About halfway through the movie “Logan”, Professor Xavier and Laura are enjoying a bit of downtime in a hotel room in Oklahoma. They are shown watching an old Western movie as Xavier remarks to Laura that this was a “Classic” and an important piece of cinema. The old film also seems to tie-in to the films ending with Laura reciting the what seems to be lines from the film in its ending sequence. So what was that film and why was it featured so prominently in Logan? Well we did our homework and here’s what we found!
(Warning: Massive Spoilers for Logan follow. Only proceed if you have watched the movie.)
The film is called Shane, a old western classic released in 1953. The movie was directed by George Stevens and is widely renown for its contributions to the film industry, influencing many filmmakers even to this day. The film stars the titular character Shane, a skilled gunfighter with a bloody and violent past, who finds his way to a valley in Wyoming sometime after the American Civil War. There Shane befriends a little boy named Joey as well as his whole family. Over dinner, Shane eventually learns that the family along with the other settlers in the valley are being threatened and bullied by a ruthless cattle baron and his henchmen. It now falls upon Shane to stand up to them despite wanting to leave his life of violence behind.
To those that have watched Logan the answer is a resounding “Yes” in more ways than one. First off, the character of Shane has a distinct similarity with that of our favorite claw-wielding canuck. Both Logan and Shane have hearts of gold despite being haunted by their violent pasts. Both men are highly skilled in combat and are quite the formidable warriors. And both men have resigned themselves to become travelling wanderers, never taking up roots in any one place in order to protect their loved ones.
Apart from the main characters being almost direct analogues to one another, there are several instances in Logan that directly reflect the events in Shane. The most obvious of which probably being when Logan, Professor Xavier and Laura meet the Munsons. After our travelling trio help out the family with their road problems, they are invited to dinner. Logan soon learns of the trouble the Munsons are having regarding bullies on their shared territory. In an encounter, Logan helps intimidate the goons but they return the the family’s home later for reprisal.
The movie Shane also offers up a few thematic influences to Logan as well. Both movies deal with the effects of walking a path of violence and how its “brands” one’s life. And that no matter how hard one can try, they can never truly escape it. This is stated best in Shane’s most famous and poignant quote:
In fact, this actual quote even factored into Logan’s ending sequence when Laura was reciting Shane’s lines in the quote verbatim to Logan’s grave.
To give a little bit of a backstory if you’re not too keen on digging for a copy of the 70-year old movie, This quote is also part of Shane’s ending sequence. In it Shane faces off with the nefarious cattle baron Rufus Ryker and his champion, an equally skilled gunslinger named Jack Wilson. Despite Ryker’s dirty tricks such as pulling a hidden gun as well as having another gunman waiting in the shadows, Shane manages to kill all of them. Shane then turns to the little kid, Joey, who followed him and the above exchange occurs. Joey discovers that Shane is bleeding but the latter rides off into the sunset regardless, his fate unknown to Joey and the viewer.
The latter part of the quote which goes “..there aren’t any more guns in the valley” speaks of how there is now peace in the area. The settlers are now free to live their own life unbridled by the cattle barons thugs. It also alludes to Shane’s unconfirmed demise as he is also part of the violence that befell this valley and that now he is leaving as well. However, barring the fate of the main character, the quote is hopeful and celebratory. A new and brighter future awaits the people of the valley all thanks to the mysterious gunslinger.
Logan echoes this tone at the end of the movie, he went through great lengths to ensure the survival of the children that escaped from the Transigen Corporation. He ingested all of the green serum despite all its hazardous effects; he raced off to battle despite the adamantium poisoning that’s causing his healing powers to dwindle; he faced off with a superior version of himself, the X-24, just to give the children a moments chance to flee. And through it all, he was unquestionably victorious. He was, like Shane, mortally wounded in the process but he deemed it a worthwhile price for the good purchased. He ensured a brighter future for Laura and the rest of her kind. There were no more extremist mutants, no more soldiers, no more Transigen.
No more guns in the valley.
Raffy Leynes is a geek of all trades (master of fun).He loves videogames, comicbooks, movies, 90’s cartoons, wrestling, and art. Lately, he’s been liking his geekery with a dash of “Indie”. He doesn’t know what the f*ck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
If you liked that, also check out our other Movie articles like the “What killed all the mutants in Logan?”, “Batman V Superman: What Worked, What Didn’t“ and “How Captain America Knew about Tony Stark’s Parents“.
Also check out our podcast called In the Car After where we talk about the movie right after we watched it!