Oscar-winning, Shane was listed as number 45 in the 2007 edition of American Film Institute's Best Films in the last 100 Years… #3 on AFI's Top 10 in the category of Westerns.
A stranger, wearing buckskin and a six shooter, calling himself Shane (Alan Ladd), rides into an isolated valley in the sparsely settled state of Wyoming some time after the Homestead Act was put into place in 1862 . Whatever his past, he's obviously skilled as a gunslinger, and soon finds himself drawn into a conflict between homesteaders and ruthless cattle barons who want to force the others who settled off their land.
In town, Shane walks into the saloon. Shane tells Ryker that they're both relics of the Old West, but Ryker hasn't realized it yet. Wilson (a psychopathic hired gunman) draws, but is shot and keeps reflexively shooting, even after he's dead. Ryker pulls a hidden gun and Shane returns fire. He's turned to leave when Ryker's brother fires a Winchester rifle from the balcony overhead. Joey, (Brandon deWilde) calls out and Shane fires back.
Shane walks out of the saloon, where Joey is waiting for him. He says that he has to move on and tells him to take care of his family. Shane also says to tell Joey's mother that there "aren't any more guns in the valley."
Shane's blood runs onto Joey's hands when he reaches up to him. Joey's worried, but Shane tells him that's fine. Wounded, Shane sits up, with his arm hanging uselessly at his side as he rides past the grave markers on Cemetery Hill, and out of town, into the sunrise, over the mountains.
Whether Shane has been mortally wounded, as is often speculated, is apparent in neither the film nor in Schaefer's novel.
The physical setting is the high plains near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and many shots feature the Grand Teton massif looming in the near distance.
Jack Palance had problems with horses and Alan Ladd with guns. The scene where Shane practices shooting in front of Joey required 116 takes. A scene where Jack Palance mounts his horse was actually a shot of him dismounting, but played in reverse. The original planned introduction of Wilson galloping into town was replaced with him simply walking in on his horse, noted as improving the entrance by making him seem more threatening.
The film was also one of the first films to attempt to re-create the overwhelming sound of gunfire.
Shane was one of the first films in which actors were attached to hidden wires that yanked them backwards when shot from the front. Director George Stevens also used a small cannon fired it into a garbage can to create the loud report of the pistol for maximum effect. Stevens was in World War II and saw what a single bullet can do to a man.
"We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" became one of Tina Turner's biggest worldwide hit singles. The single peaked at #2 on the United States Billboard Hot 100, at #3 in the UK and reached #1 in Canada, Australia, Germany, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.