Otherwise, excellent movie.
The plot may seem basic, but that's one of the few elements that's great, it allows drama and action to build upon it, which it does successfully.
The cast give a wonderfully intense performances, which also makes this film quite enjoyable.
-Jack Palance, Brandon de Wilde, Alan Ladd.
What I didn't like:
-the overuse of music,
-the length, 20 mins. too long,SPOILER ALERT
-plotting: why did Chris betray his boss? Why didn't Shane at least tell Joe what was waiting for him (a "stacked deck")? This manoeuvring towards a finale was too obvious to be believable,
-Shane is absent for great chunks of the movie as the settlers and ranchers battle it out .
Once, this was among my favourite movies but it hasn't aged well, even for a children's movie - far too much violence, especially the callous shooting of Torey.
The film opens to the Grand Teton Valley and the audience is introduced to its hero Shane (Alan Ladd). A lone man, on his horse riding across the frontier where he encounters Joe Starrett (Van Heflin), his wife Marian (Jean Arthur), and their young son Joey (Brandon De Wilde). A family of homesteaders trying to work their land claim while under pressure from a group of cattlemen: The Ryker Gang. The film follows the town and its people trying to fulfill their dreams of ownership and their desires to fight for their land but for some reason can't put action to their words, and it's Shane who ultimately holds the fate of the town in his hands.
This film isn't the typical Western with long drawn out gun fights or John Wayne or a complicated plot. This film is more simplistic but is dripping with deep morals that will toy with the audience's emotions. To make the film all the more emotionally wrenching, it is told through the eyes of little Joey. (Though he is a little annoying at times he truly is acting how any young boy or girl would act when their hero is around. Besides Brandon De Wilde was nominated for his role as Joey so he must be doing something right.)
Shane may seem dated because it is a Western but it is a film that is still relevant to today. Its use of characters being driven by their emotions and the unconventional hero are all elements that are still popular in today's film industry. Instead of Shane wearing a black mask and a cape he rides a horse and wears a cowboy hat. As you watch this you will experience the full-range of human emotion without even realizing it because of the film's storytelling ability. I guarantee that you will be on the verge of tears, just like Joey was, when he bid farewell to the mysterious hero, you too will yell, "Shane. Shane. Come back!"