Shane

JESS: Her name’s Shane.

RORY: As in ‘come back’?

Shane, 1954 Western film, directed by George Stevens and based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Jack Shaefer. It stars Alan Ladd as Shane, a mysterious drifter who rides into an isolated Wyoming valley. After protecting the homesteaders with his skilful gun-fighting, Shane rides off again, as mysteriously as he came, with the young boy he befriended desperately crying, “Shane, come back!”.

Shane was the #3 film of 1953, and received rave reviews for its stunning cinematography – it received the Academy Award in this category. It is regarded as not only a classic of its genre, but a masterpiece of cinema itself.

I’m not really sure, but it’s possible that the character of Jess’ girlfriend Shane was named after the pornographic actress and director (born Shannon Hewitt in 1969), who had attained some notoriety in the 1990s. Her Shane’s World video series revolved around taking porn stars to exotic or interesting locations and filming them in a documentary style, likened to “gonzo pornography”. This is just close enough to Jess’ interest in gonzo journalism to be provocative, at least. Note that Shane has a unisex name, like Rory, and like Jess himself.

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