When a reformed gunslinger looking to mend his evil ways stumbles upon a conflict between peace-loving sodbusters and ornery cattle ranchers in the middle of the old old West, trouble is bound to happen. And trouble is what Shane gets, as our title character (played by Alan Ladd) soon finds out as he returns to some of his rough-and-tumble ways as he tries to defend the homesteaders. Earnest and exciting, even if it's a bit white hat/black hat (Jack Palance even makes an appearance here as an evil gunman who wears, you guessed it, a black hat), Shane is one of the great westerns, a film that inspired many which would follow it.
Idealism in the public school system got its start here in 1955's Blackboard Jungle, based on the book that convinced America that our kids were not all angels and schools were not built from picket fence perfection. Today, Blackboard Jungle is surprisingly dated and ineffective, as its picture of high school violence and perversity seems quaint in comparison to Columbine-style massacres and Mary Kay Letourneau. Even the firey Sidney Poitier an Vic Morrow, playing the school's punks, seem set to a lower level than we've seen from them in later, mor compelling works.