Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend Matinee: Shane


It's about love. Love between husband and wife, woman and stranger, friend and friend, parent and child, child and hero. (Ok, have we left any love out, other than that which dare not speak its name? Don't think so.)

It's also about loyalty.

I'd forgotten about Shane. But ran across a 1949 copy of the book at the laundromat. Fresh, clean prose without perfumes and other chemical additives. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but the book and movie pack a punch of sentimentality where you're least protected and when you least expect it.

And aside from love and loyalty, Shane is about courage. The most courageous moment is also the one that's almost unbearable to read -- or when it comes to the movie -- watch. It has to do with soda pop and walking away from a fight. "Punch that fucker!" I scream, and then return to my life as a pacifist.

Aside from love, loyalty, and courage, Shane is about freewill and destiny, fate and longing.

Here's Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, and Alan Ladd. They all break my heart with every frame. Oh, and there's the little boy -- named Bob in the book, but Joey in the film. Some people find him annoying. I don't, I can't. I was that same kind of kid. Always getting in the way, asking questions, finding heroes.

You can stream on netflix. These were about the only unedited snippets I could find:

Clip 1

Clip2

Clip 3

29 comments:

  1. I don't know the book or the movie ~ clearly my loss. Perhaps more books should hang out at the laundromat.

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  2. The Shane I fell in love with was David Carradine on TV. At the time I was unknowingly going to high school with a certain Cheryl Stoppelmoor who would later become Cherie Moor then, penultimately, Cheryl Ladd, Alan Ladd's daughter in law. I only remember seeing her once and it was out in front of the school dressed in a cape, holding a Tourister make-up case, wearing a Robin Hood hat, and waiting for her close-up. This was South Dakota circa 1970 and it was very clear that she was going places. At that time it was any supper club in South Dakota, but she did make the big leap and I see her from time to time on TV. I suppose it could happen at the laundromat and maybe it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as finding a copy of Shane (which is on Google Books) but it is satisfying to see that freewill and destiny, fate and longing can take you where you want to go.

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  3. I'm just amazed you lived in South Dakota Paula - yet in the same path as Cheryl Stoppelmoor.

    I'm with Shell Sherree. Is Shane the movie where they kill the child's deer? I do recall enjoying Johnny Guitar several times over.

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  4. Consider this a PSA. No different film, PA. This is about the range wars and an ex-gunslinger who tries to go straight. But really, as I said, it's a movie about love, trust, and friendship. Godard, Truffaut, Eastwood, and Woody Allen have all put it on their top 5 list.

    Here's what Woody had to say, "I've seen it many, many times,certainly more than 20. I've also taken people to see it, people who tell me that they can't stand westerns. Shane is lovely, beautiful even. It achieves poetry."

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  5. This could, quite possibly, be the only western I never saw growing up. My dad was a big John Wayne and Clint Eastwood fan, so those were the ones we stayed up late to watch.

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  6. Now you've made me want to read the book, see the movie.

    Strange seeing Alan Ladd looking tall. Also strange seeing the very young Palance. (Even credited differently.)

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  7. The best of the west, IMO. (Steve)

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  8. Now, why Shane was playing at the Alex in Glendale in 1966 or 1967 I don't know...but I do remember that while watching this movie about all the different kinds of love...I got kissed for the first time!!!

    A group of us went to see it for an English assignment...(I was in the 9th grade)...well...to make a long story short...my heart throb of the moment was there too, apparently I was his heart throb of the moment too...

    When I got home, I ran to my room and changed into my trusty old jeans and went outside...I think I was in shock!!! Of course, being in Junior High...I never lived that one down...I even got teased about it at my 30th reunion...at the fortieth, who could remember much of anything???

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  9. I have yet to get my fix of Netflix. I like films - just don't like to pay to sit to watch them. However, that isn't to say I don't Love historic/old theatres!

    But I will pay to sit and read a good book. Which often times is better than the screen version.

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  10. @Cafe: I agree w/you... I think because our own imagination takes over when we read... How many times I have imagined what the character in a book is like and then see what the studios pick... or the fact that the studios will decide what scenes should be in/out...A book wins out all the time for me.

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  11. I have a vague recollection of reading Shane as a kid. After your review, I would read it again in a heartbeat.

    Your posts evoke such great memories. Those are classics from Paula and The Chieftess.

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  12. Agreed, Susan. Great vignettes from Paula and Chieftess. And normally I agree that the book trumps a movie, but not in this case.

    Wish someone would watch it, so we could discuss some of the scenes. At the beginning, when the stranger rides down the hill, and his image is caught between the antlers of the deer. This movie tells many stories from many points of view, through pictures and words.

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  13. Such a great movie. Watched it on Netflix last year.

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  14. I haven't seen the movie in ages but I've never forgotten the boy's name: Brandon deWilde. He died young. I just looked him up and apparently a biography is coming out next week. Karin, you are timely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_deWilde

    I didn't know there was a book.

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  15. This is one I missed also, but I will have to check it out.
    The comments and stories from all of you are a wonderful addition to Karin's excellent post.

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  16. Never read or seen it, but I have come across so many references to it.

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  17. When I was a little girl, both of my parents worked part-time in concessions at a drive-in theater. They would take my sisters and me to work and we would stay in the car, watch the movie while they worked and they checked on us periodically throughout the night. I remember laying up above the back seat on the rear window ledge watching this movie. I loved it then and now. I haven't seen it in years. Thanks.

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  18. Steve -- Yeah! Ms M, read Terri's comment -- another great story in this collection.

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  19. I saw this movie many, many years ago... I don't remember the story, but I remember that I loved the music.
    I just Googled and hear the theme by George Stevens. It's beautiful!
    Thanks for remember me about this movie and for the Clips. I will try to rent it soon.

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  20. While I wonder why you were hanging around the laundromat, I wonder even more who would abandon a wonderful book! I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

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  21. I'm in. You and Woody Allen have convinced me.

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  22. 'Shane' was my father's favourite film. I'm not feeling it, if I'm honest, but I think of him every time I see it... and weep for what might have been.

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  24. Marjie, I would be happy to send the book. Sonia and Adele, thanks for your comments. There are some films that shouldn't be forgotten.

    Soilman, funny you should say that about your father. My father was European, and I think the American westerns of his youth gave him a dream or a promise or a reason to cross the ocean. I have such fond memories of the two of us watching Shane on TV together, a subtext to a movie I'd love anyway.

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  25. Shame? Hardcore movie. Tough to watch. Oh, Shane! That's entirely different...

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  26. Thank you for your support over at my place, Karin. If you'd rather sign a petition than send a letter, I've added a link in the comments section of my post. Thank you again. xoxo

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  27. I'm afraid I like the personal stories here more than the clip (I couldn't access 1 or 3). Terri's image of a child watching or sleeping on a car's back shelf at a drive in--now that's a great image!

    I'm interested and surprised to hear Woody Allen extolling this one. Maybe I need to watch the whole thing--as others have said, it's been many years since.

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  29. I loved both the book and the movie. It's been a long time since I've seen the movie. I just happen to have a copy. Now I'm going to watch it....

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