I was going to start this post talking about how I’m not interested in Westerns, but I love There Will Be Blood, True Grit, and No Country for Old Men, so I guess I’m more of a Western fan than I thought.
Shane’s the story of a retired gunfighter who tries to make a quiet life as a ranch hand on a family homestead in Wyoming. The settlers are being terrorized by Ryker, who considers the entire valley to be his. When the homesteaders won’t give up easily, Ryker calls in a hired gun–Jack Wilson, played by Jack Palance– and Shane returns to his sharpshooting roots. I of course missed the film’s most anticipated gun battle because I WAS LOOKING AT FACEBOOK, so I had to re-watch the last 20 minutes of the film.
It was fun to see such a young Jack Palance, with his high-cheekboned skeleton smile, since the only Jack Palance I’ve ever known is the old man from City Slickers.
Honestly, I wasn’t very interested in the film from its description or the DVD jacket, but it had an interesting enough story to keep me engaged. It was so bad it was great–the acting was melodramatic, I think the kid was cross eyed, and there was lots of pining after forbidden love. The fighting was terribly fantastic– lots of face punching and stumbling all the way back across the room and through the door.
Aside from watching lots and lots and lots of movies, my favorite part of this AFI film challenge is that it’s getting me to step outside of my usual habits and try out films I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. I wouldn’t rush out to get Shane on DVD, but spending 2 hours watching the gorgeous Wyoming landscape on my TV wasn’t at all bad.