AFI Top 100: No. 45 Shane

“SHANE! Come back Shane! Shaaaaaaaane!”

One of my favorite family vacations was a trip we took to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in 2006. The beautiful terrain was captured nicely in “Shane,” highlighted by the magnificent Grand Tetons in the background. The set was one of my favorite parts of the movie; it was completely stunning.

I liked the character of Shane and the one of Joe. Shane was kind of a quiet badass that surprised you on occasion. Joe was a strong man who wanted to fight for what he had. Another thing I liked about the movie was that they had a Swedish immigrant family. Scandinavians inhabited much of the Midwest (and in this case Mountain West) in the 1800s and yet you rarely see this shown in films. The character and followers of Ryker were somewhat unbelievable for much of the story. Why would so many people be ok with the driving off and ultimately decision to kill the other settlers in the area? I liked how one of his men, the one who lost a fight with Shane, decided this had gone too far and warned Shane of the plan to kill Joe.

There were a few things that bothered me about the film. One was Joey. I realize that the movie was supposed to be shown through his eyes, which is definitely an interesting view. I just thought the kid was a little over the top and frankly often annoying. It might be awhile until I can hear the name Shane without hearing little Joey’s dragging of the name out. And that is unfortunate since my soon-to-be brother-in-law is named Shayne… Also, I’m pretty sure his parents keep less of an eye on their son than Rick and Lori Grimes do on Carl. And that’s impressive. Secondly, there is no way a five (or six or seven or however old Joey was) year old boy can possibly catch up to a man on a horse. That part was so unrealistic and silly.

Finally, I want to comment on the end of the film. In my opinion, I think Shane planned on leaving no matter what, but I do believe he did die at the end. His arm looked pretty lifeless and he looked as though he was slumped over his horse at the end. I actually liked how they leaved that open and up to your interpretation. Do you think he lived or died at the end and why?

Next Up: The Philadelphia Story

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One comment

  1. Yeah, poor Shane took a pretty powerful shot from above that pretty much got him through the back. He was finished as he rode off at the end as far as I am concerned.
    Outstanding film. Great music, cinematography and acting performances all around. No small roles here! 10 out of 10!

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