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Shane's gun? (the movie)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by joop, Jul 11, 2008.

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  1. joop

    joop Member

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    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?
     
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    IIRC it was a Single Action Army type, probably one of the usual studio clones.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    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.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Did they actually rig it for double action?
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
  8. csmkersh

    csmkersh Member

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  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Thanks for that info OF! I'm more of a Hawks & Ford fan myself, but it's good to know these things.
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    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.
     
  11. joop

    joop Member

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    thanks for all the info guys :)
     
  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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

    Treo member

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    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
     
  14. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    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.
     
  15. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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:
     
  16. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Member

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    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.
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    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.
     
  18. Treo

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    Shane's Gun

    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.

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

    Leanwolf Member

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    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.
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
  21. hags

    hags Member

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    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:
     
  22. owlhoot

    owlhoot Member

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    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.
     
  23. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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?
     
  24. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
     
  25. senior

    senior Member In Memoriam

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    Shane

    Anyone that doesn't know that "jOEY" was Alan Ladds real life son?
     
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