Thursday, 9 September 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1953: Jack Palance in Shane

Jack Palance received his second Oscar nomination for portraying hired gunslinger Jack Wilson in Shane.

Palance  shows up about half way into the film as a villainous gunslinger hired by a cattle baron Rufus Ryker to insure that the homesteaders leave once and for all. Palance does basically one thing in this film, but he does that one things very well, and that is looking menacingly. He is always walking with perfect posture, his hands always ready to shoot even when his hands are around a glass of alcohol. He also has a very grim face and a small smile indicating Wilson's enjoyment of killing men who are slower at the draw. I'll give credit to Palance he is a good a villain here being menacing in the right way, and adds the right amount of dread to the film. He is most evil in his performance when he shoots a hot headed homesteader, having the right pompousness with his menace, and his last scene with Shane, where his reaction to Shane's insult is perfect. Not a great performance, Wilson really is not that much of a character, but Palance really does everything he can with the role. He is not the greatest villain ever but Palance makes Wilson into at least a somewhat memorable one.

5 comments:

joe burns said...

He'll be second.... WOW, This has to be the weakest Supporting year you've done so far.......

Louis Morgan said...

It certainly is, hopefully it will be the weakest I ever do.

Finkelgruber said...

If Jack Palance was, and is, not the greatest villain, who is ?

Finkelgruber said...

If Jack Palance was, and is, not the greatest villain ever, then who is?

Finkelgruber said...

No one has or had a face like Jack.
The only one who came somewhat close was Lee (rat face) van Cleef.
However he lacked the smoldering intensity of evil (as seen in Shane)that only Palance had.