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The kid's voice will haunt me for years. Like watching a cardboard cutout squeal for two full hours.
Shane: "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that."
…aaaand everyone in the NRA just came in their pants.
dickwinters: so "Shane looked like a gay", therefore he's not a viable heroic character? Because gay men can't possibly be gunfighters or cowboys, can they? You certainly live up to your name "dick", you idiot.
Anyway, dick aside, it's a strange western- terribly sentimental and simplistic, especially next to the complex and fascinating characters of a Ford or Mann western. Ladd is quite wooden in the underwritten title role, particularly contrasted to Van Heflin's spiky landowner and Jack Palance's sneering, amoral gunslinger. It all goes wrong with Joey though, one of the most annoying kids ever put on screen… just one more "aaaaawwww Shaaaaaane" and I might throw up… Brandon de Wilde made up for it ten years later with a decent showing in "Hud", but this is just horrible. Some of the dialogue is unintentionally funny as well - the relationship between Shane and Joey reaches a great climax when Shane tells him to "grow up straight". Some chance.
In the positive the scenery is beautiful, although completely over saturated, the assorted showdowns are well paced, there's a couple of great movie dogs, and the bar fight is impressively brutal for an otherwise dramatically limp and obvious story. Not the classic I expected.
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