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Author Topic: Shane (1953)  (Read 16530 times)
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« on: August 06, 2003, 11:37:10 AM »

Non-spag topic, but I thought it was interesting.

I've noticed that there is a fairly heated controversy regarding the ending of Shane (apparently fueled by comments made by Samuel L. Jackson's character in the film The Negotiator) and was wondering what some of you thought.

Shane was wounded (I thought in the arm) during the final showdown. After he departs, leaving that irritating little kid in the distance, some people think that he dies there on the horse. I had never considered that, so I watched the ending a few more times. He seems pretty alive to me, and does not slump the way some of the death advocates have maintained.

He rides past a graveyard, which could have some metaphorical significance, but the problem is that he's clearly steering the horse around. He's also fairly upright in the saddle from what I can see. Of course, so was the Mexican corpse at the beginning of FFOD. I didn't see anyone run in and prop Shane up with a stick though.

I think that it's meant to be left open as to whether he lives or dies, but some say he's obviously kicked the bucket on screen. According to some comments on other boards, the book is not clear on his fate either.

Just wondering what some of you folks see.

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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2003, 10:11:09 AM »

I never thought that Shane was dying.

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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2003, 03:21:31 AM »

OK this may be an old thread, but here are my two cents. I've always read the ending of 'Shane' as a metaphorical death, his forlorn departure much akin to Ethan Edwards' in 'The Searchers'. The old way of life is coming to an end as the homesteaders settle in to create the new nation, and the 'ancient race' of buckskin-clad titans fade away into the landscape from whence they came. I've also always considered Cheyenne's actual death and Harmonica's slow departure as a nod to this tradition.

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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 08:24:20 PM »

Watched this on TCM tonight and pretty much agree with the last comment made that Shane's is a metaphorical death.

Aside from the really annoying Bille De Wilde its not a bad old school film & Ben Johnson & Jack Palance have some great supporting roles.

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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2007, 08:27:16 PM »

CJ, Palance has not simply a great supporting role: he makes movie history here.

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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2007, 08:52:44 PM »

CJ, Palance has not simply a great supporting role: he makes movie history here.

true.

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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 12:34:37 PM »

I don't think he dies.


Shane didn't die in the novel.

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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2007, 05:37:18 PM »

Shane, on my view, doesn't literally die, but I like the idea he undergoes a figurative demise (the journey past the cemetery signaling this). He can not long remain in human society, he is anathema to domestic concerns, because he has something to do with death. He may be the agent of grace, but he cannot share in it.

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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 07:36:49 AM »

Just watched it. Very, very good. I'll give it 9/10. The biggest problem is the always so clean Hollywood style (how the F does Shane manage to keep his working clothes clean Shocked  ?)

I didn't see where he was shot but I think it's possible that he dies. But it doesn't really matter whether he dies really since he's dying breed. He either dies by bullet or then he dies spiritually when he's forced to adapt to the new way of living. I guess he'd prefer the bullet.

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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 07:57:00 AM »

Shane (1952) - 9/10
Just watched it. Very, very good. The biggest problem is the always so clean Hollywood style (how the F does Shane manage to keep his working clothes clean Shocked ?)

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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2007, 10:24:47 AM »

Shane (1952) - 9/10
Just watched it. Very, very good. The biggest problem is the always so clean Hollywood style (how the F does Shane manage to keep his working clothes clean Shocked ?)

I've never seen it... I've read the book. I liked the book. And I'm a bit afraid of the film exactly for this reason.

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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 11:05:26 AM »

Hm... I just watched the ending (the duel also) in youtube, and the pic was very bad, so I can't see where he was shot, but I can imagine it was something bad... like poor Cheyenne.  Cry
Shane was a man of the "ancient race" and he should die. Well, riding into the sunset is a symbolic death in a western, I think. But I can imagine he's deadly wounded, but didn't wanted the little boy see him die... so he was gone.  Cry

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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 08:35:57 PM »

Well, riding into the sunset is a symbolic death in a western, I think.
Can be ("Going west" is a euphemism for dying). But context determines meaning. If the hero and his sweetheart ride into the sunset at the end of a film, then a happy life together is indicated.

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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 11:53:37 AM »

Shane is good alright. I (re)watch it from time to time and it mostly holds well the burden of time. It is old school, yes, but after you swallow the inherited naiveness of the (at times) dragging storytelling and some truly irritating character features, the good story and performances hold up the entertaining value pretty high. Nice cinematography too.

It always goes through my mind how it seems it was much easier to find great villains in those days. I mean in terms of talent, not to mention from the financial side.


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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 11:57:50 AM »

And to answer the question: no, I never thought Shane was about to die in a literally sense.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 11:59:11 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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