Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shane: Opening Theme
By Nicholas Stix

This is the opening theme from Shane (1953), the greatest western of them all, and one of the five or ten greatest pictures ever made. Alan Ladd—and his co-star, Van Heflin, too—should have been up for Best Actor that year, but in those days, Marlon Brando got nominated for best actor each year, whether he deserved it or not. “Mumbles” was up for Julius Caesar, and Richard Burton was up for the Biblical epic, The Robe. The remaining three candidates all deserved their nominations.

The two greatest male lead performances of the year were by Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster, respectively, in From Here to Eternity, which won eight Oscars, but they split the vote, permitting Bill Holden to win as spoiler for the third best performance of the year, in Billy Wilder’s adaptation of the play, Stalag 17. Holden also surely received some “cumulative” votes out of respect for his great, nominated performance for Sunset Boulevard in 1950, when he lost out to Jose Ferrer’s towering Cyrano de Bergerac.

Shane won only one Oscar, for Loyal Griggs' color cinematography.

(My list of the greatest pictures ever made: 1/2. The Godfather/The Godfather, Part II; 3. Citizen Kane; 4. The Third Man; 5/6. Shane/From Here to Eternity; 7. On the Waterfront. About the first three, I’m sure. The next four could go either way, as could the next 23 or so.)

I am able to provide this music due to the yeoman efforts of river2walk, who posted it to his youtube site, and whom I humbly thank.

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