Monday, 16 February 2015

Shane (1953) Review

Shane (1953)

The film Shane (1953) depicts the story of a gunslinger Shane (Alan Ladd) who rides into a small frontier town in Wyoming in the hope of settling down, positioning himself within the conflict of the homesteaders and the ranchers, Shane does what he can in order to protect those he comes to care about even if it means leaving town alone afterwards. Based on the book of the same name written by Jack Schaefer. It has all the specific elements that you would hope to find in any great western film; heroes, villains, guns, frontier towns, saloon fights etc. and for many of these reasons it is considered to be a classic and one of the best western films ever made.
          Shot under the peaks of the Grand Tentons the way in which Shane has been filmed enhances the rich and dramatic landscape of the West and highlights the iconic American frontier scene with a small town on the edge of nowhere.
          Alan Ladd’s character, Shane, is the hero of the film, the good guy who saves the town from the villainous ranchers however he is also a very mysterious character. He first off presents himself to the Starrett family as a weakling, just passing through however when Rykers men show up and there is conflict present he soon changers his behaviour; getting involved in another man’s dispute and proudly showing Rykers men his gun, his personality and tone begin to suggest that he is more than meets the eye. Perhaps this is why Shane also only has a first name; lending to his mystery and past. The story is told through the eyes of Joey, a young boy who looks up to Shane and sees him as a role model, this is also shown through the camera work, when many times Shane is in shot it is filmed from lower down, elevating his importance and showing the admiration. Personally I think that Ladd does well to portray the character of Shane.
          Overall, Shane, is classed as one of the best western films and director and producer, George Stevens, did well to turn such a successful book into an endless, classic western. I don’t personally watch many western films, however, having watched Shane, I did enjoy it and would recommend it for others to watch.


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