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SHANE (1953)


MissGoddess
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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> I am curious what makes Torrey's wanting to take on Wilson so different from Starrett wanting to go at the end? I have some thoughts but would love to know what everyone else thinks.

>

 

My feeling is that Joe Starrett had a much higher standing in the community, that others were more likely to look at him and to follow his lead, compared to Stonewall.

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Hi Rohanaka,

 

What a wonderful movie Shane is. We can all come to the table and a have a differing perspective about the movie. To me this makes it great and proves it has survived the test of time.

 

But, and yep, I do not see the relationship between Shane and Marian as you do and that's OK.

 

Even though your post is eloquent and well thought out, I will only respond to some of your points I find interesting...

 

>Shane looks at Joe like a brother. (maybe the brother he never had)

 

Maybe, but Shane is independent and a loner who has lived for himself. I think he simply liked and respected Joe Starrett and nothing else. Shane is not the kind of man who needs another man for his justification.

 

>And I see Joe as noticing all of that, (especially now after last night's viewing in a way I never did before) He knows that if anything were to ever happen to him, that the feelings that Marian has for Shane COULD be turned to love.

 

Could be? As someone has already stated Marian after cleaning Shane up asks big Joe to hold her and not ask why. She is aware of her feelings for Shane and it bothers her. Also, in the scene when she cleans Shane up, notice her eye contact with Shane and body language.

To me, very telling...

 

Two other points in the movie...

 

Do you remember Shane and Marian dancing together on the 4th of July? Did you observe big Joe's countenance when he saw them together? He was beginning to see something that was obvious.

 

But one of the most powerful scenes in the moive is when Marian asks Shane are you doing this just for me?

 

As you say, he states for Joe and little Joe, too.

 

But....

 

Look and hear how he says it with her looking on as if to say you know and I know we love each other and in a different time and place, you and I would have made a heck of a couple.

 

That's how I see it and in no way does that diminish Marian's loyalty to Joe or her family. Life is not always black and white.

 

Shane never would have disgraced her.

 

Anyway, for me Shane is a great, great movie with many nuances to it which can be interpreted in many ways.

 

My way was an excellent start...

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> {quote:title=JakeHolman wrote:}{quote}

> My way was an excellent start...

 

:)

 

I actually thought I'd noticed something in the way Joe looked at Marian and Shane when they were dancing together on the 4th of July, but I didn't even mention it because I was really not sure if it was just me or if it was something that others would see there, too.

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*I kind of find that a sadly rigid way to think, but it sure made for a great movie. It takes me back to what I kick about the ending of *The Searchers*, "Why does the hero have to ride off alone?" Ha! It just eats at me.*

 

MissG,

 

When y'all are done rambling about *Shane*, I'd love to talk with y'all about why Ethan can't enter the Jorgenson house at the end of *The Searchers*.

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Wendy:

 

If I may chime in? I don't think Johnson is the martyr in the traditional sense of the word. I think his death is the catalyst for bringing the community together and ultimately getting Shane to come to town I think Johnson's death is a result of his trumped up bravado that he can't live up to.

 

He doesn't go in to sacrifice himself or do whatever he was doing for the greater good of the community. He did it because he was full of himself. Even so he certainly was the catalyst for forcing the final outcome.

 

As far as your other thought on Starrett and Johnson coming after Wilson I think it is from two different perspectives. Starrett goes because someone has to and I think he believes he is the only one who can. The others are weak and while he may not be all the Shane is I think he feels no one else can. Johnson does it for himself. Even he is not convinced he can standing in the mud looking up at Wilson. I think though he feels trapped and can't get out so he pulls his gun. As if it mattered...

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Hiya Jake!!!!

 

We can all come to the table and a have a differing perspective about the movie

 

That, my friend, is what makes this little world go around. I know I have said this before in other chats with other folks... but I have always believed that films are nothing if not subjective and every one has their own opinion. We don't always have to see everything through the same lens... and that is ok.

 

And I don't think we are all that far off in our differing opinions about Marian and Shane.... you took things one way, and I took them another. But our common ground is that Shane DOES love her and that she is at the very least attracted to him... and Joe knows and sees it all.

 

And PS.. Ms Cutter... just a suggestion RE discussing why Ethan is left standing outside that door... go over to the Western Rambles and open us up on that little topic.... I think we can juggle both at the same time and then that way we aren't A) holding up the Shane chat here.. and B) sitting on the edge of our seat waiting to hear from you. :-) I LOVE that whole aspect of that film... and I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts. But if you would rather wait though... I will just sit around and (sigh) wait with you.. ha. :-)

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I don't think Johnson is the martyr in the traditional sense of the word. I think his death is the catalyst for bringing the community together and ultimately getting Shane to come to town I think Johnson's death is a result of his trumped up bravado that he can't live up to.

>

> He doesn't go in to sacrifice himself or do whatever he was doing for the greater good of the community. He did it because he was full of himself. Even so he certainly was the catalyst for forcing the final outcome.

>

> As far as your other thought on Starrett and Johnson coming after Wilson I think it is from two different perspectives. Starrett goes because someone has to and I think he believes he is the only one who can. The others are weak and while he may not be all the Shane is I think he feels no one else can. Johnson does it for himself. Even he is not convinced he can standing in the mud looking up at Wilson. I think though he feels trapped and can't get out so he pulls his gun. As if it mattered...

 

movieman,

I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Stonewall really does look out of his depth when standing across from Wilson, and it almost makes you feel sorry for him even before Wilson draws his gun, because you realize that it isn't even a close contest, that there's absolutely no way he's going to survive a gunfight with Wilson, and that his gesture will in some way end up being a largely useless one. Well, maybe not entirely because it will help to some extent to bring the homesteaders together. But the look on poor Elisha Cook's face as he's looking at Palance's Wilson just speaks volumes... I wish I had a screencap of it, but I'm sure everybody will get the idea.

 

I couldn't help but think that if Shane had not been around, Joe Starrett wouldn't have fared much better, although perhaps it wouldn't have been such an unfair fight. But still, it would without any doubt have left Marion a widow and little Joey an orphan.

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SPOILER! GO AWAY, SPOILER!

 

Howdy, Jackie, gal -- I may be crazy to make this comparison, but I'll go ahead

and say it. Shane reminded me of another quiet hero - in fact, their names are quite

similar.

 

Ohhhh, you're crazy with or without the comparison. :P Why does Sean Thornton (John

Wayne in The Quiet Man) remind you of Shane? The closest similarity for me

is that each is trying to move on and that each knows they are a man despite the

claim of others. They are holding back for their own reasons but each is eventually

pushed to where they must show it.

 

Frank, I think it is interesting that that scene is the twin (another bookend scene!)

of the one at the beginning of the movie, when Shane first arrives. He comes into the

Starrett household a stranger, but they are surprised at his willingness to help remove

the stump out in front of the house. They never asked him to do it, he just chipped in

and started helping. Just as the community would help Lewis to rebuild his HOME.

 

That is a very good observation. The uprooting of the stump is a critically important

moment in the film. This plays to your bookending. The stump in the film is "Ryker."

He must be removed if the community is to grow and prosper.

 

shane37.jpg

 

I like how Marian and Joey are shown planting crops while Shane and Joe remove

the stump. If the "stump" can be removed, those "crops" will be able to grow.

 

shane38.jpg

 

shane39.jpg

 

Joe: Marian, I've been fighting this stump off and on for two years. Use a team now

and this stump could say it beat us. Sometimes there ain't nothing that'll do but your

own sweat and muscle.

 

shane45.jpg

 

As CowboyChris pointed out, Shane and Joe fight with the stump in the

foreground. They are fighting over who is to remove the "stump."

 

shane46.jpg

 

shane47.jpg

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Howdy, Cinemafan! -- What a wonderful pleasure it is to see you out on the trail.

 

Marian is wearing pants at the beginning because she has to work alongside her

husband, doing hard outdoor work. When Shane hires on, she goes back to dresses,

no - not to entice Shane, but because she can now do more of a different kind of

labor, hard indoor work.

 

That is a terrific observation! I did not catch that. But are you sure it's just because of

indoor work or do you think she is showing her best side to Shane? I wonder...

 

Shane remarks on what an "elegant" dinner she made. That makes me think that

he may come from an Eastern/well off background.

 

I also took Shane's words to mean that she is an elegant woman. I'm of the belief that

when a man compliments a woman's meal, he is complimenting her. I think many

women still take it as such. This is why I tell Quiet Gal her cooking is horrendous. :D

 

Shane steps up to the plate for everybody - Marian, Joe and Joey. He says as

much. Of course, he has feelings for Marian, and vice versa, but they are both true

to themselves and to their families (in Shane's case, his adopted families). Every

feeling does not have to be acted on, and gut reactions are not always wise. That

is what Ryker seemed to be doing - reacting and not moving ahead.

 

That was perfectly said. Torrey (Elisha Cook, Jr.) was another who was acting on impulse.

 

Everytime I see this, I appreciate Van Heflin more and more. He could do it all.

 

Van Heflin is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. When I first saw him in

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, I felt he was rather odd. But as that film

progressed, my appreciation for him did as well. I believe he's terribly

underrated. Now I can't wait to see 3:10 to Yuma.

 

Ben Johnson as Chris - it may never be too late to make amends, but I do believe

he moved on.

 

He was the redemptive figure in the film. I like when he is left alone in the bar with his

conscience, the place where he once acted so "proud and strong."

 

shane48.jpg

 

When my own child was younger, I would sing "Goodbye Old Paint" to him; it was on

a WeeSing tape of American folk songs. He would laugh everytime he heard the title

words, and I had to explain to him that it was a certain kind of horse.

 

When I read this, it brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing that with us.

 

This movie does not waste a shot. There are no filler scenes, no phony love

scenes, nothing that does not mean something to the story.

 

Excellent point. I was into it from the start and it never let me go.

 

I don't think Wilson was too bright as a person.

 

I agree with that. He was merely full of himself.

 

I have the book here somewhere. I got it at a garage sale, and never read it. When

I find it, maybe it will give some insight to the ending. I think that Shane just kept

riding into the mountains, but I'm sure glad that there was no "Shane II" or

"Return of Shane". That would have been horrible. On the other hand, maybe there's

a reason there was no sequel.

 

I'd love to hear how the book ends. I think the film's ending is certainly meant to be

open-ended. I love those kind of endings, too.

 

I consider myself fortunate to have had this film in my life as a child. It provided insight

on many aspects of life that are constant. It also helped me get through a childhood

where we needed good guys, and proof that there was justice.

 

And here I am seeing it for the first time. I'm still a kid, so maybe it can help me, too. :)

 

FrankG, I am glad that you got to see it. TCM = entertainment, learning, and

camaraderie with like minded folks here.

 

Well, I must come clean, I watched my DVD. I hope TCM forgives me.

 

shane49.jpg

 

shane50.jpg

 

Marian (Jean Arthur) actually cracks a tiny little smile after hearing her meal was

"elegant." It's hard to catch, but it's there if you look for it.

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How do, Quiet Gal? -- Ma'am, that was an inelegant dinner. :P

 

I really enjoyed reading your post to Jake. I find myself somewhere in the middle on the

Shane and Marian being in love. At first, I was more on Jake's side, but now I'm leaning

your way.

 

My question to you and others is, is a strong attraction equivalent to love? I say that

it is not.

 

But Jake says the right things:

 

Shane is an honorable man who lives by a code and in that code is a belief not to

take advantage of another man's wife--even though he deeply loves her and she is in

love with him.

 

shane30.jpg

 

shane31.jpg

 

I think Shane is truly offended by Ryker's implication, but I also believe he's upset at

himself for thinking of Joe's wife in a manner he shouldn't. Ryker pushed the right button.

 

And this is an excellent point by Jake:

 

Big Joe knows it, too. Remember the part in the movie where he says I can see and

I know you will be taken care of if something happens to me....

 

Joe: I-I've been thinking a lot and... I know I'm kind of slow sometimes, Marian, but I see

things. And I know that if-if anything happened to me you'd be took care of. You'd be

took care of better than I could do it myself. I never thought I'd live to hear myself say

that, but I guess now's a pretty good time to lay things bare.

 

Marian: You talk as though I'd be glad for you to go.

 

Joe: Honey, you're the most honest and the finest girl that ever lived and I couldn't do

what I got to do if I hadn't always knowed that I could trust you.

 

shane51.jpg

 

What I like about Joe's words is that I think he's feeling a little less as a man because of

Shane. He certainly senses his wife's attraction to Shane.

 

Shane looks at Joe like a brother. (maybe the brother he never had) and he sees

Joe's family maybe as the family he never had too in a way... but he does this all

from that "brother's" perspective. Joey is like a nephew to him.... and Marian is the

sister in law. And he cares for all of them from that point of view.(stick w/ me here)

And I see all three of them coming to love Shane from those perspectives as well.

 

I believe there is some truth to that. The bottom line for me is:

 

'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife,

nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything

that is your neighbor's.'

 

 

But switching gears now, and moving to an entirely DIFFERENT level.... Shane

DOES love Marian (in much more than a "sister in law" kinda way). And I do see

Marian attracted to Shane too... but I do not see her IN LOVE with him.

 

I agree with you, but I believe she could easily fall in love with him, and she knows this.

 

shane20.jpg

 

Marian never looks Joey in the eyes when she says the above. She's basically talking

to herself.

 

And I see Joe as noticing all of that, (especially now after last night's viewing in

a way I never did before) He knows that if anything were to ever happen to him, that

the feelings that Marian has for Shane COULD be turned to love ... And he also

knows that the feelings that Shane has for her could be followed through with and

allowed to grow. And I don't think he minds one bit. Because in the meantime, he

also TRUSTS both of them. And it is not a BLIND trust.

 

I'm with you on this. Shane and Marian are strongly attracted to each other and they

would fall in love with each other given a chance. I believe Shane, Marian, and Joe all

come to realize this.

 

He sees Shane as a man of character and he respects that and honors it by giving

him the trust he deserves... And he also KNOWS his wife... and knows that he can

trust his OWN relationship with her. They love each other and have a bond that can

only come from being married for all those years and working side by side to grow

a home together. It is a MUTUAL love and respect. And he is confident in that.

 

I believe this to be true, as well. He has great faith and trust in his wife.

 

shane53.jpg

 

 

She may be attracted to Shane (for several reasons) and she may even LOVE him

in a way, but I don't think she is IN love with him.

 

And that's why I'm on your side. Although, Joey isn't:

 

shane55.jpg

 

shane56.jpg

 

However Marian DOES love her husband They have a life that has roots to it. She

is absolutely JOE'S wife. And I don't think it would ever enter her mind to want to

change that.

 

I cannot believe we are on the same page this much.

 

shane57.jpg

 

shane58.jpg

 

shane59.jpg

 

Watching this all again last night, I noticed too (more than ever before) that the first

time Marian and Shane both see each other... they are looking through a window... and

they are each more or less placed in their own "setting". She is framed by the window

and he is out in the great outdoors.

 

Shane KNOWS from the very beginning that no matter what he feels for her, that he is

not a part of that "picture". And SEVERAL times throughout the movie... that happens.

She is on the inside and he is on the outside.

 

That is a wonderful observation. I really like it. I also think it's because there is a barrier

between the two of them. She's the woman of another man's house.

 

She is "home" for him. She is the life he never got to have. But then again... so are

Joe and Joey (going back to the brother and uncle scenario that I mention) But ... it is

NOT his home nor his family. And he knows it. He loved them all. And yes... I agree.

He DOES do "it" for her... but he even says that he is also doing it for Joe and for Joey

too. And I'm really taking him at his word on that one.

 

Shane definitely does things for Marian. He almost always listens to her. Although, do

you think Shane would have left Joe go to town if Chris didn't tell him about Joe facing a

"stacked deck"?

 

shane60.jpg

 

shane61.jpg

 

shane62.jpg

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Frank,

I really enjoyed reading your responses to the others. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with everyone. I hope you don't mind if I chime in, as well. :)

 

*That is a very good observation. The uprooting of the stump is a critically important*

*moment in the film. This plays to your bookending. The stump in the film is "Ryker."*

*He must be removed if the community is to grow and prosper.*

 

There is no question that the uprooting scene is an important one, although equating a stump with one of the characters strikes me as much too simple a comparison (because it leaves out the fact that Wilson was far more dangerous, at least in terms of a gunfight, than Ryker could possibly be). I think the purpose of the scene was to show Joe's determination (in the way he refuses to use a team to get the job done) but also how Shane's cooperation is going to play a critically important role, and that Joe's willingness to accept Shane's cooperation may also be a very important factor. In the end, however, Joe was desperate enough to try to seek a resolution to the impasse in the most violent way imaginable, even if that wasn't really his strength and was quite likely to result in his death. Unlike the stump, in the case of facing Wilson and Ryker, Joe was trying to go it alone, and Shane has to knock him out to protect him from harm (and by extension, protecting Marian and Joey from being left on their own).

 

*I'm of the belief that when a man compliments a woman's meal, he is complimenting her. I think many women still take it as such.*

 

Yes, I would certainly take it as a personal compliment if a man compliments something I cooked for him! :x

 

shane55.jpg

 

shane56.jpg

 

What Joey said at the end of the movie really stuck with me, although I may have interpreted in a slightly different way. I don't think Joey is old enough to really understand much about romantic love, or why two people who might be attracted to each other would choose to repress those feelings, if one of them is already happily married. For Joey, Shane would represent a 2nd paternal figure, and one who could teach him things his real father couldn't, like how to handle a gun. So from Joey's point of view, wishing that Shane would stick around is probably more along the lines of wishing your favorite uncle or aunt could come and stay with you because you can do things with him/her that you couldn't do with your parents. Joey may have misinterpreted what his mother felt for Joey, but he was definitely picking up on something very real.

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Howdy, Fordy Guns -- I speculate this because Shane's arrival was ostensibly

just passing through, heading in the direction of those mountains (which were in the

north, I assume) and the movie ending almost seamlessly shows him riding away, taking

up where he momentarily left off, up into the, now frighteningly ominous, mountains. In

the last shots, the mountains have such a portentious aspect, as if they were a shadow

world that swallows Shane up.

 

Now that's some fine writin'. So should we make anything of names like Joseph and

Mar[y]ian and Starett and heading north? And what does Shane mean?

 

shane63.jpg

 

Now, for the funeral, I, too was struck particularly by the shots on the children

(and the animals).

 

I thought Stevens' usage of children and animals to be brilliant. The presence of each is

felt throughout the film. I really liked that the animals were shown with their young, too.

 

shane22.jpg

 

shane27.jpg

 

shane65.jpg

 

Did you notice in the scene, after Torrey gets shot, when Joe Starrett rides over

to Fred Lewis' place and tries to talk them into staying, at least for the funeral;

Joe tells Fred he'd take it "mighty hard" if they didn't at least stay to comfort

the widow at her husband's funeral. Right after he says that Stevens cuts

or pans to a reaction shot of all of Lewis' young daughters lined up and their heads

all turn to look at their Pa when Joe asks his question. It seems to shame

Fred into agreeing, and he tells his wife the cemetary is on their way out

anyway.

 

Nice catch!

 

shane66.jpg

 

And I can understand Lewis' wanting to run since he has five women to look after. That's

no easy chore. It would be especially difficult if they were snippy. :P

 

We have discussed a couple films of late that feature guys worrying about their wives

and children. Shane is yet another.

 

I thought the shot of Ryker with the cloud behind his head was so cool. He looks

almost Biblical in it.

 

I felt many of the close-ups with the blue sky and clouds in the background to be

"Biblical." But Ryker's is the most striking.

 

He does fancy himself the original tamer of that country, but Joe was correct when

he pointed to the others who had been there long before the cattlemen came. I think

it's interesting because Ryker is shown to be justified in his own eyes. Stevens

gives him quite a scene in which to explain himself, and interestingly, while he's

"justifying" his claims on the territory, he also reveals how poisoned with greed and

power he's become.

 

Very nicely put. I like your usage of the word "justifying." Ryker does feel justified. He

is in the right in his eyes and his eyes is all that counts.

 

I was astonished when he went to little Joey to ask him what he thought. Already

attempting to corrupt the next generation.

 

Ahh, yes, the tactic of a desperate weasel. I know them well. :P

 

It shows Joe Starrett to be a man of exemplary character, I think. He is someone

who can face facts, who can see things the way the REALLY are, even if it's a hurtful

thing, and yet he does not let that alter who he is, what he believes he must do, or

how he feels about those he loves. That is real strength of character. In a way, he's

like Shane. He can no more break the mold of his own character than Shane

can his.

 

I actually believe Joe is an even better man than Shane, he's just not a gunslinger. He

would have been shot by Wilson. His pride would have got him killed, just as Torrey's

did. Every man is different and each has their strengths and weaknesses. If one man

is weaker than another in an area it doesn't mean he is the weaker man as a whole.

 

In a way, I was reminded of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with Shane.

Ranse (James Stewart) wasn't a man who could handle a gun but Doniphon (John Wayne)

was. When a threat of violence arose, Hallie (Vera Miles) would turn to Doniphon for

help, just as Marian does with Shane. Shane prevents Joe from a showdown and

Doniphon -- VALANCE SPOILER -- saves Ranse during his showdown. Of course,

Doniphon is a far more tragic figure since he was the man who first loved Hallie. Shane

was second in line for Marian.

 

Do you think people can't "break the mold"?

 

Oh, surely, so long as it doesn't compromise who a person truly is within.

 

It was interesting reading how hard Stevens and the sound guys worked to find

just the right sound for the gunfire. Stevens had a very specific idea in mind,

he didn't want the typical movie gunshot or even a realistic gunshot, he

wanted a boom that would rock the audience. He wasn't looking for a cheap

thrill, he just wanted to emphasize the destructiveness, the ugliness of violence.

 

Well, he succeeded. Shane's gunshot made me jump. I was not expecting a cannon

shot. And, if you notice, Wilson's sounds the same.

 

I believe this also an underlying theme in Shane, the ugliness of violence

and the different ways different people view it (young, old, brave, cowardly,

peaceable, violent, male, female, community, outsiders, etc.). The things

Stevens saw in Europe during and after the war marked his soul. His movies

were never the same afterward. I think he was terrified for the future of the

younger generations. That's why children come front and center more than

ever in his post-war films.

 

That's a very good point. Sadly, the only way to rid violence sometimes is with

more violence. But I thought Joey's reactions to Shane's fights to be rather

interesting. He was clearly captivated by them. Yes, children do pay attention to

what adults do. Again, this is why I believe Shane is a very strong parental film.

 

You ask if he was heroic or a fool. I think he was foolish, and not heroic. However,

he wasn't a coward, he just had a kind of false courage, a "bravado" born of pride,

not from a desire to selflessly do right. He could muster the gumption to walk into

a room full of Rykers but he needed "Dutch" courage to maintain the bluff. That, and

his pride, his fear of looking small and his desire to look tough and BRAG about it

after seemed his main motivations.

 

I completely agree with that. Wilson can shoot me now.

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*In a way, I was reminded of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with Shane.*

*Ranse (James Stewart) wasn't a man who could handle a gun but Doniphon (John Wayne) was. When a threat of violence arose, Hallie (Vera Miles) would turn to Doniphon for help, just as Marian does with Shane. Shane prevents Joe from a showdown and Doniphon -- VALANCE SPOILER -- saves Ranse during his showdown. Of course, Doniphon is a far more tragic figure since he was the man who first loved Hallie. Shane was second in line for Marian.*

 

I find that to be a very good comparison. In the Old West, it seems, there were men of great principles who were not very good with guns, and men who might not always have been high on principles, but who knew how to handle the guns. And I say this with some reservation in the case of Shane because we really don't know an awful lot about what kind of a man he was, prior to the events in the movie, we just know he was a gunslinger at some point.

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SPOILER! GO AWAY, SPOILER!

 

Howdy, Mad Hat Molo -- Stonewall Torrey is a character that I have struggled

with. I am always a little squeamish about the "mocked Southerner", it rubs me the

wrong way.

 

Ohh, don't worry, I'm a lowdown Yankee liar.

 

One thing that has always bothered me is the first fight between Shane and Ryker's

men. The homesteaders practically cower in the doorway. (No one seems to mind that

Joey is in there though.) That's fine at first. It's Shane's fight, I guess, though in a

broader sense it's not. When they all start to take on Shane, Joe jumps into the

fight. Where is Torrey? The others? I guess I wouldn't expect old Fred to jump in there

but it bothered me that nobody else did.

 

I think that is one of the only minor flaws in the film. I think the only reason some of the

others didn't join in was because we needed to see Shane and Joe fighting shoulder to

shoulder. But your guy deserves credit:

 

shane29.jpg

 

In later years, Torrey's funeral scene has really moved me. The playing of Dixie, that

was once used to mock him, and then Taps, is very effective. Was Torrey heroic or just

a fool? He was full of brash talk. I liked his toast in the saloon. What is the consensus

on this guy?

 

I have liked what Miss G and Movieman have written about Torrey. I believe he was

a brave man but also a foolishly stubborn one, hence the nickname, "Stonewall" and

the playful teasing of him. He took himself much too seriously. His overconfidence

and insecurity ultimately led to his demise.

 

This was the truth:

 

shane32.jpg

 

shane33.jpg

 

I also thought Torrey's questioning Shane's toughness at the first homesteader meeting

to be quite telling. Shane understands both the how and the when to fight. He's an

intelligent man who keeps his wits about him. Torrey is the exact opposite of this.

Torrey believes that a man should be tough at all times and to take on every single

challenge that is dealt his way... the same way. Foolish. You can't just go around

punching everyone in the face and call yourself tough.

 

shane34.jpg

 

I thought it very interesting how Torrey walks in the mud. He's not confident at all.

 

shane36.jpg

 

Jackie that is a very good point. I hadn't actually looked at it that way. April, I also

agree that Steven's certainly gave him his moment. I liked his speech and I was kind

of sympathetic to it. He was there before them, he helped tame the country, and I'm

sure he put a lot of blood and sweat into creating his world. He suffered a lot of loss

as well, I'm sure. Joe's reply is a good one. Also, Jackie, I agree with you that he

could have spent a lot more of his time trying to find a better way.

 

I thought Ryker's point about cutting off the water supply to be a good one. It reminded

me of The Big Country.

 

You are right about him making a tactical mistake. His tactics seemed to be

working, except for Joe holding them together though. Even the killing of Torrey,

seemed to have the desired effect. It was the burning of the Lewis farm and the

scene you and Frank talked about after the funeral that really made them dig in. When

I watched I actually thought to myself: Tactical mistake there buddy!

 

But if there wasn't a Shane or possibly a Chris Calloway, Ryker would have been

successful. Wilson would have killed Joe and that would have been all she wrote.

 

Now tell us how you really feel Frank! Ryker is certainly no hero. He wants these

people out and he will bully them mercilessly. He does hold off on the guns for a

time, but when he brings in Wilson he commits himself totally to the dark side,

to evil. I really like how Calloway is shown in this part of the film. That shot of him

at Grafton's looking out, shows that this is weighing on his mind. Calloway must

have seen some honor in Ryker's cause, but he knows now that Ryker is planning

to murder. Does he leave Ryker and warn Shane because he has come to understand

that Ryker's cause is wrong or that Ryker has gone too far?

 

The killing of Torrey and then the funeral really affected Calloway. Look at his hands:

 

shane67.jpg

 

He even looks at his hands.

 

shane68.jpg

 

Howdy, Cowboy Chris -- I have really enjoyed your comments on Shane. You

have been spot on from where I sit. That's not a good thing for you, however.

 

I think I mentioned before Joey is enamored with Shane for a variety of reasons.

Clearly he thinks Shane is exciting. Joe Starrett is no slouch. He can find as good

as anyone. (You certainly find that out through the course of the movie.) But for Joey

his dad is just his dad. Shane is new, different, and dangerous. Shane is nice too. He

is mannerly, polite and nothing like Joey has ever seen.

 

That is well said. Joey is certainly looking up to Shane in a different way than he looks

up to his Pa. And this led to...

 

shane69.jpg

 

shane70.jpg

 

Torrey would have told his son, "sure, I can whip any man." Joe knows better. His answer

is, "Oh, maybe." He doesn't doubt himself as a man, but he doesn't hold himself to be the

best. He's a regular "Joe."

 

I wonder is even Shane being there gives Joe a sense of courage. Not that he

expects Shane to back him but to be more like him.

 

I definitely believe Shane increases Joe's level of courage, but I also believe Joe was a

courageous man prior to Shane's arrival.

 

A couple of odds and ends. When Wilson (Palance) enters the bar for the first time

how tough he is that the dog leaves. But what struck me is that the music that is

played when WIlson comes to town and the gait of his horse are mirrored by Shane

when he comes in. The music has prominent timpanis that emphasize a march like

quality to both arrivals.

 

Now that's fascinating. I suppose this means each is the same, just on different sides

of the fence. I really liked when Shane and Wilson size each other up at the Starett

ranch over drinks of water.

 

Johnson is an idiot full of false bravado. He thinks he is being tough by giving the

harmonica player a hard time. It just shows he can't take a joke. Also when he goes

into the bar at one point when he is on his way out bragging how he is not afraid of

anyone he kicks over a chair and busts out the slats on the door. He wants to be

tough he just isn't. That is what gets him killed.

 

I concur. I also think Torrey's snapping at the harmonica player exhibited just how

easily he could be baited. He doesn't want to be led yet his stubborn pride makes him

easy to lead.

 

He doesn't go in to sacrifice himself or do whatever he was doing for the greater

good of the community. He did it because he was full of himself. Even so he certainly

was the catalyst for forcing the final outcome.

 

Exactly. Torrey wasn't smart enough to size up a situation. He thought "tough" was

better than being smart. I thought his courage to be real but his confidence to be false.

 

As far as your other thought on Starrett and Johnson coming after Wilson I think it

is from two different perspectives. Starrett goes because someone has to and I think

he believes he is the only one who can. The others are weak and while he may not be

all the Shane is I think he feels no one else can. Johnson does it for himself. Even he

is not convinced he can standing in the mud looking up at Wilson. I think though he

feels trapped and can't get out so he pulls his gun. As if it mattered.

 

More agreement from me. I really like that Torrey is standing in the mud beneath

Wilson. It's clear as day that Wilson has the upperhand. Only Torrey cannot

see this, for he is blind.

 

shane18.jpg

 

shane19.jpg

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Geez, I'm an idiot. Here I've been calling Torrey by Johnson (I don't know why) and all of you have been too kind to tell me that I am such a goof.

 

My apologies and my thanks for being patient and understanding.

 

Going back to my hole now.

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Going back to my hole now.

 

CHRISTOPHER! All these fine words written last night to you and all you

can think of is slinking off to your hole. Well, you just march right

back here and give us some more of your wonderful insights. The idea.

 

:P:P:P

 

Don't be a "Stonewall", now. That's my job. :)

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> Geez, I'm an idiot. Here I've been calling Torrey by Johnson (I don't know why) and all of you have been too kind to tell me that I am such a goof.

>

> My apologies and my thanks for being patient and understanding.

>

> Going back to my hole now.

 

I was a little confused at first and thought I'd gotten the characters mixed up. But in either case, I'm glad you got that straightened out. No need to go into a hole over it. ;)

 

*Now that's fascinating. I suppose this means each is the same, just on different sides of the fence. I really liked when Shane and Wilson size each other up at the Starett*

*ranch over drinks of water.*

 

That was a good scene. And yes, they're very nearly the same, except for the fact that one is a "white hat" and the other one is the "black hat". B-)

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I think Torrey is sort of an everyman. A normal guy. We all know a Torrey. He is like me on a bad day. :) I actually sympathize with him. He was probably picked on all his life, and no one ever listens to him. He's neurotic. They make fun and he doesn't really have the ability to laugh at himself. He lives inside himself. He is the kind of guy who is likely to say, "I'll show THEM. I'll do it all by myself. Then they'll be sorry. Then they'll look up to me, like I deserve." We all have big dreams, or we think we are a whole lot slicker than we really are. But we don't really deserve to get killed for it. Torrey had no idea what he was up against. And worse, he had no idea how to get what he really wanted.

 

And to me, this is the crux of the matter - Torrey could only see the grand outcome - he had no ability to WORK toward the outcome he wanted. This film is about work - hard work. The hard work of building a community. Torrey wanted it all to fall in his lap. He could neither put in the time to achieve his goal, nor could he work WITH anyone to achieve it. The only contribution he could make was to get killed. The other thing that Torrey's death did was to alert the other settlers to the reality of what they were up against. This was invaluable in bringing Shane into the fight....

 

On a totally different subject, I think that When Shane says that Marian has made an "elegant" dinner, the look on Marian's face is one of shocked recognition and remembrance. I see Marian and Joe's entire background in this one moment. Marian left her family back east in order to make a new home for herself and her strong husband and now son. She is wearing pants (lovely post, Cinemafan) and getting right into the dirt with Joe, and she loves it. Joe is a good, honest, hard worker, and so is she. She simply IS when she is with Joe, no pretenses, no tomfoolery. But when she hears Shane say it was an "elegant" meal, it reminds her of times when she would not have even thought of getting her hands dirty. She realizes that Shane is either from that background, or at least that he sees that she was from that background. She SEES Shane as he SEES her. Joe has never seen her that way. He never even thinks of her as a woman half the time. Realistic Joe sees her for what she IS, which is wonderful, but Shane sees what is buried deep under her hardworking exterior. Shane sees her wants and dreams. Shane sees her soul. And perhaps he is there to pull Joe and Marian closer to one another - to show Joe what he really has.

 

Message was edited by: JackFavell

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> And to me, this is the crux of the matter - Torrey could only see the grand outcome - he had no ability to WORK toward the outcome he wanted. This film is about work - hard work. The hard work of building a community. Torrey wanted it all to fall in his lap. He could neither put in the time to achieve his goal, nor could he work WITH anyone to achieve it. The only contribution he could make was to get killed. The other thing that Torrey's death did was to alert the other settlers to the reality of what they were up against. This was invaluable in bringing Shane into the fight....

>

 

That's an interesting take on the Stonewall Torrey character, and I'm not quite sure that underneath it all, there might not be a much simpler explanation for his tragic death: perhaps he was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. My recollection (correct me if I am wrong) is that he was just going to the store with Johnson, and Wilson just happened to be standing outside Grafton's Bar. Had Wilson not happened to be there, maybe nothing would have happened. It seems to me Torrey perhaps simply wanted to be able to go about his business and fell victim to a moment of desperation.

 

> On a totally different subject, I think that When Shane says that Marian has made an "elegant" dinner, the look on Marian's face is one of shocked recognition and remembrance. I see Marian and Joe's entire background in this one moment. Marian left her family back east in order to make a new home for herself and her strong husband and now son. She is wearing pants (lovely post, Cinemafan) and getting right into the dirt with Joe, and she loves it. Joe is a good, honest, hard worker, and so is she. She simply IS when she is with Joe, no pretenses, no tomfoolery. But when she hears Shane say it was an "elegant" meal, it reminds her of times when she would not have even thought of getting her hands dirty. She realizes that Shane is either from that background, or at least that he sees that she was from that background. Joe has never seen her that way. He never even thinks of her as a woman half the time. Realistic Joe sees her for what she IS, which is wonderful, but Shane sees what is buried deep under her hardworking exterior. Shane sees her wants and dreams. Shane sees her soul. And perhaps he is there to pull Joe and Marian closer to one another - to show Joe what he really has.

 

That truly is a wonderful analysis, and I pretty much agree with that all the way. It is wonderful how some of the classic actors were able to convey so much with a simple gesture.

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You are quite right about Shane's compliment on Marian's dinner. Joe probably would never thought of saying anything like that about her dinner no matter how much he enjoyed them. Joe is probably appreciative but he just either doesn't express it at worst or does so in another way at best. In no way do I think, nor am I suggesting you or anyone else thinks, that he is showing up Joe.

 

Shane may do this as a chance to truly compliment her and to show her that he is not some run-of-the-mill cowboy who just lands on their door step. He shows he is educated, well mannered and ultimately no threat. It's something I'm sure she has not heard in some time.

 

I have a friend at my church that I will do that for at times. I tell her how lovely she looks or how beautifully she sang or how much our practice time is nicer by her just being there. It is all true but I also get the sense that it really makes her feel better. If that is all it takes to brighten her up a little then I can do it.

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I have a friend at my church that I will do that for at times. I tell her how lovely she looks or how beautifully she sang or how much our practice time is nicer by her just being there. It is all true but I also get the sense that it really makes her feel better. If that is all it takes to brighten her up a little then I can do it.

 

That's really sweet of you, movieman. If only there were more men like you around! ;)

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I have a friend at my church that I will do that for at times. I tell her how lovely she looks or how beautifully she sang or how much our practice time is nicer by her just being there. It is all true but I also get the sense that it really makes her feel better. If that is all it takes to brighten her up a little then I can do it.

 

I think that is wonderful. I am glad that you are there to make her day! There are so many people who never hear a kind word from anyone.

 

I feel like this is an interesting side line in the movie - the act of truly listening, or truly seeing someone. Torrey's actions are taken because he feels that no one "sees" him. Shane pays attention to every little thing - he sees the true Marian, Joe, and one of the first shots in the movie is Shane noticing Little Joe. He is constantly seeing things the other settlers don't - he sizes up situations as well as people. The only way you can make a good decision is to sit back and observe. That is why Shane lets himself be made fun of at the beginning of the movie. He is sizing up the situation.

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MissG,

 

When y'all are done rambling about Shane, I'd love to talk with y'all about why Ethan can't enter the Jorgenson house at the end of The Searchers.

 

Howdy, Lynn---I'm with Kathy, if you want to ramble about that in her thread or wherever,

I'm always interested in talking about John Ford movies. Whatever you say. :)

 

Shiftless Grimes! You really outdid yourself last night! And posting until dawn,

no less. Are you laying sprawled out in the mud after all that effort? :P

 

I hope to reply more tonight when I get home. I want to look over my copy of

Shaeffer's novel. It's been ages since I read it.

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