★★★★★ ★★★★★ by 3 Users
Overblown, overlong, and overelaborated, this 1953 George Stevens western stars Alan Ladd as an ex-gunfighter who is pressed into defending a family of homesteaders against an evil rancher and his sadistic top gun (Jack Palance). Stevens's images substitute expansiveness for grandeur and long dissolves (some of the longest on record) for mythic awareness, although Palance is superbly evil and Ladd smilingly mysterious. Here, as too often in his career, Stevens is aiming to have the last word on a genre: everything aims for “classic” status, and everything falters in a mire of artsiness and obtrusive technique. 118 min.

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Reviews / Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

★★★★★ ★★★★★

This is one of a handful of CLASSIC westerns. The Chicago Reader's lone dissenting voice is pathetic.

report 18 likes, 7 dislikes   
Posted by Uncle Tom Cobbly on 12/28/2009 at 4:21 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

If Stevens intentionally aimed for classic with Shane, he accomplished it. More than sad and pathetic to read the above review.

report 20 likes, 10 dislikes   
Posted by Jim Sullivan on 08/23/2011 at 10:05 AM

Possibly the greatest western ever made. Kind of sad to read the above review.

report 17 likes, 8 dislikes   
Posted by Breezer on 09/15/2010 at 3:28 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

Well, I think the critic got it basically right. Seeing the movie cold (i.e., I didn't see it as an impressionable youth), it seems like a number of brilliant scenes plopped into a movie that shows its age. It's from an odd time -- the director seems to have been trying to make an edifying film while appealing to a 1950s Beaver Cleaver world of social sanitization. The result, in this film, is a curious mix of pretentiousness and cornballism, with a healthy dose of B-grade acting. It certainly fails the test of having more than two female characters who talk to each other about something besides a man. The character of the wife, besides being essentially submissive and kind of a Western version of Mrs. Cleaver, is pretty odd -- she's supposed to be the axis of a tale of latent sexual jealousy, but because it was 1953 Hollywood, it seems there could be no sex and no jealosy. Well, like i say, there are nonetheless some brilliant scenes, but they're all between the men and they usually involve violence witch, unlike sex, Americans have little qualm about.

report 3 likes, 14 dislikes   
Posted by kurt on 12/01/2013 at 9:06 PM
Showing 1-4 of 4

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