Shane was the first movie my class watched when I took my first film class in university, the movie with the little annoying kid whose awkward phase didn’t seem as clear. But look who’s holding the film’s first gun! It’s Little Joey (Brandon de Wilde)! I’ll overthink this moment in the first scene as showing that past culture is indoctrinated to violence.
This scene is before the titular Shane (Alan Ladd, noir alum) shows up, and way before Joey’s mother (Jean Arthur) tries to shield the boy from the violence that the past generation still has to fight. This part also shows how potentially lush the land could be. I can’t remember ever seeing a leafy plant in a Western in a long time, and road buddy Westerns like True Grit or The Searchers might not count.