Day School: The Influence of the American Western + Shane

shaneDir. George Stevens, US, 1953, 118mins, PG
Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin

Book Tickets:

Mechanics Institute, Bradford, 19 March, 10.30 – 16.30

(Please book online as places are limited)



The school will explore the ideas and values of the American Western that have travelled the globe. This ‘universality’ for the Western will be studied in relation to an acknowledged classic with a full screening of the latest restoration of Shane (US 1953).

Shane has been called “a Western for those who don’t like Westerns”. This, in a way, is a reference to the universality of themes and characters found in Westerns. Filmmakers from Japan to Argentina and from Australia to Germany have been influenced by American Westerns – and they know that local audiences know these films as well.

Sometimes it is the similar terrain and the specific locations (e.g. in Australia), the historical period (1865-1890) as in many Japanese ‘samurai’ films. Sometimes it is the themes of the frontier, the coming of ‘civilisation’ and ‘modernisation, the impact of migration, the clash between colonialist and indigenous peoples, the loss of ‘codes of honour’ and their replacement by ‘law and order’.

The day will look for the themes and characters in Shane and start to explore the universal fascination with the Western as a genre.

The Day School will be led by Roy Stafford and will run 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. Tickets cost £12 (Concessions £8). Tea and coffee will be provided and there are places nearby to buy lunch, although people are welcome to bring their own lunches.

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