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Author Topic: Shane (1953)  (Read 16955 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2012, 10:49:04 AM »

It's a meaningless debate because, as has already been demonstrated on this thread, the metaphorical implications trump the literal ones.

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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2012, 12:45:39 PM »

I haven't read the thread

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2013, 06:52:50 PM »

just saw the movie again.

The first time around, I thought there was no chance that Shane died. But after seeing it now, I think there's a legitimate argument to be made; you can definitely say it's meant to be ambiguous, or that it's metaphorical.

The dvd has a very good commentary, by George Stevens, Jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat, but I was disappointed that they did not address the issue of whether Shane dies.

I think the final speech by Shane to Joey was way too verbose; at most, one simple line, like "I realized I am a gunfighter" would suffice.

The image quality is pretty bad by today's HD standards; they should do a restoration and release it on blu ray

the score by Victor Young is terrific

the actor playing the head rancher Rufus Ryker is terrible; the one playing his brother ain't much better

8.5/10

« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 03:56:58 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2013, 02:09:02 AM »

just saw the movie again.

The first time around, I thought there was no chance that Shane died. But after seeing it now, I think there's a legitimate argument to be made; you can definitely say it's meant to be ambiguous, or that it's metaphorical.

The dvd has a very good commentary, by George Stevens, Jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat, but I was disappointed that they did not address the issue of whether Shane dies.

That would be stupid. The film implies that he dies, but yet in a way that it remains ambiguous.
Quote
I think the final speech by Shane to Joey was way too verbose; at most, one simple line, like "I realized I am a gunfighter" would suffice.
Yes, that's one of the sentimental scenes of the film. Without any sentimentality it would be a much better film.
Quote
the actor playing the head rancher Rufus Ryker is terrible; the one playing his brother ain't much better


Both are pretty impressive for me. Great faces.
Funny is you never see something of their cattle empire, and they seem to be very lazy guys hanging all day around in that trading saloon.

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« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2013, 04:03:11 AM »


Yes, that's one of the sentimental scenes of the film. Without any sentimentality it would be a much better film.
 

IMO it's not really about sentimentality; it's about explaining why he has to leave now, that he has chosen the life of a gunfighter and has realized it's too late to turn back, and that he hoped Joey lives to be a good person and not one who lives by the gun. I don't know if "sentimental" is the right word; I just think that the more you use words to explain something literally, the more it loses the effect.

Reminds me somewhat of the long speech by the psychologist at the end of Psycho, where he explains in very expansive detail exactly what went wrong with Norman Bates.

Here are the third-to-last and second-to last paragraphs of Roger Ebert's review of Psycho (full review here http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19981206/REVIEWS08/401010353/1023 )


For thoughtful viewers, however, an equal surprise is still waiting. That is the mystery of why Hitchcock marred the ending of a masterpiece with a sequence that is grotesquely out of place. After the murders have been solved, there is an inexplicable scene during which a long-winded psychiatrist (Simon Oakland) lectures the assembled survivors on the causes of Norman's psychopathic behavior. This is an anticlimax taken almost to the point of parody.

If I were bold enough to reedit Hitchcock's film, I would include only the doctor's first explanation of Norman's dual personality: "Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over, probably for all time." Then I would cut out everything else the psychiatrist says, and cut to the shots of Norman wrapped in the blanket while his mother's voice speaks ("It's sad when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son..."). Those edits, I submit, would have made "Psycho" very nearly perfect. I have never encountered a single convincing defense of the psychiatric blather; Truffaut tactfully avoids it in his famous interview.




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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2013, 04:22:10 AM »


Both are pretty impressive for me. Great faces.
Funny is you never see something of their cattle empire, and they seem to be very lazy guys hanging all day around in that trading saloon.

My problem isn't with their faces; it's once they open their mouths. Somethig about the way they speak, their voices/accents/cadences annoys me.

The one time you see some cattle was when they run some through Ernie's plowed land; as I recall, it looks like no more than 100 head; definitely not an empire. And I guess it's a Western tradition that the bad guys do nothing but hang around a saloon all day.

Though Leone was a great fan of Shane, Frayling says that Leone didn't much care for Ladd's performance.  One thing about Ladd: he looks like a girl when he punches Grin but maybe that's just cuz he has to punch upwards, cuz he is so short. (Perhaps he should have stuck to uppercuts rather than doing so many upward jabs and hooks  Wink)

The guy who plays the Swede has the worst accent ever (I laughed so damn hard when I he says "Ve ned some vood fer de firevorks.") He basically just substitutes a "V" for a "W," and "De" for "the," and voila, he's a swede! Elisha Cook, Jr. has an awful Southern accent.

btw, in the commentary, George Stevens, Jr. says that Sam Peckinpah said Shane is the greatest Western ever. Apparently, Peckinpah and Shane director George Stevens (Sr.) shared a disdain for violence. In the commentary, Jr. talks about how Sr., who had experienced so much death in the military in World War II, hated how Westerns treated six-shooters like toys, showing people getting shot multiple times and then jumping up, recovering instantly; Sr. wanted to show the horrors and devastation of a gun, and de-glamorize the violence. Peckinpah supposedly hated violence but used a different way of showing it; by showing as much violeve as possible, and hoping it would horrify the audience; instead, he was horrified when the audience loved it. (I read that somewhere about Peckinpah; I don't know how much of that is true).

Also, (for a movie that is a "self-conscious bit of myth-making," to paraphrase Frayling), there was a great emphasis on realism; Sr. said he wanted the characters to wear exactly what they would be wearing if we parachuted into Wyoming in 1890. Another bit of realism is the main street with stores on only one side; he said that in most Westerns, the town has stores on both sides of the street, to block the view of Culver City  Grin There is really a wonderful realistic look here. I am no historian of the West, maybe cigar joe can comment on this, but it seems to me that visually -- the worked-in clothing, the muddy streets, the rough buildings with very dim lighting, the sparsity of it all, the isolation, the dimness of all the indoor scenes -- Shane is as realistic as any Western.

I really can't wait for this movie to be have a proper restoration and blu ray release.


And again, I have to urge everyone who is a fan of Shane to watch the awesome dvd commentary with George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat

« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 07:40:47 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2013, 04:41:50 AM »

Funny is you never see something of their cattle empire, and they seem to be very lazy guys hanging all day around in that trading saloon.

I have a good buddy in Montana who family has a cattle ranch of 10,000 acres. I asked him how many cattle they could run on it, his answer was surprising, he said 375 beeves. That is all that amount of land could support it works out to about 32 acres per cow.

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« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2013, 05:10:01 AM »


Also, (for a movie that is a "self-conscious bit of myth-making," to paraphrase Frayling), there was a great emphasis on realism; Sr. said he wanted the characters to wear exactly what they would be wearing if we parachuted into Wyoming in 1890. Another bit of realism is the main street with stores on only one side; he said that in most Westerns, the town has stores on both sides of the street, to block the view of Culver City  Grin There is really a wonderful realistic look here. I am no historian of the West, maybe cigar joe can comment on this, but it seems to me that visually -- the worked-in clothing, the muddy streets, the rough buildings with very dim lighting, the sparsity of it all, the isolation, the dimness of all the indoor scenes -- Shane is as realistic as any Western.


Yea the one side of the street town is realistic a lot of towns still look like that, especially those situated along railroads or in a narrow canyon. Another factor would be the prevailing winds where the "front" sides of the town buildings would face away from the wind.

The biggest unrealistic thing in Shane is the presence of dirt farmers at all, nobody in his right mind would attempt to farm in a valley at 6,000 feet elevation that gets over 6 feet of snow a year.

Ryker & Co. should have just let them starve themselves out.  A more realistic confrontation would have been cattle vs sheep.

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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2013, 05:26:17 AM »

Yea the one side of the street town is realistic a lot of towns still look like that, especially those situated along railroads or in a narrow canyon. Another factor would be the prevailing winds where the "front" sides of the town buildings would face away from the wind.

The biggest unrealistic thing in Shane is the presence of dirt farmers at all, nobody in his right mind would attempt to farm in a valley at 6,000 feet elevation that gets over 6 feet of snow a year.

Ryker & Co. should have just let them starve themselves out.  A more realistic confrontation would have been cattle vs sheep.

isn't the melted snow that drips down from mountains good for crops?


(one Western that I can recall that was based on the cattle vs. sheep confrontation was Montana (1950), with Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042744/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2  It was one of the most ridiculous Westerns you will ever see. The squabbling parties sound like a bunch of 5 year-olds)

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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2013, 05:36:38 AM »

IMO it's not really about sentimentality; it's about explaining why he has to leave now, that he has chosen the life of a gunfighter and has realized it's too late to turn back, and that he hoped Joey lives to be a good person and not one who lives by the gun. I don't know if "sentimental" is the right word; I just think that the more you use words to explain something literally, the more it loses the effect.


I call this sentimental, especially in the way it was filmed by Stevens.

For Peckinpah. He did not film as much violence as possible. Only as much as the film needed. Just like Leone.

The filming of violence in Shane is very effective, but I'm not sure if it is really realistic. But Stevens wasn't the first one who made violence look violent in a western.

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« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2013, 06:01:26 AM »

Shane addresses the gun control question http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn9GLS-lnV0&feature=youtu.be

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« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2013, 07:03:05 AM »

isn't the melted snow that drips down from mountains good for crops?

It's not about water its about the number of frost free days.



What are you going to grow when between 231 and 250 days of the year you have the probability of the temperatures dropping below 32.

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« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2013, 10:18:12 AM »

The bluray will finally be released June 4th. I've heard rumors that paramount spent some decent cash remastering it, we'll see.

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=10764

I hope we get a choice for the aspect ratios.




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« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2013, 03:36:20 PM »



I hope we get a choice for the aspect ratios.



You want a 16:9 version, or do you fear they will release it wrongly in 16:9?

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« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2013, 04:57:37 PM »

I fear that there's only going to be the 1.66 version, which Stevens apparently hated and framed the movie for a 1.37 AR. While it may not be the equivalent of a butchery like hacking 2.35 to 1.33, I don't like that this movie isn't being properly preserved - even though I believe the original theatrical ratio was 1.66.

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