Wednesday, August 7, 2013


     The West. John Ford. And for the first time, two enormous stars were brought together, James Stewart and John Wayne. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) is as close to perfect as it gets. The film intertwines politics and ruthless western law. The change from the gunslinger, shoot outs in the streets to decide who is what, to bringing the law and statehood to the wild west. Stewart plays Ransom Stoddard, an educated lawyer who goes to the small town of Shinbone to bring law, order and rule to the territory. He wants to fight for statehood and rights for the people. He befriends Tom Donovan (John Wayne) who is as old school as it gets. You do not fight with law books and words, but with the gun according to Donovan. When Stoddard's stagecoach gets robbed by the vigilante Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), Stoddard, the small town and the lawless West is put to the test. Directed by John Ford and also starring Vera Miles, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine and Lee Van Cleef, this perfectly constructed Western is at times comical, violent and romantic, and exhibits a legendary director and two iconic actors at the top of their craft. Enjoy.

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