RARA-AVIS: Gunsmoke and Shane

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 12 Jul 2006

Ed Lynskey wrote:

Question. Is this the same William Conrad who played on JAKE AND THE FATMAN, who spoke with the bassy voice? That was some voice. Perfectly suited to hardboiled.

********* Yes it is. And I agree with Jim's assessment of the old Gunsmoke radio shows. The Bloomington library had bunches of them and for a long time I listened to them at lunchtime at work and enjoyed every one of them. I believe that Conrad was considered and rejected for the TV show, but I wouldn't swear to it.

But this might be straying a bit from written work or adaptations of it, so let me mention a Western I read a little while ago, Shane. I read it because Ruehlmann made some disparaging remarks about it and I was curious to see if I would agree with his opinion after reading the book.

When I first started reading it, it had the naive feel of some children's books. It develops tension, but it's pretty much between the black hats and the whites. It reminded me of what old Disney movies used to represent. There was symbolism involved that was so obvious, even I understood it. Specifically, there's an old dead tree stump by the barn of the small rancher family he befriends, and after Shane and the rancher have an exchange with a nasty character or two, they get into a fever over chopping, digging, and prying the evil stump out of the ground.

The moral ambiguity involves the vigilante action that is more or less forced upon the good guy, Shane. Unlike a lot of hardboiled characters, Shane feels transgression within his actions.

I'm reading Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage now.
 One of the books I've been reading and rereading said it was the greatest Western ever written. I think it was Gruber's Pulp Jungle.


__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> See what's inside the new Yahoo! Groups email. http://us.click.yahoo.com/2pRQfA/bOaOAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Jul 2006 EDT