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Pale Rider is a 1985 American western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. This movie has plot similarities to the classic Western Shane (1953), including in its final scene, as well as previous Eastwood films featuring his Man with No Name character and his 1973 western High Plains Drifter. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as the rider of a pale horse is Death. The film also featured Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress, Christopher Penn, Richard Dysart, and Richard Kiel.
The film opens near the fictional town of Lahood, California, in the 1880s (based on remarks in the film about outlawing hydraulic mining), where a group of struggling miners and their families are panning for gold. However, thugs sent by rival big-time miner Coy Lahood arrive and shoot up the camp, destroying tents and huts as well. Megan Wheeler, a 14-year old girl there, is horrified when the thugs shoot her dog. The thugs leave the camp torn up and nearly destroyed. Megan buries her dog out in the woods, and prays to God for help. After she prays, we see a stranger heading to the town on horseback.
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