[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pale_rider_2087.jpg]]

->''"And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him."''

A [[TheGunslinger gunslinging]] [[TheDrifter drifter]] befriends a [[DeterminedHomesteader determined frontier family]] and is especially idolized by their child. Their livelihood is threatened by a bigger, more powerful company that seeks to drive them off their land by either force and intimidation, or simply buying them out. TheDrifter fights for the family and defeats the CorruptCorporateExecutive and his {{mook}}s, but ultimately leaves his friends behind and continues a life of drifting.

[[RecycledPremise No, this is not]] ''Film/{{Shane}}''. This is ''Film/PaleRider'', a Western directed by and starring Creator/ClintEastwood. Eastwood is cast as a [[NoNameGiven Preacher With No Name]] who crosses paths with a band of hapless gold miners hoping to strike it rich. The miners are often harassed by thugs hired by [[BigBad La Hood]], the CorruptCorporateExecutive of a local mining company, who hopes to drive them off the land.

Most of the miners are about to give in--except for [[PluckyGirl spunky protagonist Megan]], her mother, and their friend Hull Barret--when the Preacher shows up. The Preacher intervenes on Hull's behalf, saving him from La Hood's {{mook}}s. With some convincing from Hull and Megan, the rest of the miners unite behind the Preacher against La Hood. Unfortunately, La Hood also recognizes the threat posed by the Preacher and in retaliation he hires [[TheDragon Stockburn]], a corrupt [[USMarshal marshal]] with a deadly posse. It seems as though Stockburn and the Preacher have a history.

The film is notable for being one of the very few Eastwood films to have strong religious and supernatural overtones. Many of its elements are derived from or similar to earlier Eastwood Westerns, namely ''Film/DollarsTrilogy'' and ''Film/HighPlainsDrifter''.

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!!''PaleRider'' provides examples of:
* AsTheGoodBookSays
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Stockburn, the marshal
* BackFromTheDead: Strongly implied.
* BadassLongcoat: Stockburn's entire posse wears matching brown coats. When they're all standing in a line looking down at a victim, it's pretty intimidating.
* BadassPreacher
* BetterAsFriends: Megan's not too happy with this response.
* TheBrute: Club (played by Richard Kiel) is brought in to intimidate Preacher, but falls to a well-aimed GroinAttack.
* ChekhovsGun: Bison model
* CombatPragmatist: The Preacher
* ConservationOfNinjutsu
* DeadAllAlong: Much to the shock of Stockburn.
* DefeatMeansFriendship[= / =]HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Club ends up helping the Preacher in one of the last fights of the film, grabbing [=LaHood's=] son as he's about to shoot Preacher InTheBack.]]
* [[DeterminedHomesteader Determined]] [[DeterminedWidow Prospector]] [[DeterminedHomesteadersChildren Family]]
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: Preacher and Sarah.
* TheDragon: Stockburn
* TheDrifter
* DuelToTheDeath: The finale ends up being Stockburn vs. Preacher
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Preacher. Nobody bothers to ask for his real name throughout the whole film.
* GroinAttack: Apparently the Preacher's not above this...
* TheGunslinger: Plenty of 'em.
* HiredGuns
* HorsemenOfTheApocalypse: See TitleDrop.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: [[spoiler: Narrowly averted.]]
* ItsAllMyFault: When Preacher suddenly disappears, Megan is convinced that he'd left because of their fight earlier.
* ItsPersonal: Implied, between Stockburn and the Preacher
* KickTheDog: The thugs [[{{Anvilicious}} shoot a girl's pet puppy]] in the opening scene. Later on, Stockburn's gang [[spoiler: kills one of the miners]]
* LoveConfession
* LoveTriangle: Both Megan and her mother have romantic interest in the Preacher, oddly enough. But [[CelibateHero he doesn't seem to return the feelings for either of them]].
** [[spoiler: He was discrete with Sarah. He shut the door of the stable and put the light out.]]
** Of course, being that he's probably a ghost, it's possible that he can't return their feelings, physically or otherwise.
* MysteriousPast
* [[spoiler:NeverGotToSayGoodbye]]: Megan to Preacher at the end
* NiceGuy: Hull's a great guy, just [[RomanticRunnerup really bland]] compared to the {{badass}} [[TheGunslinger Preacher]].
* NoNameGiven
* PluckyGirl: Megan
* PrecociousCrush: Megan to Preacher.
* {{Prospector}}
* RapePillageAndBurn: The raping is absent, but pillaging and burning appear in the beginning of the film, courtesy of the BigBad's {{mook}}s.
** The raping comes later, but the preacher intervenes to stop it going the course.
* RecycledPremise
* RescueIntroduction: The Preacher and Hull first meet when the Preacher rescues him from a bunch of thugs.
* RomancingTheWidow: Hull and Sarah
* RomanticRunnerup: Hull, [[spoiler: initially]]
* SceneryPorn
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: [[spoiler: Sarah ends up with Hull]]
* SmittenTeenageGirl
* StealthHiBye: Done all the time by Preacher to imply his supernatural nature.
* StockQuotes: See TitleDrop
* TookALevelInBadass Hull
* TitleDrop: "[[AsTheGoodBookSays I looked and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death.]]"
* TheUnreveal
* YouExclamation: When Stockburn finally comes face to face with the Preacher, he just emits a shocked "You!" before drawing his gun.
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