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Shane 1953

  • George Stevens
  • April 23, 1953
  • 118 mins
  • English
  • Drama, Western
The Greatest Story Of The West Ever Filmed!
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smouldering settler and rancher conflict forces him to act.

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Picture 4/5, sound 3/5 . Pale Rider is a remake of this, I like both, what they told and how they told

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Shane is probably the archetypal Western and a central hero that could be a forerunner to Eastwood's character in Unforgiven. The film takes it's time to set up the relationship between Shane and the family he is staying with, in particular the hero-worship of the young boy and Shane's desire to experience family life. Much of the film is seen through the eyes of the boy, and so enjoyment of the film depends somewhat on whether you find the child annoying or endearing, but it cleverly allows the film to preach a greater complexity to the child whilst allowing its hero to eventually fulfil his slightly more simplistic purpose. Whilst the film does attempt to make the central antagonists a little more than one-note villains, ultimately Palance's entrance into the film is the point at which this approach is set aside in favour of the tropes we have come to expect. It's still watchable throughout, beautifully shot with an ending that is quite moving.

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