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MOVIE SHAINE - Essay Example

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A Comparison Essay on the Book and Film “Shane” The literary work behind the classic novel and Hollywood film Shane is one that is steeped in much American history and a love for the pioneering way of life. Set against the backdrop of the Wild West, Shane was originally published as a short story in 1946 in the magazine Agrosy…
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Download file to see previous pages Producers began to scramble in order to get the rights to film the movie version of the movie. But this paper is not about the way producers came into possession of the literary work. Nor is this about the history of the author and his inspiration for the book. Rather, this paper is all about the comparison and differences that exist between the book and film versions of the story. The basic premise of the book and the movie does not stray from the original formula that was written by Jack Shaeffer. We find the main story in both the book and movie centering upon the Starrett family. Together with some other homesteaders, they find themselves being trapped by a local cattle baron into surrendering their land to him as he slowly usurps property that is not his. The cattle baron is named Fletcher and he does not mind being at war with most of his neighbors over the cattle range that should have existed for all of them to benefit from. The main character, Shane, comes into the story right smack in the middle of this war. While the conflict in the book takes place mostly in the second half of the book, the film version, owing to time constraints and censorship considerations, found itself fast forwarding within minutes of the opening scene into the thick of the action. This is one of the main points that shows the difference between the book and the film. Whereas the book had enough time to flesh out the conflict and character development, the film had to abbreviate such development points in lieu of screen time. The film, which was shot in 1953 did not leave everything to one's imagination as the novel did. Rather, Director George C. Stevens took great pains to re-create what was about to become the finest western film in Hollywood into reality on film. The cinematography matched the grandness of the verbal descriptions and looked quite true to life in an era that did not have High Definition, Blu-Ray, or CGI technology to help polish its look. Character description wise, the film differed from the book in such that the main character, Shane, first arrived at the Starret ranch, according to the novel, wearing an all Black outfit while he wore a Tan outfit in the film. Character wise, the film also took the liberty of renaming some of the characters as in the case of the character of Bob in the book, who became Joey in the movie. The cattle baron who was named Fletcher in the book, became Rufus Ryker in the Hollywood version. While the book took its time in developing character relationships during the first half of the story, allowing the reader to come to a deeper understanding of the story and its main protagonists and antagonists, those who watch the film without having read the book will be treated to a different version of character development far from the original vision and intent of the writer. The movie, perhaps thinking it would make for a far more interesting tale on screen found itself dealing with a combined storyline that allows for a rushed version of the back story between Shane and the family that took him in, and the action from the latter half of the movie that seems to be introduced within the first ten minutes of the film. This sense of screen time and film footage used is probably the reason why we find the characters doing things in the movie that were done by other people in the book. For example, Tory, who was supposed to be the one ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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