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"Come back Shane" come back on Blu Ray. Where is this most beautiful film on Blu Ray. Why doesn't Paramount release this classic Western {#3 on AFI's Greatest Westerns} list and # 45 on its greatest movies of all time.

This is without a doubt one of the most beautifully photographed films of all time. It deserves a reissue on Blu Ray with all the bells and whistles that it deserves, like the original cast Stevens wanted ..Monty Clift as Shane , William Holden and Kate Hepburn as the Starretts. Behind the scenes { If any exist} on the making. Even if there are no extras avaiable the film itself deserves to see the light of day on Blu Ray...Common Paramount, bring "Shane" back the way he deserves..

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Fred, I think that the casting of Alan Ladd and Van Heflin is very good. Interesting to think of Clift and Holden though. Do you think those two guys would have been better? Different maybe, but actually better?. I am not a Kate basher but I don't think she would have been so good as the wife in this picture. So even if the cast was all second choices it worked out quite well I think.

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Hey Roy,

 

I totally agree with you that *Shane* needs to come to Blu and the sooner the better!

 

I would love to see any screen tests of Monty Clift and William Holden (can you imagine!!) as well. Especially in light of Holden getting the role of Joe Gillis when Clift decided at almost the eleventh hour he didn't want to do the movie.

 

Not sure that I buy Kate Hepburn in the role of Marian but hopefully, the bonus features would reveal some footage.

 

Here's hoping.........

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Howdy Dale,

It would indeed be wonderful if any test survived with Clift and Holden, but I never heard of such a test. They were Stevens first choice for the roles, but they were unavailable and Stevens was given a list of actors under contract to Paramount and he then picked Ladd, Arthur and Heflin, Jean Arthur had been in sort of semi retirement, it had been 5 years since her last film. But she had done two films with Stevens in the past. "The wonderful "The More The Merrier" and "The Talk of the Town". The fact that she was 10 to 13 years older then her 2 co-stars worked . There was an old saying about the West. "It was Hell on women and dogs". I cannot imagine anyone else doing what she did with the role.

Another aspect on the film was that {outside of Wilson, the gunfighter} Stryker and his men were not 100% bad, that always interested me. He wants the settlers to leave and the scene when he almost begs Starrett to leave is moving. Even pleading with Joey the boy.Emil Meyer gives the character more depth then most western villains.

So lets hope Paramount steps up to the plate and gives this classic the treatment it deserves....Roy

 

PS--Ben Johnson is terrific as Chris as always......

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Oct 27, 2011 1:16 AM

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Roy,

 

I totally agree about Jean Arthur. I think she is just wonderful in this film and have a hard time imagining any other actress of her generation in the role.

 

I loved your quote about the women of the west. It has such a ring of truth to it. Reading the history of that era as well as the Dust Bowl era, you wonder how those women endured. And yet, they did- generation after generation.

 

I actually think Ladd is the better choice over Clift. And Holden in the part would have made the role of Joe very different. Who would ever imagine Marian carrying a torch for any man when she has Holden at home?

 

By the way, have you seen the promos for the new Western series that AMC is about to premiere- *Hell on Wheels*. I hear that while the pilot isn't all that great, the show gets better as it goes along.

 

From the sounds of things, westerns are about to make a comeback. Various networks all have old-fashioned and modern day western series in development.

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Dale,

 

I completely agree about Holden in the role of Starrett, he was at his prime then and a you didn't get much better looking movie star the Bill Holden.

Yes, I'm a big fan of all the AMC series and looking forward to "Hell on Wheels". I have heard nothing about it other then the previews, but so far all the other series have been very well done, even the spy one although it didn't find an audience, it was still a smartly made series. Their Western made for AMC Walter Hills "Broken Trail" was a wonderful piece of western film making. The cast was excellent, Duvall and Church were at the top of their game as were the others, and while it was no "Lonesome Dove" I became a fan and bought the DVD. So I'm looking forward to "Hell on Wheels". Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope it will bring back more Westerns.... ;)

 

 

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One of the most interesting things about Shane was the mystery of who he was and what was his background. He seemed to obviously be some kind of professional gunfighter, but we never knew where he came from or where he went or what his whole story really was.

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> He seemed to obviously be some kind of professional gunfighter, but we never knew where he came from or where he went or what his whole story really was.

 

FredC,

 

I think that mystery about the character really helped Ladd in the role. I can see Clift in the role but I'm glad that Ladd got the role because he really owns it.

 

Roy,

 

I'm hoping that the various westerns, old-fashioned and modern day, that various cable and traditional networks have in development, really come to fruition.

 

How cool would that be to have westerns on tv again!

 

dale

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Dale,

Now the Quentin Tarantino is dipping his toe in the Western genre lets hope it will spark even more interest in them. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson aboard in "Django Unchained" lets keep our fingers crossed... ;)

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Oct 28, 2011 3:58 AM

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I agree that Jean was great in Shane. The comment about the west being hard on women is an interesting one. Jean was 52 53 when the film was made. Thus it is very unrealistic for a women of that age to have a son around 10 years old. So we have to assume that Jean's character is in her late 30s or early 40s since most women wouldn't have their first child after turning 40.

 

Jean didn't look 'old' by any means and fit the part very well. I'm glad they didn't case a much younger women in the part but that is somewhat surprising. i.e. to make a movie more marketable producers will often cast a 'hot' younger women. Here they casted a great mature actress.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

James, that's because George Stevens directed it. You're right about producers a lot of the time casting younger women. But Stevens was not one to compromise artistic integrity. For the most part he made the movies he wanted to make the way he wanted to make them & it shows. One of the greats.

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> Why doesn't Paramount release this classic Western {#3 on AFI's Greatest Westerns} list and # 45 on its greatest movies of all time.

They considered it about four years ago, along with THE QUIET MAN, while THE AFRICAN QUEEN was being restored and bonus materials prepared for Blu-ray. In the end, the studio decided that they didn't want to spend the money restorations of the other films would entail. While I think that it's inevitable that both films will eventually find their way to Blu-ray (possibly via a small specialty video label, such as Olive Films, which has a contract to put out post-1949 Paramount catalog titles), it's probably not imminent.

 

As for the film's central casting, I've always felt that Ladd was still too much the pretty boy to convey the essential world-weariness that led Shane to flee the life of a gunslinger (SHANE is, in fact, probably the last film Ladd made before he began to show signs of aging). I also don't think he was an actor with sufficient depth to fully exploit the past, as written. It needed a Joel McCrea.

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Interesting point about Ladd verses, say, Joel McCrea. The movie doesn't go into why Shane has decided to no longer be a gun fighter. Is that because Stevens and the Producers didn't feel that was necessary to the story line or because of the limitations of Ladd as an actor to convey those type of deep rooted feelings?

 

 

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Oh, I think the film, does go into that, as it must, only it's done largely through action, and not dialogue, which is why SHANE is an intensely cinematic experience. There is dialogue concerning it, however; perhaps the most important is in the exchange between Shane and the cattleman, Riker, during their final confrontation:

 

SHANE: Your kind of days are over.

 

 

RIKER: What about you, gunfighter?

 

 

SHANE: The difference is, I know it.

 

 

One can impute that Shane may have killed one too many men, but the the overarching sense is that he knows the West that Riker extolled, rightly claimed to have helped build, and is trying to preserve along with his open range at the expense of the homesteaders, is dying with every shovelful of earth turned over by a "sodbuster." The whole film is, then, a meditation on obsolesence, and what it means to be fleeing ahead of the inexorable, irresistable forces by an evolving society that make one obsolete.

 

 

In the end, though implored to stay by Joey Starrett, the wounded Shane leaves the now-tamed town ("Tell your parents there are no more guns in the valley") because he knows that he is obsolete, making him a man without a country (in this he's an earlier version of THE SEARCHERS ' Ethan Edwards, though for a different reason: gunfighters will always see Shane as a "sodbuster," or, at leasr, "sodbuster-lover," while homesteaders will always view him as a gunfighter). So he rides away, into the mountains, to become, simply, the stuff of legend.

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Yes, an interesting sub-text of Shane is the taming of the west and how both Shane and Riker are now obsolete. I always felt a key, but understated, part of the story was the discussion Riker had with the Heflin character about, as you noted, Riker tamed the area years before the settlers got there. This gave Riker a human quality and made one thing that maybe these later day settlers did owe something to the Rikers that tamed the land. But of course Riker was asking away to much and any compassion for him was fleeting.

 

As I'm sure you are aware this sub-text is also a key there to another great western; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

 

 

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Riker's speech, when he meets the Starretts and Shane as they return from the July 4th festivities, is a model for how to humanize a villain in a drama. Riker makes several valid points; in the final analysis the problem isn't his point of view, but his methods, and it's those brutal methods that lead to his undoing.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I think the "end" of the gunfighter, or the large "cattle ranch" is obvious in most Westerns, including Shane. Civilization is coming to the West, in the form of more organized law enforcement, family farms, homesteaders, the decline of the Native American, etc. ... it's the evolution of the final frontier, so to speak. ... I think it often makes for great dialogue, but the idea is a common thread, from *Shane* to *Monte Walsh* to *Unforgiven.* Your time has passed, move aside ...And then the shootin' commences ...

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I agree with you but Shane is somewhat unique in that there isn't any law in the film at all. In a lot of westerns with a similar theme there is at least some law. E.g. Liberty Valance.

 

Now this law might be corrupt and or incompetent and thus useless to the good people of the area but it is still there. In Shane there is no law at all that I can remember.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

>I agree with you but Shane is somewhat unique in that there isn't any law in the film at all. In a lot of westerns with a similar theme there is at least some law. E.g. Liberty Valance.

 

No so very unique. Because he helped open the frontier, as Riker explains to the Starretts, he feels entitled to dictate "law" as he sees it, and that revolves around unfettered rights for cattlemen on an open range, and few or none for homesteaders. It is, in fact, analogous to the modern argument here in the U.S. as to the rights of Big Business versus those for consumers (hint: Big Business is winning).

 

Because Riker's domain in the Jackson Hole valley is very remote, there's little or no possibility of a territorial marshal riding in and mediating the dispute between him and the homesteaders (not that a single lawman would last long against Riker and his men). In that it's not all that different from Judge Roy Bean's self-styled "only law west of the Pecos" in William Wyler's THE WESTERNER. Remoteness is, then, the very essence of the frontier, and the stories common to Westerns is the idea of ordinary people realizing that they must band together and bring law and order -- the foundation for all civilization -- to the outpost they've chosen to live in, or perish.

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{font:Times New Roman} {font}{font:}{color:black}This is getting as good as *The Big Country* discussion in the Western Rambles thread. Thank you all for your comments. I love this movie and you are bringing new dimension to it. I'll appreciate it more the next time I see it.{font}

 

 

{font:Times New Roman} {font}

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Shane is unquestionably my favorite Western. There are many nuances or plots and subplots to this timeless movie.

 

But there is one thing that stands out and is still applicable today: Violence. In the end, violence solved the problem.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}Well, either violence doesn't solve many problems, or the world has a lot of problems.

>

>

>

> This is similar to the line from My Guitar Gently Weeps; Every mistake we must surely be learning.

Well, James, violence has solved many a problem. It's in the Bible or your favorite History book. And I think it's a good bet those problems will continue and violence will solve many of them.

 

The Beatles were wonderful poets but not always realists but I think they might have been a little more realistic than many think.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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