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

Rufus Ryker: I'll kill him if I have to.
Jack Wilson: You mean I'll kill him if you have to.

Shane: There's no living with a killing. There's no goin' back from one. Right or wrong, it's a brand... a brand sticks. There's no goin' back. Now you run on home to your mother and tell her... tell her everything's alright. And there aren't any more guns in the valley.

Shane: You were watchin' me down it for quite a spell, weren't you?
Joey: Yes I was.
Shane: You know, I... I like a man who watches things go on around. It means he'll make his mark someday.

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Facts about

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".
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 22, 1954 with Alan Ladd and Van Heflin reprising their film roles.
Alan Ladd was only 5'6", and this had to be compensated for. When he is in scenes with Van Heflin the two are about the same height, although Heflin was far taller. When Ladd is shown with Jean Arthur he is perhaps a bit taller than she. When Heflin is shown with her, Heflin is far taller than she.
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Best Cinematography Oscar 1953

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National Film Registry


Released 1953
Inducted 1993

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Also directed by George Stevens

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