Young Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Shane
1. Chapter 1 [:06]
2. Chapter 2 [1:27]
3. Chapter 3 [5:47]
4. Chapter 4 [6:59]
5. Chapter 5 [7:33]
6. Chapter 6 [:47]
7. Chapter 7 [2:32]
8. Chapter 8 [3:44]
9. Chapter 9 [6:21]
10. Chapter 10 [1:35]
11. Chapter 11 [6:59]
12. Chapter 12 [4:14]
13. Chapter 13 [1:52]
14. Chapter 14 [2:16]
15. Chapter 15 [5:43]
16. Chapter 16 [2:24]
17. Chapter 17 [5:39]
18. Chapter 18 [:37]
19. Chapter 19 [4:49]
20. Chapter 20 [1:00]
21. Chapter 21 [7:49]
22. Chapter 22 [1:45]
23. Chapter 23 [8:31]
24. Chapter 24 [7:26]
25. Chapter 25 [1:45]
26. Chapter 26 [9:47]
27. Chapter 27 [4:10]
28. Chapter 28 [3:57]
29. Chapter 29 [:06]


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Shane 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Hugo-Z-Hackenbush More than 1 year ago
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.
Jerryman More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
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