George Stevens' "Shane" is an emotional tale of farmers against ranchers
on the frontier. The 1952 classic earned six Oscar nominations, and probably
deserved to win a couple more than the one it snagged for its gorgeous
Alan Ladd is Shane,
a quiet ex-gunslinger who happens upon the farm of a homestead family
(Van Heflin, Jean Arthur and Brandon de Wilde) that's being terrorized
by a cattleman who wants their land and that of the other homesteaders
Shane likes these
people and decides to throw in his lot with them, working for hire on
the farm - but he gets drawn into the conflict and, finally, decides to
end it on their behalf.
The film is full of
great performances, including one from a very young Jack Palance who,
though he has few lines, is appropriately menacing as the gunfighter hired
by the ranchers to get rid of the farmers.
The locations, apparently
shot in the area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are spectacularly beautiful
and the Oscar-winning cinematography makes the nearby mountains become
almost a character in the drama. The western settlement is portrayed as
being brand new, with the town being nothing more than a few primitive
buildings in the middle of nowhere. It was a tough life for those who
chose to be there - tough enough just living and building a life without
the ranchers/homesteaders' conflict that's the movie's central theme.
The DVD is presented
in its original full screen aspect ratio and the picture quality is excellent.
The audio isn't as good as the video, but it's still pretty good. There's
also a running commentary from the producer/director's son (and production
assistant), George Stevens Junior, with associate producer Ivan Moffat.
The only other real "extra," is the theatrical trailer.
Considered by many
to be the best Western of all time, Shane is definitely right up there
among the best. It's a moving and exciting morality tale crafted by a
master of the genre, and therefore it's a must see for movie fans of all
Shane, from Paramount
117 minutes, full screen, Dolby Digital 2.0
Starring Alan Ladd, Van Heflin, Jean Arthur, Brandon de Wild, Jack Palance,
Edgar Buchanan, Ben Johnson
Written by A.B. Guthrie, Jr.
Produced and Directed by George Stevens
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