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Shane

Top 10 Westerns

In Shane, a gunslinger protects a group of homesteaders from an evil cattle baron


Shane (1953)
Alan Ladd stars in the classic film Shane
Plot: Mysterious gunslinger Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into a remote town on the Wyoming frontier, where he quickly becomes involved in a conflict between a group of hardworking farmers and a greedy cattle baron (Van Heflin). Haunted by his violent past, Shane does his best to avoid any confrontation, and he settles in peacefully with homesteader Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) and his family. But when the baron hires outlaw Jack Wilson (Jack Palance) to gun down the farmers one by one, Shane has no choice but to pick up his trusty six-shooter and protect his newfound friends.

Perks:"Shane" is a classic reformed outlaw story with an archetypal cowboy hero: a soft-spoken, honest man who only resorts to violence when he absolutely must. He's a complex character, a genuine pistolero burdened by his past misdeeds. The audience is left wondering why he won't fight back, and if the evil cattle baron will ever be brought to justice. Yet the ending is pure vindication, and the resulting shootout is one of the best in Western movie history. In the end, when Shane finally rides off into the sunset, it's hard not to yell out little Joey Starret's famous tear-jerking line: "Shane! Shane! Come, back Shane!"


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(Updated: 08/29/13 MG)

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