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Shane (1953)

Director:
George Stevens
COUNTRY
USA
Genre
Western
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Shane

RUNNING TIME
118 minutes

Producer:
George Stevens
Screenwriter:
A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
Jack Sher
Based on the novel by:
Jack Shaefer


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Shane Alan Ladd
Marion Starrett Jean Arthur
Joe Starrett Van Heflin
Joey Starrett Brandon de Wilde
Jack Wilson Jack Palance
Chris Calloway Ben Johnson -
Fred Lewis Edgar Buchanan -
Rufus Ryker Emile Meyer -
Frank Torrey Elisha Cook, Jr. -

 

Review

Contrary to how the genre would develop through the spaghetti-westerns a decade later, this classical western doesn't portray the west as a callous and bloody world populated by powerful, duelling gunslingers. In Shane, we meet the families of settlers who have forged a new life for themselves and who are effectively antiquating the old gunfighters, here represented by the title character. He is trying to adapt by finding work as a farm hand, but for Joey (Brandon deWilde), the little boy on the farm, Shane is still a hero and not the miserable, irrelevant and dying breed he feels like. The complexity in the Shane character is very well communicated by Alan Ladd and director George Stevens, making the film far more multifaceted and interesting than most of its counterparts from the same era. And as handled by Stevens (A Place in the Sun, Giant), Shane works equally well as en entertainment film as it does as a social study. It's a bittersweet and very intelligent story of uprising, friendship and disillusion. Little Brandon deWilde's gripping performance as Joey earned him an Oscar nomination.


Alan Ladd as Shane and Brandon deWilde as Joey in "Shane"

English version: Copyright 12.02.2020 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 22
.10.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang