Have you ever seen the film Shane starring Alan Ladd? Well I must admit this one has somehow passed me by over the years despite being aware of it. In fact I have seen it in one sense as a film I love is pretty much based upon it, Pale Rider (1985) starring Clint Eastwood. Anyway a remastered version of Shane came out in 2016 so I’ve decided it’s high time I take a look at both the film and the quality of restoration. So without further ado here’s my Shane Blu-ray Review.
- Shane (1953)
- Genre: Western
- Running Time: 118 Mins
- UK Rating PG
- Discs: 2
- Released By Eureka Entertainment
- Blu-ray Released: 6th June 2016
When a gunfighter named Shane (Alan Ladd) arrives in the valley he decides to stay and work for a local rancher named Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) and his wife Marian (Jean Arthur). The local ranchers have claimed their lands under Homestead acts, unfortunately for them cattle baron Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer) has other ideas.
The film is directed by George Stevens with the cinematography handled by Loyal Griggs. It’s a well shot western with some nice cinematography on show whilst the film slowly ramps up events until the inevitable climax.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Victor Young and it’s very much done in the style of many other westerns of the time. It serves its purpose well enough without being particularly memorable.
Acting / Characters
Overall the acting is pretty good with Alan Ladd as Shane playing a rather quiet and distant fellow but one who wants to do right by the Starrett family. He plays the role of Shane rather well working particular well with the family’s young son.
In many ways the key relationship in the entire film is between Shane and the boy.
Jack Palance’s character is a fellow gunfighter named Wilson, he plays his role reasonably well but his character has little if any real development other than to participate in the big showdown and only a vague mention that he and Shane may have crossed paths before. It’s a little disappointing in some ways that we don’t really see more of Wilson.
- Alan Ladd as Shane
- Jean Arthur as Marian Starrett
- Van Heflin as Joe Starrett
- Brandon deWilde as Joey Starrett
- Jack Palance as Jack Wilson
- Emile Meyer as Rufus Ryker
Conclusion – Shane Film Review
Shane is a good western that tells the story of a mysterious gunfighter that arrives at a small ranch and decides to help out the locals against a mean and greedy cattle Baron. In essence its classic western with it’s a simple story told in a pretty straightforward manner that ultimately delivers ending with the standard shootout. Along the way the family that Shane works for grow to care about him none more the family’s young son.
As I mentioned earlier Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider is essentially a remake or retelling of the same kind of story. Personally I do prefer the Eastwood film as it’s far more eerie and mysterious, Eastwood continues the man with no name concept and no-one really knows who or what his is only that he comes to help posing as preacher and then rides off into the mountains.
Both movies are good and despite their obvious similarities they feel very different films which I think is a good thing.
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Shane Blu-ray Review
I’ve talked about the film but now it’s time to look at the Blu-ray and the picture quality. The film has been restored and it looks pretty much flawless. There are no annoying speckles, the image is sharp and the improved resolution certainly helps. Moving on to the colours and they look just about perfect. Overall I’d have to say this new version from Eureka Entertainment is excellent.
On the extras front there’s three different aspect version of the film to choose from. That said I’d only bother with the correct (and intended) 1.37:1 as the other versions are incorrect meaning you are actually seeing less of the film. Unfortunately the film was released in the wrong aspect to capitalise on the cinemascope change in cinemas / movie theatres resulting in a far poorer viewing experience. Still it is nice to see all three versions are available to choose.
A nice addition is the Lux Radio Theater Adaptation of Shane, whilst the interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard is extremely informative and well worth watching although I don’t agree with some of his observations.
- Three Aspect Ratios 1.37:1, 1.66:1 Theatrical Presentation & 1.66:1 Framing Optimised Version
- Audio Commentary from George Stevens Jr
- Interview with Film scholar Neil Sinyard (22 mins)
- Complete Lux Radio Theater Adaptation of Shane
- Original Trailer
- 36 Page Booklett
On to my movie rating for Shane (1953)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Shane (1953) is available now on Blu-ray.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s my Shane Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Shane (1953) Blu-ray Review
Director(s): George Stevens
Actor(s): Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon deWilde, Jack Palance, Emile Meyer
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Shane is in essence its classic western with it’s a simple story told in a pretty straightforward manner that ultimately delivers.