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DIShGo

"Shane" (1953) Director George Stevens' Classic American Western, Widely Considered One of the Greatest Films Ever Made

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After reading rave reviews from critics and seeing "Shane" listed as one of the best films ever made, I decided to watch it, with high expectations. I was disappointed. It seemed corny and dated, and several of the actors seemed miscast to me.

Am I missing something? I realize it was filmed in 1953, and a lot of Westerns that have come along since may have been inspired by it, but I recently saw "Stagecoach," filmed 14 years earlier, and I think it is a much better film.

 

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35 minutes ago, DIShGo said:

After reading rave reviews from critics and seeing this film listed as one of the best films ever made, I decided to watch it, with high expectations. I was disappointed. It seemed corny and dated, and several of the actors seemed miscast to me.

Am I missing something? I realize it was filmed in 1953, and a lot of Westerns that have come along since may have been inspired by it, but I recently saw "Stagecoach," filmed 14 years earlier, and I think it is a much better film.

"Shane" is #1 on my list of "most overrated films I've ever seen," and I'd *love* to hear from someone who thinks otherwise (*) - even the reviews I read, with all the reasons they give, I either disagree with, vehemently, or think to myself, "so what?"

The movie wasn't awful, but it wasn't much better than average - with some aspects being downright annoying - and Shane was most certainly *not* a top film of all-time like so many people say. Even Roger Ebert, with whom I agree perhaps 80-90% of the time, missed this one - badly; I'm just about all-in with Dave Kehr, making us a minority of two, DIShGo making three; the rest of the world seems to disagree.

I've done the self-search routine, thinking about how I could be the one who's wrong here, and after thinking about it for quite awhile, I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong.

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This article was just found and given to me - I haven't read it yet, but will do so, eagerly and with an open mind:

Aug 3, 2001 - "Watching Movies With: Woody Allen; Coming Back to 'Shane'" by Rick Lyman on nytimes.com

Woody Allen, despite his perversions, is someone whose work I respect, so I'm looking forward to reading his analysis - he has said in the past that "Shane" is his favorite American movie.

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(*) Remember, I do not "argue to win," I "discuss to learn."

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On 7/24/2016 at 11:22 AM, DonRocks said:

This article was just found and given to me - I haven't read it yet, but will do so, eagerly and with an open mind:

Aug 3, 2001 - "Watching Movies With: Woody Allen; Coming Back to 'Shane'" by Rick Lyman on nytimes.com

Woody Allen, despite his perversions, is someone whose work I respect, so I'm looking forward to reading his analysis - he has said in the past that "Shane" is his favorite American movie.

From the article:

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''Watch this,'' Mr. Allen said, breaking his own rule.

Mr. Palance enters the saloon. A dog looks up, sees him and slinks across the barroom floor. Mr. Palance begins to walk across the room. We see him only from the waist down. Gradually, he dissolves out of the frame and, almost instantly, dissolves back in a few steps further along. It's beautiful, but ghostly. He's like an apparition.

''It's one of the most puzzling dissolves I've ever seen,'' Mr. Allen said. ''I can't imagine what it was for. It must have been to cover up a mistake. I can't think of any other reason for it.''

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I just watched this scene several times, and I suspect that the dog was making noise, so they couldn't film it in one continuous shot - nothing more, nothing less. This is so typical of the critical commentary I've read about "Shane," especially Ebert's: overanalysis ad infinitum.

 

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I saw Shane about 20 years ago and I absolutely could not stand it and wondered why it enjoyed the reputation it had and still has. Unfortunately, I don't remember many particulars of what made it seem so awful to me. The one thing I remember distinctly is the whiny, irritating performance of Brandon deWilde. Anyway, that makes at least four of us.

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12 hours ago, The Hersch said:

I saw Shane about 20 years ago and I absolutely could not stand it and wondered why it enjoyed the reputation it had and still has. Unfortunately, I don't remember many particulars of what made it seem so awful to me. The one thing I remember distinctly is the whiny, irritating performance of Brandon deWilde. Anyway, that makes at least four of us.

The only thing I found more annoying than Brandon deWilde (who did have a Dennis the Menace cuteness about him) was Jean Arthur's portrayal of Marian Starrett. Her voice, to my ears, was like fingernails on a chalkboard.

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