The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Paramount Centennial Collection)
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"Vallance" is Oscar winning Director John Ford's last best effort in western film making. He put together an all-star cast and the cast put out for Ford as well, with stunning performances from John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Lee Marvin. Wayne's acting is Academy Award material. He brings a depth of character to the Tom Doniphon role that will have you remembering his performance long after the film ends. In one scene, a drunken and despondent Wayne returns to the home he has built for his future wife Hallie. In a rage, he lights a lantern and sets fire to the new structure, with the intention of burning it, and himself, to the ground. The scene is riveting, and the expressions and movements of Wayne are some of the greatest ever filmed.
Although John Wayne is the "star" of this film, the film in reality has three stars, Wayne, James Stewart, and Lee Marvin. Jimmy Stewart plays Ransom Stoddard, an idealistic lawyer who comes to bring legal law to the west. Stoddard is introducted to the west by none other than the terorist outlaw Liberty Valance, who robs the stage Stoddard is on. When Stoddard tries to resist the robbery of an elderly fellow passenger, Valance, played by Lee Marvin savagely beats him with a whip, leaving him to die. Wayne's character, Tom Doniphon, happens upon Stoddard and brings him to town. This sets the stage for the rest of the movie, as Stoddard tries to bring Liberty Valance to justice.Read more ›
Also starring in this movie is James Stewart, who plays a young lawyer coming to bring 'law and order' to the West. He manages to get tangled up with a notorious villain, Liberty Vallance (Lee Marvin), and from there he and Doniphan's paths cross until SOMEBODY shoots Liberty.
This is a great film by a great Director (John Ford). It leaves you with something to think about, and will definitely not allow you to think of the Duke's character (Doniphan) as a flat, one-sided gunman. In fact, this is Ford's idea of a sort of Western tragedy, and it is a good one. For storyline and plot, there are few John Wayne movies that top the Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance.
John Ford's stylish film is a brilliant psychological story about very different personalities and their violent meeting in the town of Shinbone. James Stewart plays the young, idealistic lawyer Ransom Stoddard...heading west in the hope of bringing law and justice to an untamed land. Enter Lee Marvin as the cold blooded and ruthless outlaw, Liberty Valance, ruling Shinbone and the surrounding territories by his own laws. And finally, John Wayne as the strong, iron-willed and well meaning Tom Doniphon....the only man with the courage to stand up to Liberty Valance.
Ford's movie is additionally supported by several dynamic character actors...Andy Devine as the cowardly sheriff Link Appleyard, Edmond O'Brien is simply brilliant as habitually drunk news paper editor Dutton Peabody, Woody Strode as Doniphon's loyal ranch-hand Pompy, plus the villainous duo of Lee van Cleef & Strother Martin.
What makes this movie so outstanding is that it appeals on so many levels....as an adventure, as a love story, as a tragedy, and ultimately as a tale well told. It moves with such eloquence and style, and the viewer is carried through each layer of this complex story with precision and feeling.
This is easily one of my most watched and most enjoyed films, and a moving reminder of a talented film maker and some very fine actors excelling in their craft.
I'm eagerly awaiting the DVD release of this one !!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Western movie was 2 hours and 3 minutes. I think it was a pretty good story but suffered by running a little too long. Read morePublished 1 day ago by book lover
One of the great westerns and a must see. John Ford directs one of his finest films.Published 1 day ago by Rhythym and Views
While I am an avid fan of the late John Wayne, I do not considered this to be one of his better "flicks". Lee Marvin played his rugged bullying role well, and... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Robert F. Sandberg
This is one of the greatest western movies ever made, and one of John Wayne's best. The characters are well-drawn, and Lee Marvin's villain is superb. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Charlie Aukerman
Although movie was in black &a white, I loved the story because it seemed like a metaphor representing today's political climate. Read morePublished 14 days ago by cjrunner
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Love this film! But where's the Blu-Ray?||
I'm waiting for the blu-ray version. What's with Paramount released yet another DVD version in 2009?
Jan 1, 2010 by David Neal | See all 8 posts
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