In the extras, the two old gents speak engagingly of how they went out to make just another western, and how they came back with Shane. This speaks volumes on how a film can have intellectual depth without any pretension.
A beautiful understated study of unrequited love, perfectly acted by Jean Arthur and Alan Ladd, set against a magnificent landscape. Van Heflin being the opposite of Alan Ladd: uncharismatic, stolid, ordinary yet even so managing to convey convincingly a character that Jean Arthur would stick by. Brandon De Wilde growing up before our eyes, culminating in the poignant final scenes where we see the end of his childhood. Jack Palance giving us a great villain and the only hissable baddie in the film. All the supporting characters have light and shade, even the diehard free range cowman is able to explain where he is coming from and gets our understanding if not our support.
Although, technically unsophisticated by today's standards and the studio interiors do let the atmosphere slip sometimes, the DVD shows how superb tripack Technicolor was. I don't think the day-for-night shots have ever been bettered.
George Stevens has created a work of great depth in a simple style.
Oh! And the wood chopping sequence with Victor Young's music is one of my all time favourites.