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Author Topic: Shane (1953)  (Read 16542 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2014, 12:39:13 PM »

-- DJ: it's true that whether he dies or not, Shane now has "gotta go" - like how Cheyenne actually died and Harmonica left town alive - point is, people who have something to do with death have no place in the new world. Nevertheless, I don't think that discussing whether or not Shane physically dies is a dumb discussion.
On the other hand, maybe you can say that the movie leaves it ambiguous for this specific reason: it's telling us that it really doesn't matter whether or not he really dies.

Finally: if the point is that a gunfighter has no place in the new world, IMO it's more effective to have him leave town alive - cuz he KNOWS he has no place. That's why I really wish that the movie made no implication of Shane's physical death: his physical death is meaningless/redundant (and involuntary); IMO it's more effective to have the Harmonica-like ending, where he knows, with a twinge of sadness, that the new world has no place for him.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #76 on: March 24, 2014, 01:16:27 PM »

I do not disagree with any of the above.

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« Reply #77 on: May 05, 2014, 11:23:06 PM »

just saw the movie again, first time on BRD.

I don't have much to add to the what I've written about the movie itself: I hate/dislike much of the cast (my only cast-related opinion that I'll say specifically cuz it's different than last viewing is that this time around, I thought Emile Meyer was alright as Rufus Ryker). I definitely think there is an implication that Shane dies, he is slumped over in the saddle as he rides away.

I really love the music - the main theme, besides being a nice song, sounds like a children's tune; after all, this is a fairy tale, a myth seen through the eyes of a child. Wonderful work by Victor Young.

Anyway, my main point is about the BRD - which is in 4:3 aspect ratio, btw. (No, I can't measure if it's 1.33:1, 1.35:1, or 1.37:1, but it's one of those aspect ratios we refer to broadly as 4:3.)

I own the digital file on my laptop, downloaded a few years ago from iTunes (back when I was an idiot and actually watched movies on my laptop from iTunes!), so I was able to compare that iTunes file to the BRD. Definitely a significant difference in color - not necessarily more realistic one way or the other, and of course I have no idea which one looks closer to how the movie looked in 1953, but there is definitely a difference in color between the digital file and BRD. (I have no idea how my iTunes digital file compares to the DVD). I'm sorry I don't know all the jargon how to describe differences in image quality, but I'll do my best.

At times the digital file definitely looks darker; I think that's more realistic for the night scenes as compared to the BRD, which is brighter. Digital file definitely has some fading on image, which you'd expect from any film several decades old; of course it's not as sharp as BRD. Color is significantly different at times; eg. in opening credits, wide shot of landscape, the greenery looks much greener in the digital file, less green in BRD. In various other shots, color looks significantly different between the two versions; again, it's hard to definitively say if one is more realistic than the other, and I have no way of knowing which looks closer to how it looked when the movie was released.
The BRD image generally has more information, as you can see in Beaver's screencap comparisons http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare7/shane.htm Those comparisons will also show how different the color is between the BRD and the DVD
(again, I don't know whether or not my digital file is identical to the DVD).

Bottom line: the BRD looks nice. However, since the BRD color is so different than the previous versions, and since the BRD is probably here to stay, all I can say is that I sincerely hope that when the BRD was made, it was with the intent of preserving, as much as possible, how the color looked when the movie was made, rather than using modern technology to "improve" on history. It's an old question of how far should film restorers go - do they make the film look the BEST it can be, or the closest it can be to how it originally looked? I think I'm best off when I don't worry about it too much and just enjoy the movie  Wink
But I'll just provide the link to an earlier post where I copied something Martin Scorsese said about this subject of preservation vs. improvement, so to speak http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10908.msg160282#msg160282

« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 11:25:58 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #78 on: June 20, 2017, 05:28:13 AM »

Read the novel. As good as the movie. 9/10
The physical appearance of Shane is not very distant from Ladd's, in the words of the child narrator: "He was not much above medium height, almost slight in build. He  would have looked frail alongside father's square, solid bulk."

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« Reply #79 on: June 21, 2017, 04:40:37 AM »

A wonderful film, a Western essential.

A man has to be what he is Joey, can't break the mould.

Shane is a weary gunslinger, one day he happens upon a homesteader family and begins to do chores for them, he finds an inner peace that he long thought was behind him. Sadly his peace is short lived because a strong arm cattle baron is determined to drive all the small farmer families off their land, and Shane finds himself drawn into the escalating conflict.

Taken from Jack Schaefer's popular novel, Shane holds up today as one of the most popular revered Westerns because it has mass appeal to the watching public. It's main plot strand may be of a simple good versus evil type scenario, but it's the surrounding veins that enthuse the films heart with maximum results. The story plays out thru the eyes of a young boy, Joey Starrett, he worships Shane for the guns he can sling, whilst simultaneously not recognising his own father for the honest hard working man he is, this of course is not lost on the mother of the piece. The family axis then comes to the fore as Shane quickly becomes aware of his moral fortitude, and this gives us a fascinating inner picture to run alongside the outer evil cattle baron versus farmers story. Within this warm family environment Shane hopes to find redemption, but sometimes a man has to do what a mans got to do, and this leads us to the films crowning glory.

Alan Ladd is Shane, wonderfully attired and playing the character with just about the right blend of gusto and tenderness, perhaps dangerously close to stiffening up at times, Ladd however nails it and gives the Western genre one of its ever lasting icons. Van Heflin, Jean Arthur, and Brandon de Wilde play the Starrett family, all of whom come out with much credit, whilst Jack Palance leaves a lasting impression as the dark knight, deadly hired gun, Wilson. Brutal yet sweet, and seeping positive morality into the bargain, Shane is a film for the whole family to enjoy, oozing fine work from all involved, it is a smashing and permanently engaging film. Sometimes when one revisits the film it feels like it is the prototype Western, all the genre characters are so vividly evident, but it's a testament to director George Stevens and his crew that Shane holds up to the iconic status it has garnered. Loyal Griggs won the best colour cinematography award at the 1953 Oscars, within three minutes of the opening credits he well and truly deserved it, as good an opening sequence as genre fans like me could wish for, and of course the rest of the fabulous Big Bear Lake location in California is sumptuously filmed.

Both as a technical piece of work and as a shrewd story of some standing, Shane deserves every bit of praise that has come its way over the years, oh yes!. 9/10

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