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What happens to Shane? (1 Viewer)

Does Shane die at the end of the film?


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Robert Crawford

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Spoiler Alert: Anybody that hasn't seen the film Shane should stay away from this thread!















From the 1998 film: The Negotiator
Lieutenant Danny Roman: I like westerns, like Shane.
Lieutenant Chris Sabian: It's interesting that you pick one where the hero dies.
Lieutenant Danny Roman: What are you talking about? He doesn't die. He rides off into the sunset, and that kid says "Come back, Shane!"
Lieutenant Chris Sabian: That's a common misconception, in the last frame he's slumped over on his horse.
Lieutenant Danny Roman: So he was slumped, slumped don't mean dead.
The question about Shane's survival at the end of this great western has been debated for 60 years now. I'm of the opinion that he survives his bullet wound, but eventually dies later on from living the gunfighter's life.

What do you think?
 

Bill Huelbig

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I voted the second option and, so far, I'm the only one! But I think it's a real testament to the quality of the movie for being brave enough to give the audience an option to decide the ending for themselves, especially in 1953.
 

Richard--W

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I asked Jack Schaefer about this. He wrote the book. He told me what happens to Shane after he rides away in the novel, and made me promise not to tell. I said that's a great idea for a follow-up novel. He said a follow-up would ruin the story. He said he couldn't account for what happens to Shane in the film version. He wanted Randolph Scott for the role.

Shane does not slump over the saddle in the final shot.
 

Cinescott

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Was he ever really alive in the first place? :eek:

Seriously, sometimes there are signs that could be simply nothing or not quite what people interpret them to be. Shane looks pretty healthy at the end for a mortally-wounded man. I doubt he would have died in the graveyard or he would have been bleeding out far more rapidly. He doesn't even appear to be hit at all in the gunfight until Joey notices the blood. He may not have lived a full life (i.e.: "Your times are past."), but it doesn't feel like a death for Shane is imminent to me.

IMO, if the graveyard symbolizes anything, it's the price of violence and gunplay. ("Tell your mom that there are no more guns in the valley." i.e.: no more premature graves). That's it. Not Shane's death toll. If he died up in the mountains, it'd probably be from frostbite, not a bullet wound.

Joey cries at the end because IMO he loves Shane and sees him as a purely good man and will miss him, like a second father figure, only the fun one that shows you how to shoot and stuff....... :P
 

Cineman

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Shane demonstrates a working knowledge of what is and isn't a serious injury, a good idea for a man of his "profession". He even delivers an accurate prognosis of what an unconscious Joe needs to recover from the knockdown-drag-out fight he had with him over who will go into town to face the hired gunman. That being the case, one would have to buy into the idea that Shane was essentially committing suicide to ride away from medical care with what might be a mortal wound. Why would he do that? Yes, he was a gunslinger, but he was a moral one. He certainly couldn't feel that he had somehow brought trouble to Joe and his family or the other homesteaders, could he? How? He seemed fully aware that he could be a force to help them solve their problems, not that he was an agent of creating them.

I just can't imagine that he would feel so guilty about what he'd done to that gang of killers, arsonists and thieves back in town...or anyone else he'd encountered and had to deal with in his life...that he would knowingly choose such a horrible way to die all alone in the wilderness, essentially committing suicide over a feeling of guilt about it.
 

schan1269

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Sad fact...

I've never seen this movie. I don't usually do westerns anyway. Don't own any John Wayne either.

Closest I get to western are Hidden Fortress, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Blazing Saddles.

All this talk of this movie being iconic made me hit the local library system. They don't have it in any branch(unlike books, they won't transfer DVD/BD even if the system had it).

What to do...???
 

Doug Bull

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He rode over the mountains to Alberta, changed his name to O'Rourke, joined the Royal Mounties and shacked up with Shelly Winters.

At least thats what I heard.
 

Matt Hough

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I had never thought about it until this thread. He certainly looked slumped to me in that last shot (able to be seen for the first time on home video for me), and I now think he was more badly injured than he pretended to be in front of Joey. But as a poster above said, injured doesn't mean dead. I'd like to think he survived.
 

Robert Crawford

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Matt Hough said:
I had never thought about it until this thread. He certainly looked slumped to me in that last shot (able to be seen for the first time on home video for me), and I now think he was more badly injured than he pretended to be in front of Joey. But as a poster above said, injured doesn't mean dead. I'd like to think he survived.
I just played that scene over and over again. He didn't looked slumped over to me except him holding out his wounded left arm.
 

John Hodson

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When I was around six years old (half a century ago) and played cowboys and injuns, I invariably (about teatime, when I was hungry and tired) caught a round and fell the ground clutching my heart, before expiring beautifully. But not before one of the frontier gals had seen me off to that great roundup in the sky with a tender kiss.

Shane dies. It's what kids want...
 

John Hodson

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Just like Ethan Edwards (or Ben Wade, or any number of western characters we're fascinated by), Shane's unfilmed destiny is up to the viewer. You can interpret it how you wish.

(Ben Wade, BTW, breaks out of Yuma precisely two days after being incarcerated and was elected Governor of Arizona three years later)
 

Robert Crawford

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John Hodson said:
Just like Ethan Edwards (or Ben Wade, or any number of western characters we're fascinated by), Shane's unfilmed destiny is up to the viewer. You can interpret it how you wish. (Ben Wade, BTW, breaks out of Yuma precisely two days after being incarcerated and was elected Governor of Arizona three years later)
Right which is why I started this polling thread. It never occur to me that others thought Shane died at the end until I started reading such opinions many years ago on the net.
 
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