Shane (1953)

Description[from Freebase]

Shane is a 1953 American Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A.B. Guthrie Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer. Its Oscar-winning cinematography was by Loyal Griggs. The film stars Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur (in her last film after a thirty-year career) and Van Heflin, and features Brandon deWilde, Elisha Cook Jr., Jack Palance and Ben Johnson. Shane was listed #45 in the 2007 edition of AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies list and #3 on AFI's 10 Top 10 in the category Western. A stranger, wearing buckskin and a six shooter, calling himself Shane (Alan Ladd), rides into an isolated valley in the sparsely settled territory of Wyoming. Whatever his past, he's obviously skilled as a gunslinger, and soon finds himself drawn into a conflict between homesteader Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) and ruthless cattle baron Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer), who wants to force Starrett and the others off the land. Shane stays for supper and the night at the invitation of Joe's wife, Marian (Jean Arthur), and starts working as a farmhand. Young Joey (Brandon DeWilde) is drawn to him and the gun, and wants to learn how to shoot.

Review

When a reformed gunslinger looking to mend his evil ways stumbles upon a conflict between peace-loving sodbusters and ornery cattle ranchers in the middle of the old old West, trouble is bound to happen. And trouble is what Shane gets, as our title character (played by Alan Ladd) soon finds out as he returns to some of his rough-and-tumble ways as he tries to defend the homesteaders. Earnest and exciting, even if it’s a bit white hat/black hat (Jack Palance even makes an appearance here as an evil gunman who wears, you guessed it, a black hat), Shane is one of the great westerns, a film that inspired many which would follow it.

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