Reflections On Shane the Movie by award-winning suspense author James Scott Bell
In my opinion Shane the movie is not just the best Western ever, but one of the top five films of all time.*
Mythic, amazing to look at, and featuring one of the great villains: the grinning Jack Palance. He earned an Oscar nod for his turn as the gunfighter Wilson, the “lowdown Yankee liar.”
Also earning an Oscar nomination was the young Brandon De Wilde as Joey. Yes, it’s easy to parody “Come back, Shane!” But it’s been done, so don’t go there!
The fine cast of Shane the movie also includes Jean Arthur, Ben Johnson, Elisha Cook, Jr. and, as the ruthless cattleman, the wonderful character actor Emile Meyer.
Shane is one of those movies that really has to be seen on the big screen to get the full effect. I recently had the chance to see it in all its glory at a theater in Los Angeles. It just blew me away. The director, George Stevens, was also a cinematographer, and the epic visuals are stunning. His use of sound, too, was innovative for the time. This Western out-Fords even the great John Ford.
The mark of a classic is that its themes are timeless. In Shane the movie we have the law-abiding community challenged by lawless men of force. The dream of domesticity versus the reality of evil.
We also have a Christ allegory. You can’t get more timeless than this: Shane comes down from on high, defeats the devil, is wounded in the side, dies, and ascends. The very last shot has Shane being carried by his horse through a graveyard. He even leaves behind an apostle, Joey, to take the news back to the community that the evil has been destroyed and now all who follow can grow up strong and decent.
Joey shouts, “Come back, Shane!”
Maybe, someday, he will.
*Shane the movie 1953, produced and directed by George Stevens
About The Suspense Never Rests author James Scott Bell:
James Scott Bell is the #1 bestselling author of Plot & Structure, and thrillers like Don’t Leave Me, Blind Justice, Deceived, Try Dying, Watch Your Back, and One More Lie
Jim graduated with honors from the University of Southern California law school. He has written over 300 articles and several books for the legal profession. He has taught novel writing at Pepperdine University and numerous conferences in the U. S., Canada and Great Britain.
A former trial lawyer, Jim now writes and speaks full time. He lives in Los Angeles. He blogs every Sunday at The Kill Zone.
For more about James Scott Bell and his books: http://www.jamesscottbell.com/
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A cold-blooded killer is destroying all who oppose him. Will there be a final witness to the truth?
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Shane the movie blurb*:
Director George Stevens’ Shane is a legendary rendition of the archetypal Western myth. Shane the movie earned six Academy Award nominations, and made Shane one of the timeless classics of American cinema. Based on Jack Schaeffer’s novel.
The story of Shane the movie brings Alan Ladd, a drifter and retired gunfighter, to the assistance of a homestead family terrorized by an aging cattleman and his hired gun. 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.
For another take on Shane the movie by western author Stephen Bly, click here for “Western Movies and Women’s Wear”: https://www.blybooks.com/2012/09/western-movies/
Western author Stephen Bly’s western movie review of Last Stand at Sabre River: https://www.blybooks.com/2011/08/western-movie/
Western author Stephen Bly’s favorite western movies: http://blybooks.blogspot.com/2010/03/stephen-blys-favorite-western-movies-in.html
Western author Stephen Bly’s “True Grit the Movie & Matt Damon’s Gun”: http://blybooks.blogspot.com/2010/12/true-grit-movie-matt-damons-gun.html