A beautiful and elegiac western that is an early example of the genre becoming more self-reflective about the values and history it represents. I especially like the subtle tensions and camaraderie between Shane and Starrett and the warmth in the portrayal of the settler community that somehow manages to convey a sense of genuine hardship without resorting to too much sentimentality.
What does a man do when the world no longer needs him? Does he deny his obsolescence, violently and destructively, or does he accept it and find a way to do some good before the curtain falls? Beautifully directed and giving us one of the most satisfying barroom brawls in movie history, 'Shane' is a Western searching its own soul for an answer.
Another post WW2 western where the American psyche tries to justify to itself that it did the right thing and that all is going to be for the best for the little people, and that the children will not have to live the same as the bad guys have been eliminated. In this sense, a good rendition. As a film, not the most stunning crafting. As a subject, I find it mostly appreciable by the people from the time and place.
Superficially Shane appears to be a conventional Western; stoic stranger, with a past, rides into town & takes up the plight of the everyday folk against the despotic authority. But there's something more bubbling away in Shane. Ladd's character is quietly complex in his motives and mannerisms - a new type of high plains drifter. Soon he begins to epitomize the cost of progress in a rapidly changing frontier.
This movie is a contradiction. It is so scrubbed down that it looks to be directed at the very young. At the same time there are just enough violent scenes to be questionably appropriate for that audience (at least at that time). For me, this film was not a disaster but does not have what I am looking for in a good western; a story I can immerse myself in, complex characters and at least a little action. 3 stars.
Not understanding some of the low ratings for this one on here. Top notch western by the great George Stevens, and Arthur's final performance make this def a film worth seeing. Kind of transcends the western genre at times and becomes a bit of many genres combined in one, that just happens to have a ranch locale. I can understand the inclusion of this by AFI on their list. Essential viewing. 5 easy stars
As corny as it may seem to us this film is a standard bearer for the Western Genre as a whole, maybe a long side Stagecoach and a few others. Honestly I can't be all that irritated with the film's sappy corniness, because Jack Palance is totally worth the hour and 37 minutes. "Prove it."