Shane's gun? (the movie)


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joop
July 11, 2008, 03:05 PM
Haven't seen the movie, but don't know enough about revolvers to identify one anyways. I was wondering what gun Shane has in the classic Western "Shane". Also, how good is that gun compared to other contemporary revolvers?

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Cosmoline
July 11, 2008, 03:12 PM
IIRC it was a Single Action Army type, probably one of the usual studio clones.

http://bp1.blogger.com/_1RiUA1iX_YM/RhEF58ZDOYI/AAAAAAAAAEI/Iv5cZ-9IH3Y/s1600/modern_shane_movie.jpg

Ron James
July 11, 2008, 03:24 PM
Colt single action except for the shooting action, because of his small hands they had Alan Ladd using a double action revolver, have to look hard to spot it.

Old Fuff
July 11, 2008, 05:22 PM
It was a nickel plated Colt Single Action Army (Model P) revolver with a 7 1/2" barrel. The front sight had been removed, or at least was missing. The stocks were plastic/ivory with a horse's head on the right panel.

Obviously the Old Fuff was (and still is) a fan of that movie. :cool:

Alan Ladd didn't use a double-action revolver in Shane, but he did in others. There were only two shooting scenes he was involved in. One where he fanned the gun while showing the youngster how to shoot, and the other in the big fight at the end. In both a Hollywood special effects man did the draw-and-shoot part and the film was spliced in.

Cosmoline
July 11, 2008, 05:30 PM
Did they actually rig it for double action?

Jim Watson
July 11, 2008, 05:58 PM
No, what they would do was to put a (non functional) ejector rod housing on a regular DA revolver. Colt New Service was popular for that because they were readily available in .45 Colt, .38-40 and .44-40 to shoot 5 in 1 blanks; also some S&Ws, probably rechambered for those blanks. Sometimes they would alter the butt to the SAA "plowhandle" but often not.

I have seen pictures of prop guns, Colt SA and DA with webs added under the barrel to resemble a Remington 1875, too.

There were some smaller guns used; TV Annie Oakley had a Colt Police Positive Special with ejector rod housing added.

Old Fuff
July 11, 2008, 06:05 PM
Did they actually rig it for double action?

Did they actually rig it for double action?

I presume you are referring to the Colt used by Alan Ladd in Shane.

No they didn’t. There was no reason to because the shooting supposedly done by Ladd was spliced in after it was performed by a professional stunt man.

In other movies Ladd carried a Colt New Service (most often) or Official Police (seldom) on which a Single Action ejector tube and rod had been fitted to give it the “right” look. In scenes that didn’t involve shooting he carried a similar-looking Colt SAA.

csmkersh
July 11, 2008, 06:08 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFquzxwYoeE

Cosmoline
July 11, 2008, 06:18 PM
Thanks for that info OF! I'm more of a Hawks & Ford fan myself, but it's good to know these things.

bannockburn
July 11, 2008, 07:36 PM
I remember John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, a Howard Hawks film from the mid 1960's. If you watch in some of the action scenes, Mitchum was using a DA revolver with a dummy ejector rod housing on it. For the non-firing scenes, he was using a Colt Single Action.

joop
July 11, 2008, 07:41 PM
thanks for all the info guys :)

Old Fuff
July 11, 2008, 09:53 PM
Thanks for that info OF! I'm more of a Hawks & Ford fan myself, ...

So am I, but Shane was an exceptional exception... :cool:

Treo
July 12, 2008, 03:11 PM
The book said it was an 1873 Colt's army. it was described as being blue/ black W/ ivory grips and the hammer filed to a point.

Bob's father told him that Shane could probably shoot the buttons off his (Bob's) shirt W/ Bob wearing it & Bob wouldn't so much as feel the breeze

Leanwolf
July 12, 2008, 03:28 PM
Old Fuff, as you're a fan of the great western movie, SHANE, as am I, I'll relate a little story here that had to do with the making of the movie and how it came to be what we saw/see, today.

First, this was told to me in 1968 when I lived in Los Angeles, and the source of this info was a good friend of mine -- now deceased -- an older writer/producer, who was under contract at that time, to Paramount Pictures. He told me that Paramount had Ladd, Jean Arthur, and Van Heflin under multi-picture contracts and as they were all getting "long-in-the-tooth" according to Hollywood standards, Paramount wanted to make a lower budget picture with them in it, in order to finish off their contracts and "put them out to pasture." They each had one picture left under their contracts.

Paramount had previously bought film rights to the novel, SHANE from Jack Schaefer, and as they had George Stevens under contract, they put the production in motion. Although A.B. Gutherie, Jr., was contracted to write the screenplay, a lot of the dialogue had to be changed later by one of the great screenplay dialogue "doctors," a screenwriter named Jack Sher.

The production crew, actors, director, etc., went to Wyoming for the exterior shots, and the interiors were shot on the Hollywood Paramount lot, and I think a few interiors were shot at another location. George Stevens shot over a million feet of 35 mm film, which was almost unheard of then, for a 90 minute feature film. Costs went up and up.

When the film was finally edited together by Stevens and his film editor, it was first "sneak" previewed at a large movie theater in Santa Barbara. The audience nearly laughed it out of the theater!

Paramount, knowing they had a very costly "bomb" on their hands, decided to recut the film. They got rid of the original editor and Stevens. Another writer who had read the novel, suggested that as the story was told from the point of view of the boy -- which was almost unaddressed in the original movie -- why not recut the million feet of film to tell the story from the point of view of the boy, Joey????

That's what they did and that's what we saw/see today.

Also provided us with the greatest western "bad guy" to ever grace the 40 feet silver screen... Walter Jack Palance.

Proves that sometimes, it is wise to not vary too far in a movie, from the original novel which triggered the movie, huh? :)

FWIW.

L.W.

Old Fuff
July 12, 2008, 05:07 PM
An interesting story, and I'm glad you posted it. Also I understand that Jack Schaefer, who wrote the book, was strongly opposed to Alan Ladd playing the staring role as Shane. He was also unhappy about the movie script because he felt that it told little of the story or characters in the manner he had created them. He only changed his mind after the movie was a great success, partly because he collected royalties.

Anyone who is a fan of the movie should read the book, but be prepared for some surprises. :eek:

Beagle-zebub
July 12, 2008, 05:21 PM
Walter Jack Palance?


I won't deny that he was great, but I liked Henry Fonda in "Once Upon a Time in the West" better.

Cosmoline
July 12, 2008, 05:41 PM
Watch the way Palance moves in Shane. He's like a human snake. There's menace in every thing he does. Even dismounting a horse you get the sense of danger. I've never cared for Henry Fonda in anything. He's one of those actors like Anthony Hopkins who's fame leaves me scratching my head. But to each his own.

Treo
July 12, 2008, 06:18 PM
First of all the movie was lousy in comparrison to the book, but that's pretty much always the case. Anyway here is Jack Schaefer's discription of Shane's gun.

There it was the most beautiful looking weapon I ever saw. Beautiful and deadly looking... I knew enough to know that the gun was a single action Colt, the same model as the Regular Army issue...
This was the same model. But this was no Army gun. It was black , almost blue black, with the darkness not in any enamel but in the metal itself.The grip was clear on the outer curve , shaped to the fingers on the inner curve.and two ivory plates were set into it with exquisite skill, one on each side.... It was clean and polished and oiled...I was surprised to see that the front sight was gone, the barrel smooth right down to the end, and that the hammer had been filed to a sharp point

SHANE Copyright 1949 By Jack Schaefer Houghton Mifflin Company Boston MA.

Leanwolf
July 12, 2008, 06:27 PM
BEAGLE-ZEBUB - " Walter Jack Palance?"


Yep, if you have a copy of SHANE, watch the credits for the actors and you'll see "Walter Jack Palance."

I don't know exactly when he dropped the "Walter," but in his early Hollywood days, that was his screen credit moniker. I met him at Desilu Studios in 1963 or 1964, and by that time he was just "Jack Palance."

BTW, if you want to see Palance in one of his best roles (in my opinion) where he was not a bad guy, rent the movie about WW II, ATTACK. Helluva performance! In fact, there is a line in that flick uttered by Palance, to Eddie Albert, that literally made the hair on the back of my neck tingle.

Old Fuff, glad you liked the story. I've heard the same thing about Schaefer, and I do know that after the movie came out and was such a success, his novel was republished and sold a boxcar full or so.

L.W.

Old Fuff
July 12, 2008, 08:27 PM
... and that the hammer had been filed to a sharp point.

I've always wondered what the point of this was (pardon the pun) as it would seem to make no sense. Never, ever have I seen or otherwise heard of such an alteration. But there were a handful of gunfighters that shortened the hammer spur, and then let it slip from under the thumb as they cocked it back while the trigger was pulled backwards.

Did Schaefer actually see such an alteration or just make the whole thing up? I don't suppose we'll ever know.

hags
July 12, 2008, 08:28 PM
Flame suit on..........


I think the movie is hokey, it's only saving grace is the (brief) shootout at the end. I would agree Jack Palance makes the movie. The gun is hardly of note as far as movie guns go.

I think it is topped by "Once upon a time in the West".

Most definitely by "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".

Most recently by "3:10 to Yuma".


:evil:

owlhoot
July 13, 2008, 11:30 PM
Fuff, you're right about the "slip" hammer: however, of the few old slip hammer Colts that I have seen, a couple did have the hammer spur shortened and filed to a point, not a sharp point, but a point nevertheless. I can't imagine why, but I can't think of a good reason for a slip hammer period.

Elmer Keith claimed that Jack Newman was a wizard with a slip hammer, but he is the only "name" gunman that I know of who used one. But Newman didn't just file the hammer spur, he removed it and welded a teat lower down on the hammer spine.

Old Fuff
July 14, 2008, 11:37 AM
I have only seen one contemporary slip hammer, and nothing is writing that would associate a "name" gunfighter with one. I have read of one instance where a shooter held the revolver in one hand with the trigger back, and used the thumb of his other hand to pull back and release the hammer. Obviously this was with a two-handed grasp. The gun itself was not altered, or at least no alterations were mentioned.

I wonder on reflection, if Schaefer's discription wasn't from a side profile, and the spur didn't really end in a point, but rather an edge. Also, did he dream all of this up, or had he actually seen or examined such a gun?

DrLaw
July 14, 2008, 08:28 PM
I remember John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, a Howard Hawks film from the mid 1960's. If you watch in some of the action scenes, Mitchum was using a DA revolver with a dummy ejector rod housing on it. For the non-firing scenes, he was using a Colt Single Action.

Hey, I caught that, too, but thought my eyes were playing tricks on me at the time.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

senior
July 14, 2008, 08:43 PM
Anyone that doesn't know that "jOEY" was Alan Ladds real life son?

Pilot
July 15, 2008, 09:01 AM
Anyone that doesn't know that "jOEY" was Alan Ladds real life son?

Really? His stage name is Brandon De Wilde. You'll see him ten years later as John Wayne's son in "In Harm's Way."

Leanwolf
July 15, 2008, 03:24 PM
SENIOR - "Anyone that doesn't know that "jOEY" was Alan Ladds real life son?"

Huh uh. Brandon DeWilde was NOT Alan Ladd's real son.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001121/bio

L.W.

Treo
July 16, 2008, 04:00 AM
I wonder on reflection, if Schaefer's discription wasn't from a side profile, and the spur didn't really end in a point, but rather an edge. Also, did he dream all of this up, or had he actually seen or examined such a gun?

Given some of the stereotypes Schaeffer uses, I think it's highly unlikely that he had much experience W/ his subject matter.

After the gunfight W/ Wilson Schaefer has Shane breaking open the cylinder on a gun he's already described as a single action Colt's Army, to reload it.

I would realy like to see Shane remade as a Movie. Not sure who'd play Shane, but in the book he's more like Val Kilmer's "Doc Holliday" than Alan Ladd's young John Wayne imitation.

MAGNUM44
July 25, 2008, 08:53 PM
first of all the roll of joey was played by BRANDON DE WILDE and i dont think that he was ladd's son in real life Dewilde died at an early age. second fact that the real gun used on the set of Shane by allen ladd was lost and to this day never found. this was written in a magazine article covering the movie of shane

Old Fuff
July 25, 2008, 11:08 PM
this was written in a magazine article covering the movie of shane

Yup, and for those that might be interested the magazine was: Guns of the Old West, Issue #52 .

MAGNUM44
July 27, 2008, 12:25 AM
thanks old fluff right on;)

tipoc
July 28, 2008, 03:36 AM
Some years back I heard a radio interview with Arvo Ojala on NPR. Ojala as some may known was a holster maker, fast draw expert and couched a good many actors on their gun handling for a number of films. In the interview he made a point about the use of Colt or S&W da revolvers as stand ins for Colt SAAs. As others have said the da guns were made up to look like Colts or Remingtons. After all, back then, there were no pause buttons, no videos or DVDs. There were no slow motion gunfights either. The usual movie goer would "see" the actor shooting a single action Colt.

Anyways Ojala said the reason directors had these guns made up was that a number of actors, Jimmy Stewart he mentioned, did not have the manual dexterity needed to draw, cock and fire a single action and then cock and fire again repeatedly as fast as the directors wanted for the shooting scenes.The da revolvers made to look like Colts covered this up. Some actors simply lacked the physical ability to shoot a sa as fast as the directors wanted for the dramatic effect.

There were a few actors who could manipulate a sa fast. Randolph Scott was one. There were a good many others.

tipoc

theken206
July 28, 2008, 03:43 AM
my grandmother actually dated Alan Ladd for a small time and my dad had the coat from the movie and wore the thing untill it was a button and a tassle and figured it was time to throw it away.

and I quote on Ladd "he was a pompous ass"

Virginian
July 28, 2008, 08:50 AM
My mother was good friends with Brandon de Wilde's mother, and she called my mother when he was killed, in an auto accident in the Rockies if my memory serves. I am sure Alan Ladd was not his father.
I love that movie. I didn't realize it until I looked it up, but Jean Arthur was quite a bit older than Ladd or Van Heflin at the time.
Hard to believe when you look at almost any good, old, western now, that all the stars are long dead.
People wonder what's wrong with the country. We had Shane, Davey Crockett, and many World War II heroes. Today's youth got Beavis and Butthead.

theken206
July 28, 2008, 08:53 AM
"Hard to believe when you look at almost any good, old, western now, that all the stars are long dead."

no doubt

tipoc
July 28, 2008, 01:51 PM
Today's youth got Beavis and Butthead.

You date yourself Virginian. B&B were 15 years ago. I think today The South Park crew or Stuey from "The Family Guy" fit the bill.

Post war western fiction and films began a trend of providing the hero with a distinctive firearm. This is likely the origin of the long barreled Colt with the front sights removed and the filed down hammer.

tipoc

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