Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shane Author For Western Wednesday...!

I figure that nearly everyone has seen the movie "Shane" at some point, right?

It is still considered one of the best of the westerns, both the book and the movie. Many films started following the formula of "Shane" after it's release and ultimate success.

Shane author Jack Schaefer is born

Jack Schaefer, the author of Shane, one of the most popular westerns of all time, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.

During the first half of his life, Schaefer was a successful journalist, but Shane was his first attempt at a novel. Published in 1949, when Schaefer was 42, this simple but powerful tale of a high-plains drifter who comes to the rescue of Wyoming homesteaders was a popular and critical success, as was the 1953-film adaptation starring Alan Ladd. Buoyed by this overwhelming reception, Schaefer became a full-time writer and wrote several other memorable novels, short-story collections, and historical books.

Shane, though, has remained Schaefer's most popular and influential work, in part due to the wider audience the film version captured for the story. Like the protagonist of Owen Wister's 1902 novel, The Virginian, Schaefer's Shane helped construct the popular image of the western cowboy as an all-natural nobleman on horseback. Shane was the American version of the valorous European knight, who roams a lawless kingdom righting wrongs and striking down the evil oppressors of the common people.

In Shane, Schaefer deliberately left the hero's past obscure, only hinting that he had once been a skilled gunman who wished to leave his violent past behind. Loosely based on the true story of the late-nineteenth-century Wyoming range wars between homesteaders and cattle barons, Schaefer set his novel in a high western valley. One of the most elegant representations of the powerful Western novel, Shane inspired legions of imitators and helped make the genre one of the most popular of the second half of the twentieth century.

Those were the days of the true good guys and bad guys type of westerns. Very few really good movies in that genre have been made since, although I did like "The Unforgiven" a lot!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?


Chickenmom said...

Always likes that movie, Mr. Hermit.
Too bad they don't make good westerns anymore. Very warm here at 72. Summer came back!

linda m said...

I have watched Shane many times. Still one of my favorites. You are right; they don't make many good westerns any more. I loved "The Unforgiven". It was very realistic and believable. Still raining here.

Mamahen said...

Know the movie first husband (who did a little stunt work late 50s-60s) had his name legally changed to Shane in part because of this character. Btw he was several yrs older than me in case anyone is trying to figure the timeline doesn't fit..:))

Dizzy-Dick said...

I remember way back when I was a kid, my family took me to a drive-in and Shane was the movie we saw. I remember the kid at the end running after him calling his name.

Bob Mc said...

No one seems interested in making good westerns anymore. The last good one that I saw was "Monte Walsh". Today everything is automation, the more special effects the better. Computers have replaced good actors.

Sixbears said...

The Western is a unique American literary creation. I doubt it could be set anywhere else.

Unusually warm days with coffee on the deck, watching the birds.