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62triplet said:
(1962) 97% (A) (33) * * * * "See my profile for the key to this code" * * * * SYNOPSIS: "Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart), attorney at law, is a man of peace, but when he arrives in the town of Shinbone, he runs up against people with a shoot-first mentality. Somebody has to stop Valance (Lee Marvin), who is pretty much a big bully with a gun. The marshal (Andy Devine) isn't going to; as he admits, the jail has only one cell 'and the lock's broke.' But maybe Tom Doniphon (John Wayne), a local man who greets Stoddard with 'Easy there, pilgrim,' can help. The great John Ford directed this stark, melancholy swan song for the conventional frontier Western." CONSENSUS: "Dismissed as just another cowboy opus at the time of its release, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" has since taken its proper place as one of the great Western classics. It questions the role of myth in forging the legends of the West, while setting this theme in the elegiac atmosphere of the West itself, set off by the aging Stewart and Wayne." MOTIVATION FOR ME TO SEE: John Ford westerns gave us the myth of the west, a type of film rarely made anymore. "Print the legend" was never more true than here. A recent biographical retrospective on TCM of John Ford increased my interest in seeing this film again. MY THOUGHTS: Great supplements! Great explanation why Ford loved black and white, why this movie would fail in its climactic scene if done in color. Wayne made it possible for Ford, somewhat forgotten by the '60's, a director of an earlier generation, to go out on a high, making the last great western (though not realized at the time). [New purchase by HCL]
posted Jun 24, 2009 at 9:31PM
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