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Shane (1953)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 14,987

My Rating

Movie Info

The story of a Wyoming range war is elevated to near-mythical status in George Stevens' Western classic Shane. Alan Ladd plays a mysterious drifter who rides into a tiny homesteading community and accepts the hospitality of a farming family. Patriarch Joe Starrett is impressed by the way Shane handles himself when facing down the minions of land baron Emile Meyer, though he has trouble placing his complete trust in the stranger, as his Marion is attracted to Shane in spite of herself, and his


Western, Classics

A.B. Guthrie

Aug 15, 2000

Paramount Home Video

Watch It Now


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November 10, 2006:
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All Critics (30) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

Wyoming's scenic splendors against which the story is filmed are breathtaking. Sunlight, the shadow of rain storms and the eerie lights of night play a realistic part in making the picture a visual treat.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here, as too often in his career, Stevens is aiming to have the last word on a genre: everything aims for 'classic' status, and everything falters in a mire of artsiness and obtrusive technique.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (10)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stevens' classic Western, with its inflated reputation, now looks as if it were self-consciously intended as a landmark film right from the start.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For Shane contains something more than beauty and the grandeur of the mountains and plains, drenched by the brilliant Western sunshine and the violent, torrential, black-browed rains...

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are intriguing mysteries in Shane, puzzles and challenges, not least in the title character and the way he is played by Alan Ladd.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a movie that takes its own measured, deliberate time finding ways to increase your pleasure.

September 5, 2012 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

"Come back, Shane!" Classic Western for the ages.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Western Poetry in Technicolor.

October 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Despite being burdened with grand pretensions, George Steven's Shane stands securely as one of the most intelligent westerns of its era.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinemania

The direction is deliberate, but the attention to detail is impressive, and the perfromances of Jean Arthur, Alan Ladd, and Brandon De Wilde are so good and restrained that they overcome the social-mythical types they're playing.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A maravilhosa fotografia que explora as amplas locações e a força do elenco já seriam o bastante para criar um ótimo trabalho. Mas é a riqueza psicológica do misterioso protagonista e de sua relação com os Starrett que torna o filme inesquecível.

July 22, 2008
Cinema em Cena

Shane isn't just one of the best movies of its genre or decade -- it's one of the finest films ever made.

November 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

It's the western styled as Arthurian legend, flawlessly cast, undeniably splendid.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If the Western is the quintessential American mythology, Shane is its great knight-samurai archetype: stern in battle, mild with women and children, siding with the wronged.

May 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

An adult Western for those who still want to believe that there are guardian angels out there.

April 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...This isn't just a western; it's a masterwork in which every little detail seems to contribute to the intensity in the air.

February 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Arguably, the best American western ever made

September 13, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

The indelible, mythic granddaddy of post-modern Westerns.

August 4, 2002
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

Despite being burdened with grand pretensions, Shane stands securely as one of the most intelligent westerns of its era

June 27, 2002 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

One of the great westerns, a film that inspired many which would follow it.

July 25, 2001 Full Review Source:

While it's dated in some ways, the simple yet meaningful storyline, believable-looking sets and awesome natural setting make this a classic western.

July 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Shane

Often considered a high watermark for the western genre, and an integral part of the mythologizing of the Old West, this is George Stevens's production of that age -old story of a rugged loner who, bound by a sense of honor and decency, finds himself returning to a life he long abandoned and vowed to never return to, but does, because he realizes there is a greater good in it, even if it weighs heavy on his soul.

In simple terms (as this is a simple and straightforward movie), this is about a loner and retired gunfighter named Shane who one day comes across the land of a simple homesteader, and stays to help defend the man against a wealthy cattle baron and his thuggish hired guns.

Even when this was released, the story was nothing new, and yet, there's a very endearing quality about it that makes it hard not to like. I am underwhelmed by it, as I didn't end up loving it like I've been told I should, but relax, I still liked it, even if it did sorta let me down.

Part of the reason may be because of the fact that the stroy is so simple and straight forward. There's nothing really complex or deep on display, although I was suprprised by the ambiguity and maturity of the ending. I wasm't expecting that, but I do really appreciate it. Now, I had the final scene spoiled for me many tiems before, but seeing it in context it was really makes it work, and where the ambiguity comes in. I figured given the time period, it would have been more neat, tidy, and on the nose, but I won't complain with how they decided to do it. Despite the simplicity of the rest of it though, the film sure feels a lot longer than two hours, and the drawn out-ness could have been used to greater effect. Either that or cut the running time down to the bare essentials.

Despite the above nit picking though, this is a pretty solid film. The casting is good, and the performances are quite good. Alan Ladd is terrific as Shane, Jack Palance is in good form as the thug Jack Wilson, and even the little kid Brandon De Wilde isn't annoying enough to derail thigngs. Plus, the cinematogrpahy is just excellent, and I can see why it got so much acclaim back in the day.

The film might be pure cliched formula, and perhaps a tad too sentimental and simple, but it is quite charming, and it has artistic merit. Even though it is overrated and underwhelming (mostly), I still recommend it, as it did help shape popular perception of the west and westerns in a significant way.
January 10, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Shane, for the most part, fails to entertain or to offer high-quality story telling, which makes me wonder why we all consider it one of the great classics. You'll probably have more fun watching most other early westerns.
August 8, 2011
Kyle F.
Kyle Fowler

Super Reviewer

Shots of Shane (Alan Ladd) as a speck in a vast landscape add a mythic quality. What follows is a blow-by-blow account of the clash between cattle barons and homesteaders in a community where the gun rules. The stark close-ups of the young boy, Shane's adoring acolyte, are surprisingly eloquent. Restrained portrayals from Ladd and an excellent cast make this 1953 film more than bar-room brawls, even though there are plenty of those - the film starts violently and only grows more ominous.
Director George Stevens proves again that he is master of fearsomely beautiful environment - and at not letting lurid technicolour overhelm his story.
September 30, 2010
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

A little TOO sentimental to edge out The Searchers or High Noon on my list of favorite westerns, but still one of the genre's best.
March 22, 2010
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

    1. Marion Starrett: Are you doing this just for me?
    2. Shane: For you Marian...and Joe and little Joe.
    – Submitted by Kent M (11 months ago)
    1. Joey Starrett: Shane. Shane. Come back!
    – Submitted by Dutch E (17 months ago)
    1. Shane: A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.
    – Submitted by Kevin S (2 years ago)
    1. Shane: I've heard that you're a low-down Yankee liar.
    2. Jack Wilson: Prove it.
    – Submitted by Kevin S (2 years ago)
    1. Joe Starrett: The only way I'll leave is in a pine box.
    – Submitted by rick b (2 years ago)
    1. Joe Starrett: The old-timers can't see it yet, but runnin' cattle on an open range can't go on. It takes too much space for too little results.
    – Submitted by rick b (2 years ago)
View all quotes (15)

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Foreign Titles

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  • Shane (1953) (UK)
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