Friday, March 31, 2017

THE APRIL SHOWERS BLOGATHON: Shane (1953)



MovieMovieBlogBlog is hosting The April Showers blogathon running from March 31st to April 2nd. Filmmakers have used rain to great effect in motion pictures since beginning of the art form. Click HERE to read about some of the most memorable scenes and films.

The title character of George Stevens' 1953 classic Shane, based on Jack Schaefer's novella, is a weary gunfighter running from his past. When he rides into a valley beset by conflict between old-time rancher Ryker and the farmers settling into the valley, Shane experiences a life he seeks, but can never obtain.  Shane's outsider status is most evident one rainy night at the Starrett homestead.

Joe Starrett, his wife Marian, and their boy Joey have accepted Shane into their family. He is a friend and a co-worker to Joe. For young Joey, Shane is an object of childish admiration. For Marian, he reminds her that she is more than a wife and mother.

Shane is cautious around the folks of the valley. He does not want his past as a gunfighter to be known. His forbearance when facing opposing forces from the Ryker ranch while in town has made a less than an approving impression on many of the farmers.



The homesteaders have braved a rainstorm to meet at Starrett's place to discuss their troubles with Ryker. The small cabin creates a cozy atmosphere with the sound of the rain falling on the roof and the sight of the rain through the window.



A sopping Shane enters. The look on his face shows a relaxed happiness at his inclusion.



Shane is put on the spot as the tale of his backing down from Ryker's men while at the general store is recounted.


Despite Joe's urging Shane to remain, the gunfighter leaves the meeting.

Shane:  "I figured you could talk freer if I weren't around."



The rain falls on Shane as he passes Joey's room where Marian has been reading him a bedtime story. A simple, homely scene that further highlights the loneliness of Shane's existence.



Marian and Joey speak to Shane through the window. 

Joey: "I know you ain't afraid."
Shane: "It's a long story, Joey."
Marian: "I think we know ... Shane, don't stand in the rain. You'll catch your death of cold."



The story of Shane is encapsulated in Marian's final words of the night to her son, and to herself.

Marian:  "Don't get to liking Shane too much."
Joey:  "Why not?"
Marian:  "I don't want you to."
Joey:  "Is there anything wrong with him?"
Marian:  "No."
Joey:  "Then what, mother?"
Marian:  "He'll be moving on one day, Joey. You'll be upset if you get to liking him too much."

The rain continues to fall.










10 comments:

  1. It's been so long since I saw Shane I don't remember anything about it, except the confrontation between Ladd and Jack Palance at the end. Yet another movie I need to watch again...

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    1. It won't disappoint. Stevens made a classic that stands the test of time.

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  2. It's been so long since I saw Shane I don't remember anything about it, except the confrontation between Ladd and Jack Palance at the end. Yet another movie I need to watch again...

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  3. Nice summary of a classic Western!

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    1. Thanks. Focusing on that one scene really encapsulates a great film.

      Thanks as well for hosting this blogathon and making me think about a favourite movie in a different way.

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  4. Nice summary of a classic Western!

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  5. This movie definitely warrants a rewatch! Has been a long time since I saw it. Rain definitely provides a quiet atmosphere upon which to reflect about one's past, present, and future.

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    1. I think most of us are drawn to rainy days, so it is no surprise that filmmakers are as well.

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  6. Love this movie, this scene and your write-up of it! And yes it is like a mini-version of the whole movie. He's there to save them, but can never be one of them.

    Hope this find you WELL, my dear!! <3

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    1. Indeed, those of us who love this movie do so wholeheartedly.

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