Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Shane" Remake Starring Fred Thompson

George W. Bush’s favorite Western is “High Noon,” but his hopeful successor wants to do a new “Shane,” playing the role of a good-hearted gunfighter who protects the little people against the powerful and the predatory.

The casting is a bit iffy, but Thompson will give a game performance as the defender of those who can’t “come to Washington and look out for themselves.”

The little people who benefited from his gun-slinging in the past include deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a British company trying to limit payments to asbestos victims as well as two corporations producing a taxpayer-financed $1.7 billion “hole in the ground” for a proposed and abandoned nuclear breeder reactor in Tennessee.

Like Shane, Thompson has been impartial in his good work, once riding shotgun for an abortion-rights group despite his deeply held pro-life convictions.

Now he is ready for his closeup after touring the Iowa Fair and being escorted by the Pork Queen to look over Big Red, the prize boar. There are centralized-government villains out there, and he will face them down or shoot it out, as he sadly says the Virginia Tech students should have been able to do to avoid their massacre.

There will be script changes before the new “Shane” goes into production, morphing little Alan Ladd into the lumbering Thompson and definitely rewriting the final scene in which the mortally wounded hero rides into the sunset.

Today’s audiences will want a more upbeat ending.

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