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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962

NR CC

Like Pontius Pilate, director John Ford asks "What is truth?" in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance but unlike Pilate, Ford waits for an answer.

Starring:
John Wayne, James Stewart
Runtime:
2 hours, 3 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Western
Director John Ford
Starring John Wayne, James Stewart
Supporting actors Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, Ken Murray, John Carradine, Jeanette Nolan, John Qualen, Willis Bouchey, Carleton Young, Woody Strode, Denver Pyle, Strother Martin, Lee Van Cleef, Robert F. Simon, O.Z. Whitehead, Paul Birch, Joseph Hoover
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By kone TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 20, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is without a doubt, one of John Wayne's best western films. If you don't own this film, I highly recommend it. It is fun watching over and over again as the script is solid and engaging, and the acting performances among the three principle stars is more than superb!

"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.
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Format: DVD
Critics of John Wayne have often said that he only ever played one kind of Western character: a crude, tough-as-nails, trigger-happy, and irrational man who mistreated women but got their love anyway. Well, this movie should silence those critics. Wayne plays a gunslinger all right, but the character here (Tom Doniphan) is a unique one, to be sure.
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.
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Format: DVD
It's hard to know where to begin with a movie as great as this. After watching the first time, I remember experiencing a deep sadness, which of course, is what Ford intended. I'm sure that some reviewers have panned the almost claustrophobic settings, but that is exactly what Ford intended -- there was no more room for a traditional western with expansive backdrops and the accompanying sense of boundlessness. This film was, in my mind, the western that announced the end of westerns. Just as John Wayne's character, however heroic and admirable, had no place in what would become civilized society, the western was also beginning to lose its appeal simply because it didn't make as much sense in a world that was changing. I think a lot of John Wayne fans forget that Ford was trying to point out that Tom Doniphon was the person who most resembled Liberty Valance (not to mention the cattlmen) in that both were figures who relied on force, not law, not language. And of course, Doniphon's shooting of Liberty was essentially murder, which is why Doniphon goes into a drunken rage. Some viewers think that Doniphon behaves as he does because he realizes that he has lost Hallie. Actually, he knows that because of what he has done, he cannot live with himself, much less the woman he loves. This is only half the story, though. Ford makes quite clear that the origins of society depend very much on men like Doniphon, and that in a different age, his way was absolutely essential. If Doniphon's/Wayne's way of life had to go for the sake progress, then we cannot help but feel the loss of such nobility, however dangerous. Honestly, I'm not a John Wayne fan, because sometimes the "rugged individualist" role became a stereotype that trapped him as a actor/character. But in "Liberty," Wayne exceeds all stereotypes and against the backdrop of his own obsolescence, emerges triumphantly human.
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Format: VHS Tape
Undoubtedly, one of the finest westerns ever made...this exquisite example of film making is proof positive that not every western is a simplistic plot about "cowboys and indians".
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 !!
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