in about 100 words or less
US 123m, B&W
Director: Cast: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O’Brien, Woody Strode, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Lee Van Cleef
After learning who actually shot Liberty Valence, a newspaper man’s comments that “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” is an apt summation of a most interesting Western film. Told as a flashback, when the town of Shinbone was still untamed, The Man Who shot Liberty Valance has an unexpectedly complex plot, particularly for a Western shot in early 1960s. With two very different kinds of co-lead characters: Stoddard (Stewart) – a lawyer who has an aversion to guns, and Doniphon – a heroic rancher (Wayne) with a fondness for the word “Pilgrim” and his trusty six-shooter, Ford offers up a juxtaposition of the old versus the new west in what is a delightfully melodramatic story of love, friendship and honor (Klaus Ming November 2012).