As there’s been some recent discussion about this, I dug it out and stuck it on.
This does look pretty uncut in this version. Only once did I notice a ‘jump’ - somewhere near the beginning when the returned Shane is carried to the jail for being ‘drunk’.
Some thoughts … and SOME SPOILERS no doubt.
The version I have is pretty ‘soft focus’, slightly hallucinogenic colours, and a bit blurry but it’s watchable - I’ve seen worse.
It also has a white 9 with a ‘rocker’ bar over the top permanently on screen (bottom left) - so I presume its a TV station logo maybe (I think I have other films with this logo).
At the start we meet some old scrote (who buried Shane’s dad - John Shane) complaining that “Whisky is his only friend”. He then recognises the returned Shane who tells him “You can bury a body, you can’t bury a memory” and then we get the titles - THE HANGMAN’S TREE - in this case.
In true s.w. style and convention we get a flashback as Shane picks up a doll, complete with a clockwork musical box soundtrack, and we find out that his mother and kid sister were also killed by Magdalena and his gang for the goldmine and land.
Out now for revenge, Shane turns into a blue-eyed killing machine devoid of feeling - until shot in the leg and - you just knew it - is rescued by a harmonica playing kid (Christian) and his dog (Laddie). These act to bring about a regained innocence in Shane to counter his darker side.
35 minutes into the film and it’s big love interest as Shane wrestles with his dual personality, and it’s all a bit too obviously done (it’s quite wordy and not a Clinty ‘less (said) is more’ type of way).
The film is quite ‘American’ in style in places being all a bit ‘A man’s gotta do …’ and moralisticly ‘black and white’, but there are some definate s.w. conventions at play as well.
Interestingly, there’s a character called Manco/Monco is this (as well as in FAFDM - for anybody who’s not familiar with the genre??). Shane warns him with a crafty dagger thrown at his wooden right hand. (So this backs up the Spanish ‘Manco’ meaning of a one/left handed interpretation regarding Clint’s character name.)
There’s a great deal of naivity and silliness as well. Theres pure comedy (not meant tho’) when Shane tries to discourage Christian from playing with guns. He tells him that they are not toys and then discharges the gun in a magnificently over-the-top display of gun twirling acrobatics and fancy shooting. Hmmmmm, so that’ll do the job.
The obligatory protracted bar fight has ‘shot-leg Shane’ bouncing off an (off-screen) trampoline to beat up baddie-Benson.
Other Americanisms relate to a - ‘go fetch Shane, Laddie’ - Lassie-ism, and a schmaltzy lovey-dovey babe-interest, which is unusual in being so obvious in this genre.
So, despite being a tad on the ’ big white teethy grin and blue-eyes’ side of cheesy in places, I still enjoyed it for the spaghetti vengeance and touches. One of which involves a priest - Father Dominique - a reformed murderer that Shane is out to get. Weisser would have us believe that Shane kills him as well as giving us the marvellous line "If God wants you, let him have you!“
Unfortunately, predictably’ this is more Weisser-bollocks”!
But overall an enjoyable, if predictable, outing.