Alan Ladd was born Sept 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
He died Jan 1964 from a combination of alcohol and sedatives.  Best know for the western film SHANE. 
















































































The 1953 release of the movie Shane starring Alan Ladd is my second favorite Western movie of all time.  The main characters are:

Shane:   A drifting gunfighter who befriends the Starret family
Joe Starret:  Homesteader in Wyoming
Marian Starret:  Wife of Joe Starret
Joey Starret:  Son of Joe and Marian Starret
Rufus Ryker:  Operator of the saloon in town
Morgan Ryker:  Brother to Rufus Ryker
Frank Torrey:  Homesteader, affectionately known as Stonewall
Axel Shipstead:  Another Homesteader, also known as "Swede"
Chris Calloway:  Obnoxious bully at the saloon in town
Wilson:  Gunfighter from Cheyenne

In the opening scene, a rider on horseback has just ridden down from a mountain pass and is crossing the Wyoming prarie.  He is approaching the Starret family homestead.

The boy, Joey, spots the drifter approaching and warns his father Joe.  Joe, who is chopping out a very large stump, spots the man on horseback.  Joey, who is about 10 years old, is playing with an unloaded rifle.  The drifter arrives and Joe offers him water.  As he dismounts from his horse, Joey pretends to load his rifle and the noise of the chamber causes the drifter to become spooked and he turns with his gun drawn.  He tells the boy, "You had me snortin."  Off in the distance, Joe sees more riders coming his way from the direction of town and mistakenly thinks that the drifter and the other riders are in cahoots.  He tells the drifter that his friends are coming, points the rifle at him and tells him that he had better leave.  The drifter asks that he put the rifle down and tells Joe that he would like "leaving" to be his idea.  Joe lowers his rifle and the drifter mounts his horse and slowly rides behind the house.  As the other riders approach, they tell Joe that he doesn't belong on this land and that brother Rufus wants the land returned.  Joe reminds him that the land is legally homesteaded but it doesn't matter to the riders.  During their heated discussion, the drifter walks back from around the corner to make his presence known.  One yells out, "Who are you, stranger?"  The stranger says that he is a friend of Starret.  They cut short their conversation and head back into town.

Joe apologizes profusely for the actions of his boy and tells the stranger that the rifle is not loaded since Joey is too young to have a loaded gun.  Joe introduces himself and the drifter tells him that his name is Shane.  Marian tells Joe to invite Shane for supper.  He does and Shane accepts.  During their conversation at supper, Shane learns that Joe once had a helper but that the Rykers roughed him up and he quit.  Joey, who clearly has the funniest line in the movie says, "They knocked his teeth out."  Just then, Shane hears a noise outside and he instinctively goes for his gun but Joe tells him that it is just the cow outside and Shane reholsters his weapon.   When supper is over, Shane thanks Marian for supper and proceeds outside but Joey thinks that Shane is leaving.  Joe tells Joey that he wouldn't leave without his gun.  Joe looks outside the window and sees Shane chopping on the stump.  Joe goes outside and they both begin chopping on it.  Finally, they put some muscle and lean on it and the stump suddenly succumbs to their efforts.  Marian asks Joe to ask Shane if he will stay overnight.  Shane agrees to bunk out in their out-building. 

Joey wakes up early and looks out the window to see a deer eating from the garden.  He grabs his rifle and goes outside and makes some shooting sounds and scares the deer away.  He ventures into the out-building where Shane is bunking and tells him that his folks would like him to stay and help out around the homestead.  Shane agrees again.

Joe asks Shane to go into town to fetch some fence wire.  He also tells him to pick up some work clothes for himself.  He heads into town and notices a sign on a large building which says, "Grafton's Merchantile Co., Sundries and Saloon".  He goes inside the general store for the supplies and decides to get some soda pop either for himself or for Joey.  The owner says that the soda pop is next door in the saloon.  Shane walks through the adjoining doorway into the saloon and walks up to the bar.  Chris, the local troublemaker, tells all within hearing range that that he smells a pig farmer.  They scoff at the remark and the situation gets much worse when Shane orders soda pop from the bartender.  Chris goes over to him and tells him that a real man drinks whiskey and not soda pop so he buys a whiskey and abruptly tosses it on Shane's shirt.  He orders Shane to get going and don't come back.  Shane knows that this matter is not over but that there will be another time for action.  He leaves the saloon without a word to anyone.

While Shane was having a whiskey shower in town, Ernie Wright stops by the homestead to talk to Joe.  He tells Joe that he is moving on because the Ryker brothers drove cattle over his wheat crop and destroyed it. Joe tells Ernie that they should have a meeting tonight with all the local homesteaders and they both agree.  At the meeting that night, they discuss staying and try to reason out why they shouldn't be forced off their land.  Fred Lewis,who was in the general store when Shane got dumped on, saw the whole episode between Shane and Chris.  He tells the group exactly what had happened.  Shane decides to go outside so they can talk about it freely between themselves.  In the bedroom, Joey and Marian hear the whole ordeal but Joey sticks up for Shane.  Meanwhile in the other room, the men decide that they should all go into town tomorrow as a group to visit the general store and obtain supplies.

The next day, all the homesteaders gather and proceed into town in a small caravan.  When they browse around the general store, Shane decides to return the empty soda pop bottle either for a refill, for the deposit, or just maybe to have a word with Chris.  In any event, Shane enters the saloon and Chris walks over to harass him.  Shane tells Chris that he'd like to buy HIM a drink since he was kind enough to BUY him one yesterday.  He asks the bartender to pour him two whiskeys.  He tosses one on Chris's shirt, tosses the other in Chris's eyes and immediately belts him in the mouth so hard, Chris goes flying backwards through the swinging doors connecting the general store to the saloon, stumbles, and falls flat on his back to the floor.  Chris, not believing what had just happened, gets up with blood all over his mouth, makes a mad dash back into the saloon.  He thinks he will pound Shane to a pulp, no ifs, ands or buts about it.  Shane has different ideas.  He overcomes Chris's sloppy swings and with one final blow knocks him unconcious to the floor.  At the exact moment of the final punch, Joey crunches his hard candy stick in two pieces.  Ryker asks Shane to work for him but Shane says no.  Ryker says that his boys are going to finish the job that Chris started.  Joey tells Shane that there are too many and asks Shane to leave.  Shane says to Joey, "You wouldn't want me to be a coward now would you?"  The rest of Ryker's men close in on Shane and begin to get the upper hand when Joey runs next door and tells his pa that Shane is getting beat up pretty bad.  Joe grabs an axe handle from the bin and heads into the saloon where he immediately hits Ryker over the head watching as he falls to the floor in a heap.  As Joe and Shane stand back to back, they make mince-meat of the others.  As they begin to revive, Grafton asks Shane and Joe to back out of the saloon.  They do but not before Joe says that he and Shane will pay for all the damages.  After Joe and Shane leave the saloon, Ryker sends for a gunfighter from Cheyenne.

As the homesteaders head back to their respective homes, Marian nurses the fight wounds of Shane and her husband.  As Joe heads off to another room, Shane and Marian look at each other with love in their heart.  Joey abruptly dissipates their longings for each other by telling Marian that he likes Shane as much as his dad.  After Shane goes outside, she asks Joe to hold her tight.

A few days later, a gunfighter arrives at the saloon asking for Ryker.  He is dressed all in black and wears two guns. 

Earnie decides to leave town after Ryker's gang kills his sow and drive cattle through his land.

The next day, Joey talks Shane into giving him a lesson on shooting.  Shane impresses him by shooting at a small rock and hitting it 6 times in succession.  Joey appreciates that by whistling through the large crack in his front teeth.  Marian approaches the lesson and  sends Joey away but tells Shane that she will have NO guns in Joey's life.  Shane tells Marian that a gun is a tool and that it should be used correctly as any other tool would be used.

Stonewall goes into the saloon and is bold enough to tell the men inside that they will never get his claim.

Later that same day, the homesteaders get together to celebrate July Fourth.  They dance and have a good time. Even Marian and Shane get in on a dance that they both seem to enjoy.  Stonewall tells the men that he just came back from town where he saw a gunfighter in the saloon wearing black clothes and carrying two pistols.  Shane recalls that a man with that description could be Wilson, a notorious gunfighter from around Cheyenne.

As Shane and the Starret family arrive at their home, Ryker comes out of the shadows and wants to bargan with Joe.  Joe refuses to make any bargains while Shane and Wilson case each other out.  They both take a drink of water out of the same water barrel.  The discussion soon ends and Ryker and Wilson head back to town. 

The next day, Ryker spots Stonewall and Axel coming into town and hitch their horses to a nearby hitching post.  Wilson comes out of the saloon and calls to Stonewall who heads over to him, all the while being discouraged by Axel.  Wilson asks where he thinks he is going.  Stonewall says into the saloon for a drink.  Wilson pushes it by calling him, Stonewall Jackson and Lee nothing but trash.  Stonewall tells Wilson that he is nothing but a low-down, lying, Yankee.  Stonewall draws his gun but half way out of his holster, Wilson already has the drop on him.  They stand looking at each other for two seconds and then Wilson laughs and shoots Stonewall dead watching as he falls flat on his back in the muddy street.

Joey spots Axel approaching and tells his pa.  Joe and Shane both hear Axel call out "Wilson shot Stonewall dead."  They notice Stonewall lying across his saddle as Axel stops in front of them.  After Axel leaves, Fred Lewis comes by to say that he is leaving.  Joe asks him to wait until after Stonewall's funeral.  Fred agrees reluctantly.

At the funeral, Joe asks Axel to lead in the Lord's Prayer.  Someone plays "Dixie" and "Taps" on the harmonica.  In the distance, at the saloon, Chris watches and gets a bad taste in his mouth about the whole situation.

Suddenly, the people at the funeral spot smoke in the distance.  Someone has set fire to Fred Lewis's place.  Joe tells them that they will all help to rebuild his place if he should decide to stay.  They all agree to help.

When they get back to the homestead, Joe decides to go into town and settle things once and for all.  Marian argues with Joe telling him to stay.  She asks Shane for help but he says that he can't tell Joe what is right.

Ryker's brother Morgan and some of the boys come by to say that brother Rufus wants to talk to him in town and will be waiting for him.  Joe tells him that he will be there.  After the Ryker gang leaves, Chris comes by to warn Shane telling him that Joe is up against a stacked deck.  He tells Shane that he is quitting Ryker and they both shake hands in friendship.

Shane goes to the out-building and comes back with his gun belt strapped to his waist and the gun in its holster.  He argues with Joe about who should go to town.  Joe disagrees and starts a knockdown drag-out fight with Shane.  As Joe is about to get the upper hand in the fight, Shane hits Joe in the head with his gun and knocks him unconscious.  He gives Marian Joe's gun and tells her to hide it.  Joey sees Shane hit his pa with his gun and yells out to Shane that he hates him.  Shane tells her that he will probably not be back and they look at each other yearning for a different time and different place.  Fighting their instincts, they shake hands and Shane departs for town.

As Shane rides off, Joey and his dog start running after him following him all the way into town.  Shane heads directly to the saloon.  As he enters, Wilson is sitting at a table to the right.  Ryker is sitting directly in front of him and the bartender is behind the bar to the left.  As Shane arrives, a patron heads for the door.  Joey finally reaches the saloon and drops to his stomach to peer under the saloon's swinging doors - the best seat in town.

Shane tells Ryker that he will answer to him and not Joe.  Ryker says, "I don't have a beef with you, Shane."  "I want to talk to Starret."  Shane says, "You'll talk to me!!!"  Ryker yells out, "People don't talk to me like that!!!"  Shane says, "I talk to you like that."  From over in the corner, Wilson replies, "Don't push too far."  At that moment, the dog in the saloon, heads toward the swinging doors.  Apparently, it knows when its time to go home.  Wilson stands up and moves to the front of the table.  He says to Wilson, "So you're Wilson.  I heard a lot about you."  Wilson retorts, "What did you hear, Shane?"  Shane says, "I heard that you're a low-down, Yankee, liar!"  Wilson goes for his guns but Shane is fast, a split second faster than Wilson and the bullet sends Wilson backwards, crashing into a chair and smashing into the wall.  He stands still for a second and then slowly slids down the wall where he stops, his head hung over as if drunk.  He will never again worry about a hangover for all life has escaped from his body via a bullet hole in his chest.  At that moment, Shane hears another shot behind him.  Swiveling around, he sends a shot into Ryker, who doesn't even know what hit him.  Thinking that it is all over, Shane heads for the swinging doors when suddenly he hears Joey cry out, "Look out, Shane!!"  Shane turns around just as Morgan Ryker fires a shot at Shane from the second floor landing.  Shane crouches and fires a direct hit at Morgan who comes crashing through the railing to the hardwood floor below.  It is all over now as he walks out and mounts his horse.   Joey tells Shane that they had better go home now.  Shane says, "You can't live with a killing and now I have to move on."  Joey notices that Shane is bleeding and says, "Shane, you're hurt."  Shane say that he is all right.  He tells Joey to tell his mother that she doesn't have to worry anymore.  There are no more guns in the valley.  As he rides off, he hears little Joey call out, "Shane, Father has work for you.  Mother needs you.  Shane!!  Come back!"

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