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Shane (1953) (BD)
Acclaimed director George Stevens’ legendary rendition of the quintessential Western myth earned six Academy Award® nominations and one win* and made Shane one of the classics of American cinema. The story brings Alan Ladd, a drifter and retired gunfighter, to the assistance of a homestead family terrorized by a wealthy cattleman and his hired gun (Jack Palance). In fighting the last decisive battle, Shane sees the end of his own way of life. Mysterious, moody and atmospheric, the film is enhanced by the intense performances of its splendid cast. Cette représentation légendaire de l’archétype du western proposée par le réalisateur réputé George Stevens a obtenu six nominations aux Academy AwardMD, remportant un prix* et élevant L’Homme des vallées perdues au rang des classiques du cinéma américain. L’histoire raconte comment Shane (Alan Ladd), vagabond et ancien professionnel de la gâchette, vient en aide à une famille de fermiers terrorisée par un riche rancher et son homme de main (Jack Palance). En menant cette dernière et décisive bataille, Shane entrevoit la disparition de son propre mode de vie. Énigmatique, sombre et évocateur,]]>
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I was moved when I finally spent an evening watching "Shane". This is a beautiful film about the West, about courage, and about growing up. The cinematography of the West is outstanding, the musical score is lavish, and the acting is convincing. Most of all this is a story of a passing way of life, as the mysterious retired gunfighter Shane comes to a small Wyoming community of farmers and helps to establish them against the ranchers.
I enjoyed reading the many Amazon reviews in enhancing my appreciation of the movie. The lead review, by a nameless reviewer, states perceptively: " this film is more about principles than action. It exemplifies principles and values that unfortunately have become outdated in today's society such as, character, integrity, loyalty, pride in accomplishment, persistence and the willingness to fight for what is right. It is also an excellent human interest story and succeeds in getting the viewer to love the homesteaders and hate the ranchers." I felt much the same way. Part of the reason people turned away from Westerns was a disenchantment with the values and portrayal of America they offered. Guthrie's books helped me reach this conclusion. Shane brings back an earlier America and its values, as the prior reviewer noted, and it is a voice that still has something to teach a different, more cynical time. On the same line, another Amazon reviewer noted that "Shane" followed all the conventions of the genre Western rather than offering a parody or irony,as a modern telling would likely do. This too is a strength of the film even though the movie goes well beyond genre in following the conventions of a Western.
Alan Ladd offers a career-making performance as the reserved, mysterious gunfighter Shane. The cast features Van Heflin and Jean Arthur as the Starrett family whom Shane befriends. There is more than a hint of an attraction between Shane and Marian Starrett, but the relationships between the parties are honorable and husband and wife love each other. Brandon de Wilde plays the Starrett's small son, Joey, who looks on Shane as a hero. The villains of the film include Jack Palance as the hired gun of the ranchers and Emile Myer as the ranchers' leader. George Stevens directed this film which has justly become an icon. The film was an avowed attempt to create a myth of the American and Western experience which is a worthy goal for American film and literature.
I enjoyed seeing "Shane" and revisiting memories of old Westerns and thinking about them differently after many years. The film is about change in cultures and individuals, loyalty, and integrity. It is also a riveting story. The movie brought back to mind a uniquely American art form and reminded me about how much of American culture has managed to blur distinctions between the popular and the highbrow. The film could be an inspiration for our polarized and fractious country.
to today's movie fans.
Often starring childhood hero's such as 'Alan Ladd' ...'Shane' is seen by many as one of the all-time 'Classic' Westerns.
A drifter 'Shane' rides onto a homestead seeking only for a cup of water, the owner 'Joe Starrett' (Van Heflin) is at first suspicious
of the stranger because he seems to quick to re-act to quickly to his son 'Joey' (Brandon De Wilde) cocking his unloaded rifle.
'Joe' asks 'Shane' to leave when riders approach not wanting to encourage any trouble, it's land-baron 'Ryker' (Emile Meyer) and
his men.....'Ryker' wants 'Joe' and his family along with all the other homesteader's off the lands they'd staked a claim on, he was
here before them and see's the lands as his.....'Shane' hadn't left the property and stood alongside 'Joe' as 'Ryker' had his say.
'Joe's' wife 'Marian' (Jean Arthur) suggests that 'Shane' share's a meal with them and beds down for the night in the barn.
Some while ago 'Joe' employed help, 'Ryker' had scared them off, though 'Shane' has no roots the offer of a job and a place to stay
for a while seems like a good idea.
When riding into town to collect a few supplies 'Shane' is given a cold reception by one or two of 'Ryder's' men and told by 'Calloway'
(Ben Johnson) to stay away from town, 'Shane' knows the score but the retired gun-fighter walks away...this time.
'Rylker' see's 'Joe' as the main obstacle in his attempt to drive the homesteaders off their lands, he's the one person holding them
together, without him, they would all leave.
'Ryker' decides to hire himself a gunman to ensure he reclaims the lands in the shape of 'Jack Wilson' (Jack Palance ( who back then still carried the name 'Walter' ahead of 'Jack' on the credits)
After taunting and killing one of the homesteaders 'Stonewall' Torrey (Elisha Cook jnr) 'Joe' to keep the homesteaders from running
for the hills decides to face 'Ryker' and his killer 'Wison' however drifter 'Shane' knows his friend cannot out-gun 'Wilson'
'Shane' will set out to stand alone against 'Ryker' and his hired gun.
This is truly a Classic-Western from yester-year that many will remember admiring as a child perhaps....it's old-school, typical of those
that graced our cinema's back in 1953 and beyond.
There are some well-staged fist-fights along the way leading to the final showdown.
Good Upgrade to the Blu-ray format.