Pale Rider

Pale Rider is a 1985 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as the rider of a pale horse is Death. The film, which took in nearly $41 million at the box office, became the highest grossing Western of the 1980s.

  • A classic Western story of the lone gunfighter that helps civilize the area, and then rides off into the sunset.
  • The character called the Preacher has no back story other than 6 bullet holes in his back.
  • A number of parallels to the movie Shane.
    • In both movies, it is the story of a stranger who comes to town to save the innocent and punish the guilty..
    • In both movies, the gunfighter and the settler work together.
      • In Shane, Shane and Joe work together on a stump.
      • In Pale Rider, the Preacher and Hull work together on a big rock.
    • In both movies, the big business brings in gunfighter(s)
      • In Shane, the cattlemen bring in Jack Wilson
      • In Pale Rider, the big mining company brings in Marshall Stockburn and his 6 deputies
    • In both movies, there is an implied sexual triangle
      • In Shane, there are lots of looks between Shane and Marian
      • In Pale Rider, there is implied sexual contact between Preacher and Sarah
    • In both movies, there is an adoring child
      • In Shane, Joey loves Shane almost as much as his father
      • In Pale Rider, Megan tells Preacher she loves him
    • In both movies, there is an incident that brings things to a head.
      • In Shane, Stonewall is killed.
      • In Pale Rider, Spider is killed.
    • In both movies, the Gunfighter has to restrain the settler from the gunfight.
      • In Shane, Shane fights Joe and finally hits him on the head.
      • In Pale Rider, Preacher runs off Hull’s horse.
    • In both movies, someone has to walk to catch up to the gunfighter.
      • In Shane, the boy walks into town following Shane.
      • In Pale Rider, Hull walks into town following Preacher.
    • In both movies, the Gunfighter is saved by the one that follows him.
      • In Shane, the boy warns Shane of another gun.
      • In Pale Rider, Hull kills Coy as he is about to kill Preacher.
    • In both movies, the Gunfighter saves the day, but then must leave.
    • In both movies, a child calls out to the gunfighter as he rides away.
      • In Shane, the boy calls to Shane as he leaves.
      • In Pale Rider, Megan calls to the Preacher as he leaves.