Shane Overview:

Shane (1953) was a Drama - Western Film directed by George Stevens and produced by George Stevens and Ivan Moffat.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Jack Schaefer published in 1949.


Considered one of the greatest Westerns, this is Ladd's finest role. Like High Noon, with which it shares some similarity, Shane proposes that the stain of killing can't be washed away, even if the death comes in a righteous cause. Ladd gets involved in a nasty skirmish between ranchers and farmers when he rides up to Heflin's farmhouse looking for water. From the first, he impresses young De Wilde with his instinctual quick draw and then earns Heflin's trust when he backs down bullying Meyer. Ladd seems to be putting down roots as he fights for the farmers. But after a final showdown with steely-eyed Palance, he rides away from the farm he's made secure, knowing that his mere presence will bring more death. A landmark Western, beautifully directed and photographed.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Shane was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1993.

Academy Awards 1953 --- Ceremony Number 26 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActorBrandon De WildeNominated
Best Supporting ActorJack PalanceNominated
Best CinematographyLoyal GriggsWon
Best DirectorGeorge StevensNominated
Best PictureGeorge Stevens, ProducerNominated
Best WritingA. B. Guthrie, Jr.Nominated

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Quotes from

Shane: Do you mind putting down that gun? Then I'll leave.
Joe Starrett: What difference does it make, you're leaving anyway?
Shane: I'd like it to be my idea.

Joey: Shane! Come back!

Joe Starrett: What Ryker has comin' isn't fit for a woman to see.

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Facts about

During the bar fight between Shane and Calloway, the off-screen voice that says "knock him back the pig-pen" is that of George Stevens.
Jean Arthur, then over 50, came out of semi-retirement to play Marian Starrett, largely as a favor to her friend, director George Stevens. She would retire completely from the film business after this picture.
In the face-off between Wilson (Jack Palance) and Elisha Cook Jr. (Torrey), Torrey tells Wilson that he is "a low-down, lyin' Yankee". Although director George Stevens kept directing Palance at this point to smile - an expression of amused contempt at Cook - Palance continued take after take to show too much menace and not enough of a smile mixed in. Finally, Stevens took Cook aside and whispered something to him. During the next take, Cook read his line, and added "and a son of a bitch, too!" This time, Stevens got his take. When Shane faces Wilson, Shane says "You're a low-down Yankee liar".
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Best Cinematography Oscar 1953

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National Film Registry


Released 1953
Inducted 1993

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