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The BD edition is very detailed in its bright sequences with moderate emulsion grain as characteristic of a film from that era. The sound is cleaner than the DVD version, but I could not detect any stereo mix.
Unfortunately, as is the case for many films from this period, it appears that the original negative has deteriorated to the point of great contrast with a loss of detail especially in the middle to dark greys of the image. This results in the dark scenes having very little to no detail in the shadow areas with large areas that are completely black.
Due to this deterioration, the touching and extremely important ending to this film is ruined by having almost no detail in the new BD edition. Indeed, the image is almost totally black with only the boy and the rider in the distance being dimly visible. The mountains in the background are virtually invisible.
In contrast, (no pun intended) the DVD edition of Shane, although having a typically softer image than Blu-ray, has a much better contrast balance allowing for all the detail in the night scenes to be visible. Thus, the ending scene's detail is excellent.
I recommend the DVD version of this film over the new BD for this reason.
Addendum: Since writing this review, I have watched the crucial ending on the BD on various TVs and found that the aforementioned high contrast varies from set to set more than I've seen on a BD so far. The best render was on a Sony HD, where there was more detail in the dark areas of the picture, though still not as much as the DVD version. The darkest render was on a DLP projector and computer monitor.
Alan Ladd was one of those great actors who might have been. Ladd's deadpan persona, which some have criticized as wooden, was the essential element in the suppressed emotion which would serve him so well in his greatest role, that of Shane.
In following Ladd's filmography, it's fascinating to see how the quality of his work is related to the complexity of the character he plays. The more complex, it seems, the better Ladd's performance. And of course, the enigma of Shane, the character's inherent complexity, lends itself perfectly to Ladd's talents.
Sue Carol, Alan Ladd's wife and agent, didn't care for directors, preferring the actor-as-producer rather than director. While this "business approach" contributed to great wealth and influence for the Ladd dynasty, it did not lend itself to the artistic achievements of which Ladd was capable. Whether this was of concern to Alan can only be conjectured.
However, one thing is certain, when Ladd was given a strong director, such as Raoul Walsh, Michael Curtiz, Edward Dmytryk or George Stevens for Shane, the results were dramatic. What may have been his finest performance was also his last, in Dmytryk's The Carpetbaqggers. As the enigmatic Nevada Smith, was Alan Ladd replaying Shane?
--Brandon DeWilde as Joey Starrett to Alan Ladd in SHANE.
SHANE is a beautiful movie. The photography is beautiful. The music is beautiful. The stars--Alan Ladd, Van Heflin, Jean Arthur, Brandon DeWilde, and Jack Palance are terrific and the character actors--like Ben Johnson, Edgar Buchanan--later a star of tv's PETTICOAT JUNCTION--and Elisha Cook, Jr.--briefly much later in his life in THE NIGHT STALKER--are fantastic. The sets and the script make you feel like you're living in the Wild West of the 1800s.
But even though a lot of reviewers say SHANE is a battle between good and evil, it's just the opposite:Director George Stevens shows people in situations where you can't clearly define what's right or wrong:SHANE's villains were settlers, the good guys are settlers. Jean Arthur is a frontier woman happily married to Van Heflin as Joe Starrett, yet suddenly she falls in love with Shane. As the movie approaches its POINT OF NO RETURN, Shane ends a fistfight with Joe Starrett by hitting Starrett on the head with his gun--with Brandon DeWilde as Starret's son Joey watching--leading to the finale where Jack Palance as Jack Wilson is a gunfighter, and Shane is a gunfighter.
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL:THE ONLY ADULT WESTERN EVER MADE--SHANE!!!
Chari Krishnan RESEARCHKING
Most recent customer reviews
Will be always regarded now and in the future as one
or the only outstanding western in the future.
Purchased this for myself. Saw this movie on the big screen many years ago. Haven't watched it yet but I know I'll still enjoy this film.Published 1 month ago by Mr R Champlin
I was too young when this was released in the 50's so I just watched it for the first time on TV this year. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Macrina Herrera