The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Together For The First Time - James Stewart - John Wayne - in the masterpiece of four-time Academy Award winner John Ford
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.
"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." - Maxwell Scott
Well, this was a surprise. I was expecting this to be rather badly acted and quite corny, but it's really not. What we have here is a sad, complex tale of redemption and misunderstandings, which is sweepingly written and tenderly told.
The three legendary stars are all great here, with James Stewart being the stand-out. Ransom Stoddard is a complex character, and Stewart delivers, showing his slow development from noble but weak lawyer to folk-hero with great skill. John Wayne basically plays the same character he did in Rio Bravo for…
Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Edmond O'Brien, Lee Marvin, Woody Strode, Strother Martin, John Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, and the hilarious Andy Devine. What a cast!
This movie has it all. Wild west action, drama, romance, suspense, comedy; you name it, this movie has it. The camerawork, lighting, and cinematography are all magnificent. The story is masterfully told, and the dialogue is so sharp, you can shave with the script. Too many great characters to count. The setting is almost a character in itself.
Why aren't more people heralding this as one of the greatest movies ever made? It clearly is.
Beer - Samuel Adams Winter Lager - 4/5 ("A beer's not drinkin'!")
Huge surprise how much I loved this. The frame story, and especially the ending, really did it for me. Give me some melancholy with my feel-good, and I'm happy.
Utterly enjoyable, with both Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne (seemingly) playing their regular old characters, but with a bit of a twist. And I think it's that twist that really makes the film. The supporting characters are all excellent too. Lee Marvin plays a swaggering asshole very convincingly, Vera Miles shows the spunk that perhaps made Hitch dislike her, and her parents provide some welcome humor. Woodey Strode as Pompey, also of note.
I say "seemingly" above, because I know very little about Westerns. Although my weird Film Genres professor weirdly…
One of John Ford's most widely acclaimed westerns, and a major source of inspiration for Sergio Leone. Age has been inconsistent to this film, but as a whole it maintains its classic power. The film itself is loaded with uninteresting characters, scenes that feel trivial, and it is downright silly on numerous occasions. But as the tone becomes progressively darker the strength of the core performances and Ford's direction, which uses shadows and lighting like a film noir, take over. James Stewart, Lee Marvin, and John Wayne are the film's commanding presences. Stewart takes the lead as an elderly senator telling the story of how he rose to prominence, and his performance is a strong and complicated one. Wayne plays…
Huh. That was one of the best movies I've ever seen.
I remember when I didn't like westerns. I thought they were boring and dull. Then, as I started taking a liking to them, I started hearing about this one. Today, I finally gave it a shot.
And holy shit.
This might have some of the best characters I've ever seen in a film. While the main characters (brilliantly portrayed by James Stewart and John Wayne) are incredibly fleshed out, going through several phases and emotions throughout the film, the supporting characters are also brimming with life.
Everyone is wonderful in this. The townsfolk contain…
This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
I have to admit that I've had a biased against John Wayne films for a long time for no simpler reason that the decades of Wayne caricatures basically ruined any enjoyment I could have watching him. I remember trying to watch this years ago and turning it off after Wayne had said "pilgrim" for the 3rd time in his first scene.
Now I realize that calling myself a fan of Westerns and refusing to watch John Wayne films is completely ridiculous. We had this convo in a list on this site and someone suggested that I watch this and The Searchers, but I don't remember…
A great western about civilization clashing with the Wild West. This is the second John Ford-movie I've watched, and what's great about them is the colorful, entertaining and distinctive characters you get to know. They are so lovable!
Beyond expected moments of dippy humor, John Ford’s final black-and-white film and first “B-picture” (it played undeservedly second on a double-bill) bears little resemblance to a traditional Ford. Pervaded by pessimism, paced languidly, and operating within a morally gray area matching its muted photography and deliberate avoidance of bright Monument Valley location shooting, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance plays like an Otto Preminger Western. It's not just because of the ruptures in Jimmy Stewart’s character's professional composure, but how candid and resolute Ford doesn’t censor the spurious formation of the myths and legends hinging nearly all of his work, and by extension, an entire American genre.
In a flashback structure from the burial of his friend Tom Doniphon, Senator…
John Ford does it again. Incredible Western with a ridiculous group of actors. Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, and Lee Marvin! It tells the story of how Stewart's character got to where he's at and who Tom Doniphon is.
Ford's film has everything; comedy, suspense, romance, and action. The script is as great as usual and all the performances are excellent. This film is another one of Ford's that revolves around a male character who is stuck in a place he doesn't belong in.
Another noteworthy aspect is the cinematography and the lighting in particular. Scenes that take place at night are astounding and everything is framed perfectly. Ford really was a master at the camera.
A fantastic film that surely ranks up there with Ford's best. It's really the kind of film anyone can enjoy.
"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
I'm really glad I was able to see this for the first time on the big screen. Excellent western from John Ford featuring two strong performances from John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart.
Now besides John Ford's wonderful visual style and great direction the best part of this movie is the politics and the questions it raises. A film that debates and brings out points on several different subjects between gun ownership, law, journalism and the press, tyranny, and even racism. It's interesting because Ford, a man who helped create the mythology of the west - makes a film about reality vs mythology and turns into a sort of ethical dilemma.
An excellent film in all respects.
Idel legendarer i denna klassiker. Måste ses!
A Western classic about a new-to-town schoolteacher (James Stewart) and a badass local celeb (John Wayne) clash over an especially ruthless outlaw named Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) who has been terrorizing the people.
The potentially pro-gun message seems a touch odd, especially given the current climate, but a fascinating watch with great performances all around.
after a whole week of being sick, after a whole week of JOHN FORD, but not sick of JOHN FORD; the cherry on top of everything was finding out the reason people shout shotgun to ride in the front of a car.
with a structure that reminded me very much of ORSON WELLES’s CITIZEN KANE, the director paints us a picture of the last days of the old west.
the MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, unfortunately couldn’t hold my attention, i find this film just good in comparison to the great three films i’ve already watched.
the MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE should be the MEN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, and without spoiling much i think the title worked as a plot device.
still very good, still above average, but if you’re looking for a JOHN FORD film or a western movie the previous pictures i watched are a better option.
It was brilliant in 1962, and a half century later it's as good as it ever was.
With the exception of maybe The Searchers, this is about as cynical as John Ford gets, and it hits pretty damn hard. It lives in a notion of a good man making his name on the dirty deeds of the unnamed associate. It's the appeal of the pretty lie, and the punishment is the inability to confess. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance shows us the breaking point of American virtue, and being forced to live with ugly truths.