Sunday, June 10, 2012
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: