"Shane" should be required viewing for anyone setting out to make a film. It tells its story visually, through subtext, and creates a realistic portrait of people; it is also emotionally and morally complex. It is never stated that Shane had been a gunfighter; we just understand this, from his appearance and from what we glean through the dialogue. Likewise, there are no overt moments of intimacy between Shane and Marion Mrs. Starrett , but we are aware that there is a deep attraction between them. When Joe, Marian's husband, realizes it, it is not because of anything he <more>
states, just a line at the 4th of July party, when Marian in her wedding dress is dancing with Shane: "Looks like I'm fenced out," and what is spoken as a joke becomes serious as we watch the expression on his face. The closest he comes to actually saying anything is toward the end, when he's going to ride into town to face Ryker, and tells Marian that if anything happens to him he knows she'll be taken care of. Likewise, at the end of the film, when little Joey is calling across the plains for Shane to "come back," he yells to Shane, "Mother wants you, I know she does," and the words echo back, we see a close up of Joey, his expression changing, and we know the child realizes too that Shane does or could mean something more to his mother.Stevens also didn't make the "bad guys" black-and-white villains. We understand that these men fought and tamed the land and are now being displaced by the homesteaders. What they want might not be fair, but it is not completely unreasonable either.Most of the scenes, even the simple ones, play in montage. It looks as though Stevens shot each scene from about 15 different angles and edited them together. The effect is striking.Far and away one of the best films ever.
An immensely beautiful film, turned into a classic! (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
'Shane' is not a Western like Howard Hawk's 'Red River', nor a meditation on history and character like John Ford's "The Searchers." It is the most tasteful achievement ever invented to create a legend, an instant myth... Only Stevens' meticulously picturesque visuals and his evident desire to treat Western as art, could have mastered the archetypal simplicity and vitality of 'Shane.'In 'Shane,' the good and evil govern Stevens' mastery of technique... With his golden good looks, his calm authority, and his almost magical magnetism, <more>
Alan Ladd is the mysterious lone rider called Shane... His antithesis a sinister figure all in sable and enemy, a merciless gunfighter from the Cheyenne area, named Jack Wilson Jack Palance . Wilson is dark, dresses in black, and even drinks black coffee from a dark black pot... Shane sparkles with personality and presence... Wilson spreads menace and evil... Shane is 'the fastest gun alive' who shoots to kill only when it is inevitable... Wilson - wearing two guns, and walking with jangling spurs - is a psychopath and a sadist, a man totally without moral redemption...The film controls that mystical force that runs like a fine thread through a Western story - the mysterious gunslinger who rides into town at exactly the right moment that history requires him, fulfills his destiny and then rides on...There is novelty and charm in 'Shane' because the stranger, who appears from nowhere, is a man of exceptional quality, admired by a wonderful kid with bright face and resolute boyish ways... Shane tests the spirit of this little eight year-old boy, Joey Starrett Brandon De Wilde in the midst of all the tensions and excitements on that open range... What is admirable about Shane is not his skill with his gun, but his restraint in using it... Shane knows that Joey is admiring him for the wrong reasons even though he knows that if he kills Wilson, he'll have to leave the valley... He tells Joey: 'There's no living with a killing.' However we want him to show Joey how brave and fast he is... The ultimate confrontation in that depressed and faint saloon gives the movie the quality of a fine album of paintings of the frontier...Joey's plaintive call 'Come back, Shane' is the famous cry of all the audience for a mythical idolized hero so complete and correct, who would not permit himself to be admired by a boy for living by the gun... The closing scenes remain among the most haunting memories in the history of cinema...The characters that Stevens' actors have drawn might be considered portraits of familiar frontier types:Marian Starrett Jean Arthur is the mother who criticizes Shane for initiating her young boy into young manhood by passing on his values... She is the little woman unsettled who always wanders: 'What are you fighting for? She is the married woman who reveals an unspoken love...Joe Starrett Van Heflin , is the stubborn father and a hard working rancher determined, with his forcible patience and fortitude, to build a life on the land for his family...Rufus Ryker Emile Meyer is the evil aging cattle rancher who considers the arrival of homesteaders is reducing grazing opportunities for his herds limiting their access to water... He does everything to rid the land of the humble farmers...Morgan Ryker John Dierkes is Rufus' brother/foreman, who invites Starrett to "talk" reasonably... Chris Calloway Ben Johnson is the authentic cowboy who has had a change of heart and has quit Ryker's bunch... He warns Shane in the barn that "Starrett is up against a stacked deck."Frank 'Stonewall' Torrey Elisha Cook Jr. is the pale-eyed pathetic local farmer who, in a fit of fury and mad courage, attempts to challenge his tormentor... But an outraged amateur can never beat an accomplished professional... He is brutally gunned down in the first shocking and horrific showdown on the Western screen... Palance toys with the little man and kills him in one of the most realistic scenes staged until that time... "Shane" is an immensely beautiful film, stunningly photographed in color, rich in memorable and exhilarating moments... Every scene is composed with extreme care:The deer will raise its head and frame the oncoming rider perfectly between the branches of his antlers...Shane's first appearance descending into a majestic valley rimmed by mountains, shining a pearl-handled 'six-shooter' gun...Shane friendship with Joe Starrett, cemented that evening as together they swing axes in common task to cut and pull up a large tree stump...Their energy battle filmed through the windows of the cabin and through the frantic, kicking hooves of horses disturbed by their vicious struggle to determine who will go to town to face Ryker's hired gun... Shane slow ride into town for a showdown... The low tracking camera angle, the darkness, and the musical soundtrack emphasize Shane's heroic yet lonely position on the horizon, set among the wide view of the mountains...Certainly "Shane" is a romantic film, and yet it is full of integrity about time and place... It may be interesting to compare the idealized interest, attraction and love between Shane and Marion with the unspoken love between John Wayne and Dorothy Jordan in 'The Searchers.' In the latter film, Dorothy caresses Wayne's army cape and is observed by Ward Bond, who simply notices her gesture and looks away... In 'Shane', Marion implies her love for Shane as she cautions her son Joey about becoming attached to him...In "Shane," Stevens combined so many elements that are 'classically' required and combines them so well He directed 'Shane' with great feeling, and turned it into a classic...
Shane is a beautifully photographed film with excellent performances. (by Slim-4)
Shane is an awesome film. Loyal Griggs' cinematography uses the Grand Teton Mountains as a scenic backdrop in framing a simple story of ranchers vs. homesteaders in early Wyoming. Alan Ladd stars as the enigmatic gunfighter named Shane. Ladd has seldom been better. He sides with a homesteader family Van Heflin, Jean Arthur and Brandon DeWilde against local ranchers named Ryker Elisha Meyer and John Dierkes . The Rykers hire a gunfighter Jack Palance from Cheyenne to drive off the homesteaders. Shane tries to put down his gun and start a new life, but the plot inevitably forces him to <more>
a fateful climax with the Rykers and the hired gun.The film has a darkly realistic look. Grafton's saloon is dark and moody, far different from the brightly lit and colorful dance halls in other Westerns. The film is alternately bright and dark. The sadistic killing of the homesteader by the gunfighter is a dark moment even though it occurs in broad daylight. Director George Stevens took advantage of an afternoon thunderstorm and plenty of mud to make one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. The thunder provides an appropriate backdrop to the confrontation between Torrey Elisha Cook, Jr. and the gunfighter. This is little more than an execution and the gunfighter goes about his business with a cool, detached professionalism. Although small, Jack Palance's performance as the gunfighter from Cheyenne is one of the most memorable in the film.Shane's background provides plenty of questions but few answers. "Where will you go", Marian Starret Jean Arthur asks. "One place or another. ..someplace I've never been," Shane says. All we know is that he's a gunfighter. It becomes clear that he knows about gunfighting. He's even heard of the gunfighter hired by Ryker. Chris Calloway Ben Johnson and another cowboy are playing cards in Grafton's saloon when Shane walks in. Calloway starts to pick a fight. The other man gets up and says "Deal me out. . .Let's just say I'm superstitious." Does he know Shane? More than likely he does, but we'll never know for sure. Shane's mysteriousness is one of the film's strengths.This is a film about personal relationships. Shane and Joe Starret Van Heflin become friends. The relationship between Shane and Marian Starret defies description. Is it love? Respect? Whatever it is, it becomes clear in the late moments of the film that her husband has observed it, too. There is also a close bond between Shane and Little Joe Starret Brandon DeWilde . The film is told through the eyes of the boy.This is a film about good and evil, but good and evil sometimes overlap. Jack Palance represents evil. His black hat, black gloves and black vest leave little doubt which side he's on. The Rykers are bad, but they are not all bad. Rufe Emile Meyer tries to make a deal with Starret and speaks with sincerity and feeling about his right to the range. The homesteaders are good, but one of them, Torrey, is a hot head. Shane is a good guy. Or is he? Marian Starret tells him in one memorable scene that she won't be happy until all the guns are out of the valley--"even yours". Shane realizes this. Despite his attempts to start a new life, he tells Brandon DeWilde after the final showdown at Grafton's: "Tell your mother that there are no more guns in the valley."The image of death stalks through this film in many forms. The scene where the gunfighter rides into town makes it clear that he is the messenger of death. Shane tells Marian Starret that "a gun is a tool", but she knows that it is an engine of death. "Guns aren't going to be my boys life," she says. The scene where Shane shows Little Joe how to shoot demonstrates the power of the gun. The shooting of the homesteader in the dark, muddy street is followed by his burial in a cemetery on a bright, sunny day set against the grandeur of the mountains. In the final frame Shane rides out of the valley and through that same cemetery. Death once again rides a horse.I really enjoy Victor Young's musical score. The opening melody, "Call of the Faraway Hills", has been frequently recorded and is only a little less familiar than "The Magnificent Seven". It is unfortunate that no-one has seen fit to make the score for this film available to collectors. I keep hoping.Shane is a memorable film with fine performances. The story of cattlemen vs. homesteaders is a familiar one, but it is told here with originality and feelings. The characters, whether good or bad, are vivid and deep. I'll never get tired of watching it. I only wish they'd make a wide-screen version available.
Simple peaceful lifestyles threatened by land grabbing ranchers and sinister gunslinger, saved by a weary reluctant gunslinger. (by terminator-3)
This western epitomises how a film should be made.Classic scenery and outstanding performances from all. From the various cultures of the farmers bonding together through the harshness of farming life. Happy to raise families on land built and developed by their own hands. This is then threatened by the ranchers unwillingness to share the common land. Brutality and force is their tool, they try to force out the farmers even resorting to hiring the gunslinger - Jack Wilson - Jack Palance . One farmer holds the other farmers together Starett - Van Heflin , though even his resistance is <more>
weakening until a lone retired gunslinger rides in to save the day...The sheer quality of characters and acting makes this film. The friendly though not always banter over Torrey's rebel background, the bond amongst the children, the affection shown in all families. The turning of Chris Calloway, the cold hearted nature of Ryker.Finally the performances of the main characters. Van Heflin and Jean Arthur as the Starett's have a simple but loving relationship. Their son Joey loves his parents, but is greatly impressed by the mystery and skill of Shane Alan Ladd .Shane is reluctant to return to the way of the gun until Ryker hires a top gunslinger Jack Palance . Palance is the perfect clinically precise cold hearted killer. Every aspect of his manner portrays cold efficiency even to drinking water and mounting his horse .There is simple humour added, for example when Shane is hit with an "Easy Chair".Even the two dogs could act ! When Shane finally confronts Wilson the dog in the bar skulks with his tail between his legs.The scenery and music were the icing on the cake.This film will remain a benchmark for all western's to follow.
A touching western with awesome cinematography. (by Fella_shibby)
I first saw this in the early 90s. Revisited it recently on a DVD which i own. When you love a western, it's a film like Shane that you go back to time and time again. Everything has already been said about this great film n there seems to be little left to say but as a fan of western films, lemme contribute by praising how good this film is. The single greatest asset is the wonderful cinematography. The mountains, the lakes, the hills, farms n houses all looked straight outta poetry n painting. Loyal Griggs did an amazing work with the film's cinematography. The story is about a <more>
mysterious gunfighter Alan Ladd who helps a farming family against cattle barons wanting the farmers land. Jack Palance in a role of pure malevolence with his evil smirk n few dialogues. George Stevens' direction is truly stunning. He made a very touching film. This film has contributed a lot towards the western genre.
Shane 1953 is about the enduring struggle of a group of 'homesteaders' fight to survive and build their families in the Valley of Wyoming. The Story focuses on the Starrett family which consists of Joe, Marion, his wife, and Joey, their beloved son. The eponymous character Shane is a retiring gunfighter who is riding into the valley and is trying to leave his mysterious and violent past behind him. When he enters the valley he is drawn to the Starrett home and as the film progresses, he becomes increasingly interwoven into both their family life and their fight against Ryker who, <more>
with the aid of others, is trying to drive them from the valley he wants for himself.The apparent simplicity of Shane is very deceptive. Stevens artistry as a director infuses this film with an eminent aura of an Arthurian legend, an outstanding quality that has resulted in it becoming one of the most imitated and revered westerns of all time. Its excellent depiction of the age old myth that is the mysterious wandering protector vs the evil bloodthirsty murderer is arguably one of the best in cinema. In his portrayal of Jack Wilson, George Stevens has put to screen one of the most celebrated villains of cinema. His violent and sadistic nature is brought to the forefront in one of cinema's most shocking visions - the killing of 'stonewall' Torrey. The entire scene is both visually stunning and superbly choreographed, a combination that runs throughout this film. The spectacular Valley floor and the surrounding Teton Mountains of Wyoming are brought to life by director of photography Loyal Griggs who received the films only Oscar although it received six nominations . Instead of using standard 25mm lenses that would make the mountains appear very distant, Griggs used 75mm/100mm telephoto lenses that draw the mountains in, making their grandeur and beauty loom over the valley floor. This is apparent in many of the films beautiful scenes, one of which is Torreys' funeral, where the stunning landscapes of the valley are a backdrop to the sad and moving scene. This is just one example of the artistry at work in Shane, a film that boasts a wealth of Beautiful photography.The characterisation in Shane is wonderful. The film never tries to make us connect with the characters using forced dialogue. We get glimpses of their qualities and see their detailed reactions to what goes on and what is said. This is part of the way we get to know people in real life. This quality that runs throughout the film imbues the deep connection we feel with the characters and the understanding we have of them. Shane is a film that leaves a lot up to the audience and part of the pleasure is seeing a look or a reaction from one of the characters that we are able to understand and read into.Joeys' fascination for Shane's gun mirrors that of many adolescents and teenagers in society, who love to run around and play with guns. However George Stevens wanted to dispel the glamorisation of the six-gun and to emphasise the destruction they cause. In order to convey this message Stevens actually had the sound of gunfire magnified on the soundtrack a technique not previously attempted in mainstream cinema. Shane tells Joey just as he is about to ride off "There's no living with a killing or a killer ". His sentiments represent societies view on killing no matter which way you cut it, the use of violence cannot be an accepted value of society. Computer games today glamorise the use of guns and make causing destruction and bloodshed fun, a trend which seems to reflect in cinema of today, where the acceptable level of violence portrayed in films is greater than ever before. Shanes honest portrayal of the devastating effects of guns and its condemnation of violence is a message as relevant as ever.Shane has a heart-rending and inspirational quality to it that elevates it above being 'just a western', and it becomes a fantastic mystical tale that deals with complex themes deep rooted in the fabric of society such as human nature, family life, the culture of the gun and identity. The films much debated and talked about ending is a testament to the great and lasting impact this film has had.
Irony, irony, and more irony (by A_Different_Drummer)
After watching the massively depressing LOGAN 2017 and noticing that the closing scene pays homage to Shane same dialog used to mark Logan's grave I felt the need to do an update review on Shane.According to traditional Hollywood history, Shane is one of the 100 greatest films of all time, iconic, and even the dialog is multi-layered.There is a scene in the short-lived TV series THE OTHERS done by the same two men who created X-Files where one of the lead characters, who is blind, regularly goes to the movies to watch SHANE, over and over. In many ways, that has to be one of the <more>
grandest back-handed compliments you can pay to a film.I wish however to also suggest there is a great deal of hidden irony in what otherwise appears to be a straightforward western.For example, Ladd hated guns and, according to film legend Wikipedia had to do over 100 takes in the iconic scene where he teaches the boy to draw. Similarly, Jack Palance hated horses and was only able to do one successful "mount" after many takes. Director Stevens had to use this same piece of film over and over, even to the point of running the strip backwards to make it look like Jack was dismounting.Wait, it gets better. Director Stevens hated violence and wanted SHANE to be be an anti-violence film. However, the trope he invented for the gunfight, where the actors were violently pulled backwards by ropes as bullets struck, is considered by film historians to have "forever changed the face of film action" and led to an entirely new generation of gunfighting in films where the violence increased by a factor of 100X. Even the infamous Hong Kong action film directors consider they owe a debt to Stevens.The final irony is that, in the opinion of this reviewer, the film does not stand for what the screenwriter intended. To this reviewer, Shane is a metaphor for the evolution of the United States itself, an arc more visible when this review is penned in 2017 than in 1953. Although even in 1953, at the end of WW2, the US as a nation was having to face introspection, as a nation which had hitherto prided itself on isolationism suddenly felt compelled to become policeman to the entire world.Still a great film. But also an ironic one.
A Lyrical Celebration Of Nascent American Communal Society, And A Lament For The Death Of The Frontier (by stryker-5)
Wyoming in the 1880's is a beautiful wilderness of spectacular mountains and fertile valleys. Into one such valley Shane, the lonely gunfighter, comes riding.He happens upon a local war between the ranchers and the homesteaders. Rufe Ryker, the rancher, won this valley from the indians and resents the squatters who have "fenced me off from water". The valley should, he believes, be open cattle range. Joe Starrett is the natural leader of the homesteaders. He sees the future of America in terms of communities - people should settle the land and work it, and build schools and <more>
churches.As Shane rides onto Starrett's spread, he is greeted by idyllic domesticity. Joe is chopping wood, Little Joey is playing and Marian sings as she fixes supper. Both Shane and Starrett bristle ... "I didn't expect to find any fences around here," says Shane, and Joe takes Shane for one of Ryker's troublemakers.The tension subsides and Shane stays overnight. The pain in his face when Marian serves a wedge of apple pie denotes a longing for a happy home life and the love of a good woman. Marian, too, is affected by Shane. She hides coyly in the kitchen, then brings out the best crockery for her guest. In return for the hospitality, Shane starts chopping at the stubborn old treestump. Starrett joins him, and the two men toil to defeat the stump, bonding in friendship as they symbolically tame the frontier wilderness.Ernie Wright stops by. He is a homesteader who wants out because of Ryker's bullies, but Starrett persuades him to stay. Shane agrees to work for Joe, because he sees that Joe is this community's anchor, and he will need help in the confrontation to come.The homesteaders keep to the valley floor, the cowboys haunt the township. Farmers stay on their spreads, raising their families and working the land. The cowpokes are single men whose only fixed point is Grafton's saloon.Old man Grafton has two businesses on adjoining premises, but they are separate universes. Homesteaders patronise the general store, making expeditions for clothes, nails and food, bonnets for the women and candy for the kids. The saloon is where Ryker's thugs spend their day. The listless, pointless existence is enlivened only when a 'sodbuster' strays in, giving them someone to bully.Under orders from Joe not to get into trouble, Shane ventures into the saloon and is picked on by Ryker's men. With enormous self-restraint, he allows himself to be humiliated.Joe calls a homesteaders' meeting. The budding community looks to Starrett as its leader. The farmers decide to do their shopping en masse, to minimise exposure to the cattlemen. When Marian warns Little Joey not to "get to likin' Shane too much", we know that she has fallen in love.The mass shopping expedition is a turning-point. Shane settles his score with the bullies, and he and Joe, fighting back-to-back, take on Ryker's men and win. This prompts Ryker to send to Cheyenne for Wilson, the hired killer.Wilson exudes evil. The lithe, black-hatted gunslinger never works. He sits around the saloon all day, a brooding alien presence in the valley. At the face-off on Starrett's spread, Shane watches intensely as Wilson backs his horse out with sinister elegance.It is Wilson's function to goad the homesteaders into drawing against him, so that he can gun them down. 'Stonewall' Torey is the obvious first choice, being a recklessly brave hothead. The confrontation is a thrilling piece of cinema ... Shipstead's three plaintive cries which almost pull Torey back from the brink ...the bleak, muddy street .... the awful inevitability.The funeral is another cinematic triumph. The mourners are dramatically silhouetted against the vast sky as the dog pines for his dead master. Down on the valley floor, the township with its saloon glowers like a stain on the landscape.The homesteaders are all for quitting until they see that Fred Lewis's place has been set ablaze by Ryker's men. This has two plot consequences. The sodbusters now resolve to stay and build a community, and Starrett decides to ride in and settle things with Ryker.Shane cannot allow this. He knows that Joe is no match for Wilson. Starrett hints that there is a certain appropriateness about being killed in this way. He knows that Marian will be looked after, and that Shane will stand up to Ryker ...And so the two friends fight. This is a cataclysm for Marian and Joey, and it shakes the foundations of their world. While the fight proceeds, out of our view, Marian and Joey hurry from window to window, as if in a shipwreck. When the camera moves out into the yard, we see the fistfight through the legs of terrified horses. Dogs quiver in fear. The Starrett universe is in turmoil.In the final scene in the barroom, Shane tells Tyker the cruel truth - the old man has lived too long. Ryker's dream has passed from the earth. When the violence is done, Shane rides off into the dawn, wounded and alone. He knows that his dream, too, has passed him by.The dawn symbolises the new era of peace and prosperity in the valley. As Shane leaves it behind, Joey's innocently ironic words echo back from the sierra - "And mother wants you. I know she does!"
It is fascinating to watch both the Westerns and Film Noir of the 1950s because they expressed clearly the conflicted character of a nation transforming suddenly from a New Deal to a National Security State. Whereas the Noir focus primarily on the dark side, a claustrophobic urban maze in which the characters yearned for an impossible return to the horse farm of their childhood, with the Westerns there were two parallel tracks, celebrations of the building of a new community coinciding with the disillusionment that followed the realization of this new establishment. Films like She Wore A <more>
Yellow Ribbon and Shane focused on the aspirations of the time while movies such High Noon and Last Train From Gun Hill reflected who we actually were or feared we were becoming.Shane was an incredibly influential movie, which is often surprising to us today. Both Woody Allen and Akira Kurosawa admire d the film and the latter's Seven Samurai bears a striking resemblance to it. The imagery is impressive, particularly in the last half-hour that includes a stunning cemetery scene, an earth-shattering fistfight in the farm yard, the final gunfight in the dimly lit saloon, and the last image of Shane riding through the monuments on Cemetery Hill, the snowy Tetons above him. It includes what is probably the most impressive, realistic western town ever filmed, tiny and spare in the immense landscape. All the dwellings are gritty, realistic, and dominated by the landscape's red earth, green grass and black hills, blue mountains and sky, and soft low clouds.The film is filled with shots through windows, windows that allow the outdoors to intrude inside, the Tetons over a diner's shoulder, or that link action in the farm house with that in the yard, as in the opening moments. Shane and Mrs. Starett are separated physically by windows, watching the other through them, most memorably in a great scene in the rain.Jack Wilson's Palance arrival is memorable due to its strange, ghostly quality. He enters a saloon through a pair of swinging doors, walking slowly towards the camera. The image slowly fades, to reemerge with Wilson nearly across the room, still slowly walking. Then the film cuts to a subjective shot of the bartender on the stairs above, then back to Wilson leaning against a wooden support in the bar. It is a stunning and surreal moment, and the black clad gunman is more a shadowy manifestation of death than a person.Some might fault the story for being `clichéd'. However, this is a somewhat thoughtless approach to the movie. Guthrie's script and Steven's film was a conscious attempt to mythologize a standard tale of a gifted stranger saving a community from the elements of chaos, the mythology of a progress not only technological but, more importantly, moral. This is the mythology of a people that genuinely believed in a Manifest Destiny, a special mission, a naïve faith. It is strange today to think of the audiences that were watching these movies, immigrants in Hell's Kitchen watching Hell's Hinges or coal miners in West Virginia watching Buck Jones almost as surreal as Pakistanis or Arabians watching Italian Westerns in the 1960s . It makes you wonder what they thought about the action on the screen. Did they, like the boy Joey, want to be Shane or, like Shane, want to be Starett? And what did the audiences in the defeated axis, Italy and Japan soon to make their own Shanes , see as they watched the screen?Shane tries hard. He changes his buckskins for `store-bought' clothes, doesn't wear a gun. But, try as he might, he can't become one of them, one of the farmers in the valley, and it is questionable as to whether he would ever really be excepted as one of them, as is indicated by their reactions to the fight in the saloon or the scene when Torrey brings news of Wilson's arrival. Kurosawa, and later Sturges, was to expand on this basic incompatibility of the idealized but dangerous hero es separated from the distrustful farmers in Seven Samurai.Filmmakers other than Kurosawa appear to have made their own versions of the story, including Sergio Corbucci's The Great Silence, a film that increased the ambiguities and ended in a stunning reversal. It is a frozen, bleak, mute anti-Shane from the other side of the mirror, an image not only flipped and thus altered subtly, but actually profoundly displaced. Riding through a biblical landscape, Eastwood's High Plains Drifter is a familiar mysterious stranger now abstract and surreal, a justice and self-satisfying vengeance intertwined and transformed into divine retribution for the sins of a community that conspired with murderers to obscure a secret at the heart of community, a secret which is dissolving the mortar that holds together the mining company, the town and law, marriage and friendship. Of course, it is an open secret, but, in a uniquely American fashion, it is unspoken and virtually a crime to mention in a new `Rule of Law' . He has not ridden out of the silver, shifting mirage above the salt flats to save the people of this place but to deservedly punish.David Webb People's script for Unforgiven appears to be yet another return to the same story and is something of a merger of these two images, Shane and Silence It is interesting to note that Eastwood was interested in remaking Silence in the early 1970s, but instead appeared in the pedestrian Joe Kidd . Such were the evolutions of the aspirations of this movie and these moments, like a child changed by time and experience into the strange adult figure looking out of the mirror, that, in a sense, Shane `grew up' to become William Munney another gunman trying to become a pig-farmer , finally truly accepting his credo that `A man has to be what he is, Joey. You can't break the mold. I tried and it didn't work for me.'`Deserves ain't got nothing to do with it.' Munney, Unforgiven