Shane movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Shane filmed?

1951

About Shane

The opening Shane film scene (spoiler alert!) introduces the title character, Shane (Alan Ladd) and Marian Starrett (Jean Arthur). Shane is a talented gunfighter but a man of few words with a past of which little is known. He travels to a remote valley in Wyoming. The year is 1889. Without a home or a job, Shane finds work as a farmhand by a tough rancher named Joe Starrett. Joe works the land alongside his wife and son Joey. Joe shares his worries about a battle of intimidation he feels is being waged against those who have made the valley their home. Their land was legally obtained as outlined in the Homestead Acts, yet Rufus Ryker, a greedy and forceful cattle baron, is determined to seize the land. To achieve his goals, Ryker has employed a team of ruffians to make life uncomfortable for the Starretts.

Shane travels to town to purchase some supplies at a local store that is next door to a saloon. When Shane enters the bar, Ryker’s henchmen take note of him as he orders a pop for Joey. One of Ryker’s hoodlums dumps whiskey over Shane’s shirt. Shane disregards the injustice and chooses instead to head for home.

Shane travels to town next with the Starretts and several other homesteaders in the area. A brawn breaks out that results in Shane, the Starretts, and the homesteaders defeating the vast majority of Ryker’s men. Ryker informs Shane that the next time a fight breaks out it will include guns. As insurance for himself, Ryker employs Jack Wilson, a man of low moral character but who is exceptionally skillful with a gun.

Wilson begins to torment a former Confederate settler named Frank “Stonewall” Torrey. Wilson shoots and kills Torrey outside the bar. During Torrey’s funeral service, the other settlers discuss the challenges of fighting for their land and consider leaving the region. They witness a homestead being set ablaze by Ryker’s men and vow to fight for their properties.

Ryker asks Starrett to join him at the bar with the intent of killing him. He tells Starrett he is interested in discussing a settlement. Ryker’s man Chris Calloway, who disrespected Shane by pouring whiskey on his shirt, has fallen out with Ryker and hurries to inform Shane of Ryker’s nefarious intentions towards Starrett.

Shane and Starrett both want to face Ryker and argue over who will ultimately go. To win the argument, Shane knocks Starrett out and heads to town. Unbeknownst to him, Joey follows him on foot. Shane is victorious in killing Wilson, Ryker, and Ryker’s brother but also suffers injuries himself. Upon leaving the saloon, Shane notices Joey who is upset to see that Shane is bleeding.

Shane says goodbye to Joey and begins to ride to the valley while Joey wails, “Shane, come back!”

City Locations

Jackson, Teton County, Wyoming; San Bernardino Forest, California

Location Types

NatureScapes, American, Ranch

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Dated/50's-60's-70's Building

Shane Locations

Filmed in 1953, Shane is a classic American Western shot in Technicolor. The film is noteworthy for many reasons, being ahead of its time with its stunning landscape cinematography as well as the exceptional performances of the actors including Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, and Van Heflin. Produced and directed by George Stevens, the screenplay for Shane was adapted from the novel written by Jack Schaefer in 1949. Though now considered to be quite old, Shane has still been included on the AFI 100 Years of 100 Movies list, ringing in at #45. The movie ranked #3 on the AFI list of the top best Westerns.

The filming locations in Shane largely occur in one area: Jackson, Teton County, Wyoming. Though filming mostly took place within one locale, there are many diverse settings that provide the breathtaking scenery for this incredible film. Among the places where scenes from Shane were shot are Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, and Teton Range as well as Big Bear Lake and Big Bear Valley in California’s San Bernardino National Forest and Los Angeles’ Iverson Ranch.

Another Shane filming location is Iverson Ranch in Los Angeles. The Paramount Studios’ lot was also used for a few of the best-known Shane action scenes.

Planning to visit Shane locations on your next vacation? Consider our list of some of the most memorable scenes from which much-beloved classic American Western.

Fun Fact:

William Holden and Montgomery Clift were the director’s first picks for Shane; however, both actors were committed to other projects at the time

Shane meets the Starretts scene in Shane

Gros Ventre Road, Kelly, Wyoming

In one of the most poignant scenes in the Shane production, the scene opens on little Joey Starrett with his gun in his hand preparing to shoot a deer grazing in the field. Shane approaches on horseback, and Joey spots him in the distance. Shane introduces himself to the Starretts and converses briefly with Joey, mentioning that Joey noticed him as he travelled near the homestead. Hearing trouble from Ryker’s men in the distance, Joe Starrett takes hold of his son’s gun. Shane starts out on his journey north, leaving Joe as Ryker’s men corner him and his family on their property. He informs them that they will need to surrender their land or have it seized from them. Shane sneaks up behind the Starretts and is noticed by Ryker’s men. This dialogue ensues:

Ryker’s man: Who are you, stranger?

Shane: I’m a friend of Starrett’s.

This scene was shot in what was known as the Starrett Homestead, a facility that was built specifically for the movie and later removed. In an extremely rural area, you will need to be prepared to hike approximately 15-20 minutes through brush that is quite tall and dense. To find this iconic filming location, continue 2 miles past the sign for Grand Teton National Park on US-89. Take a right onto Gros Ventre Road and continue 7 miles to Kelly. Continue traveling past Kelly, taking a right onto Gros Ventre Road where it is intersected by Antelope Flats Road. The homestead is located to the north. Parking is available on the grounds.

Shane becomes the Starretts’ farmhand scene in Shane

Gros Ventre Road, Kelly, Wyoming

In one of the best scenes in Shane, we see Joe and Shane working side by side to remove a tree stump from the yard. This is the first time the two join forces to complete a monumental task. Working together, they achieve their goal. Shane is invited to stay with the Starretts for the night. However, he agrees to remain there as a farmhand, assisting the homesteaders with establishing their properties and maintaining their land.

The following morning, Joey hears a deer munching on the foliage in the garden beneath his bedroom window. Running outside with his gun in hand, he pretends to shoot the deer, saying, “Bang! Bang! I wish they’d give me some bullets for this gun.”

Also filmed at the Starrett Homestead; sadly, the home in which this scene was shot is no longer standing, having been built for the production of this film alone. Still, you can visit the property where filming occurred by traveling two miles outside Grand Teton National Park and hiking through the sagebrush to this very spot.

Ernie Wright is talked into staying scene in Shane

The “Shane Cabin,” Grand Teton National Park, Kelly, Wyoming

This Shane film shoot takes place in Grand Teton National Park at the site of Ernie Wright’s homestead. Frustrated by persecution and harassment from Ryker’s men, Ernie Wright (Leonard Strong) tells Joe that he’s planning to pack up and leave. The Ryker men have recently destroyed his wheat crop by cutting the fence and bringing in their steers to trample the plants. Joe is able to convince Ernie to give things another try, and they share this dialogue:

Ernie: I'm wore down and out. I'm tired of bein' insulted by them fellas. Called a pig farmer. Who knows what comes next?

Joe: Well, don't throw your tail up. I'll tell ya what, we'll all get together right here tonight and we'll, we'll figure out something...I'll get the word around. It'd help if you can see Shipstead and Torrey, huh?

Ernie: All right, I'll tell 'em, but if we're gonna have a meetin', it had better come to more than just pokin' holes in the air with your finger.

The cabin that was used in the filming of scenes displaying Ernie Wright’s homestead is still standing today. It is located a few miles outside the town of Kelly within Grand Teton National Park. After arriving in Kelly, continue for another mile, turning right and travelling along a winding road for approximately a mile. The cabin rests in a low section of the valley on the left-hand side.

Chris Calloway insults Shane scene in Shane

The “Town Site,” Three Tree Hill, Grand Teton National Park, Kelly, Wyoming

Shane travels to Grafton’s Mercantile to purchase some supplies. After making his purchases, he stops in at the nearby saloon to buy a pop for Joey. Chris Calloway immediately begins to taunt Shane, saying he smells like pigs. Shane is then mocked for ordering a child’s drink instead of the whiskey men in the area normally drink. Calloway says to the bartender, "Will, let's keep the smell of pigs out from where we're drinkin'."

Shane continues to be ridiculed by Calloway. He mocks Shane by saying, "Well, what'll it be - lemon, strawberry, or lilac, sodbuster?" Shane retorts, "You speakin' to me?" but refuses to fight.

Shane’s shirt is then doused in whiskey which Calloway says is to make him smell like a man. His parting words to Shane as he walks out the door are, "Now you and your soda pop get out of here and stay out of here - and don't come back."

Finding this Shane location is a bit of a challenge and requires some hiking skills. Located in a place known as Three Tree Hill, there are only few remaining wooden planks to mark this spot. Sagebrush has grown in throughout the region, so you will need to be prepared to wade through a large amount of tall and thick vegetation to reach the former town site.

Starrett and Shane’s stirring speeches at Torrey’s funeral scene in Shane

Cemetery Hill, Grand Teton National Park, Kelly, Wyoming

Held on Cemetery Hill, the homesteaders attend the funeral of Torrey in one of the most heart wrenching scenes on Shane film set. Ryker’s men observe the mourners making their way to the service. Discouraged by the ongoing torment and carnage from Ryker and his men, many of the homesteaders declare their intent to leave Teton Valley once and for all. Starrett gives a moving speech to encourage the settlers to stand their ground:

“Torrey was a pretty brave man, and I figure we'd be doin' wrong if we wasn't the same...We can have a regular settlement here, we can have a town and churches and a school...We've just got to, that's all...We can't give up this valley and we ain't gonna do it. This is farmin' country, a place where people can come and bring up their families. Who is Rufe Ryker or anyone else to run us away from our own homes? He only wants to grow his beef and what we want to grow up is families, to grow 'em good and grow 'em, grow 'em up strong, the way they was meant to be grown. God didn't make all this country just for one man like Ryker.”

Starrett begins to falter, and Shane backs up his words by saying, "You know what he wants you to stay for? Something that means more to you than anything else - your families. Your wives and kids. Like you, Lewis, your girls; Shipstead with his boys. They've got a right to stay here and grow up and be happy. That's up to you people to have nerve enough to not give it up."

Located just up the hill from the Town Site, this property is largely covered in sagebrush now but can be accessed by avid hikers who don’t mind traipsing through tall and dense grass.

Shane kills Wilson scene in Shane

The “Town Site,” Three Tree Hill, Grand Teton National Park, Kelly, Wyoming

Back at the sight of the saloon in the Old Town Site, Shane has been challenged by Wilson. Shane deftly kills Wilson with two quick shots, and the man collapses. Ryker tries to fire shots at Shane, but Shane is too quick, whipping around and outdrawing him with a single shot. Warned by Joey of an ambush lying in wait for him from above, Shane swiftly kills his final opponent and walks away from the saloon.

In the final scene of Shane, Shane tells Joey, "A man has to be what he is,” and leaves Teton Valley for good.

Conclusion

A movie filled with all of the elements that make for a great classic, it’s not hard to see why Shane has become so beloved by people of all ages. With its rolling hills, verdant green pastureland, and scenic rural beauty, the landscape found at the various Shane film locations is sure to delight and inspire. If you have not seen this movie, it is time to check it out. You will not be disappointed.