Jack Schaeffer's Shane: The Perfect Western Film

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Jack Schaeffer’s, Shane, is the perfect embodiment of the Western formula used to create films about the Wild, Wild West. The text has all the necessary elements to create the perfect Western movie. The first component of the formula is a threat to the community that just moved out west, whether it is Indians, other ranchers, or even nature itself. The second component is lack of defense from the community, due to the homesteaders not being able to protect themselves against the threat posed upon them. The third component is the presence of a hero, a single entity that has the skills of the community’s threat, but in turn uses those to help the community. Shane is the ideal film created from the western formula, consisting of a threat, a lack of defense, and a hero. To begin the creation of a western film using the western formula, a threat has to come to …show more content…

From the minute Shane rides up to the Starlett’s house, his poise and character screams mystery and hero. Even little Joey can feel the power of Shane’s presence and “in that short time the kind of magnificence [Joey] had noticed had emerged into plainer view,” (Shane from Literary West, page 180). Shane demonstrates all the necessary elements to protect the homesteaders from the vicious threats of the frontier. “I don’t think you’ve ever had a safer man in your house,” (Shane from Literary West, page 183) says Joe Starlett as he is addressing Marion’s concern for Shane’s mysterious personality. Shane was remarkable with gun fighting, and fortunately enough, exactly what the homesteaders needed in order to defend themselves. “I would see the man and weapon wedded in the one invisible deadliness … doing what had to be done,” (Shane, page 118) expresses Joey as he reflects back on the hero who saved the homesteaders by winning the gunfight and shooting down Wilson, something none of the homesteaders could have ever

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