Monday, August 5, 2019

SHANE (1953)

"From now on, when we fight with them, the air is going to be filled with gunsmoke."

Wyoming, sometime after the American Civil War.  A cattle baron, Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer), isn't happy with the smaller farms and ranches popping up on "his" land.  When the film opens, Shane (Alan Ladd), a gunfighter with a mysterious past (it's almost like he's an ex-gunfighter), is riding his horse past the homestead of one of the new farmers, Van Heflin and wife Jean Arthur.  They talk a little and as Fate would have it, right as he's about to leave...the cattle baron and his men show up and start talking mad shit.  Shane don't take too kindly to them flapping their lips, talkin' shit, so he sticks around as Helfin's peaceful farmhand.  The "peaceful" part last about a week, cause when they ride into town to get some supplies, some of Ryker's men start talkin' shit yet again!  Shane fisticuffs all up in their grills.  After that, Ryker hires a gunslinger (Jack Palance) to take care of things.     

I've seen SHANE a few times over the years and each time I enjoy it.  Strong cast, beautiful camerawork, steady pace...but is it really worthy of all of the extreme praise that it gets?  I, personally, don't think so.  Then again, I find kids in movies to usually be annoying as fuck and the kid in this movie is no exception.  Oh my God, I was hoping a horse would fall on him or something.  The whole movie: "Shaaaaannnneeeee!" over and over.  Vomit.  The scenes without the kid are much better though.  I especially enjoyed Elisha Cook Jr. and Jack Palance.

Not the greatest western ever, but definitely an above average one that deserves to be seen.  Especially by fans of classic westerns.  If you need me, I'll be in my room watching RIO BRAVO.