Takes the efficacy of legend and spits on it for pusillanimous, scrutinizing “realism.” “Liberty” is shot and replaced with “lawful” murder and cuckoldry by an emasculating outsider, priggishly preaching “education” all the while having this tomfoolery championed by a village of complete idiots. One of the most intellectually insulting, predictable double takes finishes ‘er off into the casket.
Every '' great '' nations need mythologies... John Ford is by far the greatest americana's filmmaker... This is probably his best in term of the '' fluidity '' of the editing and the action. But, Searchers, My Darline Valentine, How Green.. and Grapes of Wrath have better cinematography and let the images '' breathe'' more.
That is some real Oscar-worthy acting by both The Duke & Jimmy Stewart. Plus Lee Marvin was perfect as the villain. Although, the story is like in & out because of how goes on with all these main characters while being told in flashback (even the twist at the end). But all I'll say this was a good epic western I have watched from John Ford nevertheless. It's worth a shot for Ford/Wayne fans.
Though I prefer The Searchers this is probably the better film. It registers as a worthy end and apotheosis to Ford's western legacy. Everything you expect is there: the drunken characters, the politics and evolution of these United States, the value of a community, the strong men who hide behind their personas, the conflict between ideologies and traditions, etc. It just lacks the poetry of The Searchers.
I was fascinated by the idea that the legend is always the story that's going to stick in the long run ... and maybe not so much the truth. And so, for once in his cinematic life, John Wayne's character's contribution is lost in the sands of time ... despite the fact that, cynicism aside, he was a noble fellow. This is probably what happens to most heroes in real life anyway. Lee Marvin was a great bad guy BTW!
The screenplay is very tight, especially for a western. The film has three main focal points: Donovan, Valance, and Stoddard. All three are exceptional foils of each other; and because the story is woven between them through Ford's excellent direction, it remains coherent and exciting. "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
One of Ford's most elaborate works! Multiple insights on the wild west, picturesque yet believable characters, and two complex personal stories interfering one another beyond the length of the movie. The Duke's breakdown, Valance's silver whip, that little kitchen behind the saloon...
While I'm ambivalent to John Ford's message, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE perfectly embodies his beautifully pragmatic and pictorial eloquence in storytelling. With simple means, Ford poignantly draws us into a concise struggle between a settlement and an outlaw - and most importantly - the shades of grey in between, represented by John Wayne's tragic character. One of my favourite westerns!
John Ford ha costruito il mito del West,lo ha nutrito con le sue indimenticabili pellicole e con Liberty Valance inizia a smitizzarlo,riportandolo ad un contesto più realistico e meno epico;è l'incontro-scontro tra due mondi destinati l'uno a soppiantare l'altro,con la legge del più forte da una parte e la legge istituzionale dall'altra.Memorabili tutti gli attori,con un Wayne carismatico come non mai. Ford=Leggenda
Economy of filmmaking and an at-times exaggerated directness of performance characterize this late John Ford masterpiece about right vs. might. The famed director of "The Grapes of Wrath," Ford has no fear of the moral greys. And while "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" may not subvert Jimmy Stewart's "aww shucks" good guy or John Wayne's selfless cowboy, it does deepen their mythos with unequivocal artistic force.
From the master of classic Hollywood westerns, this film is surprisingly light on outdoor vistas & sweeping landscapes. Ford focuses instead on the concept of justice & the struggle between civilization & the Wild West. And for a film w/ characters paying for the cost of progress, it surprisingly funny and makes the present-day scenes seem dull & civilized. This late-career masterpiece is worth seeing!
Perhaps Ford's most (only?) 'meta' film, where the quotation, "This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend", becomes a knowing critique of his own career-long approach to historical fiction. The bold, larger than life, exaggerated in the mind emphasis on characters and events works against the title, which sets-up an expectation of factual accuracy, betrayed by a lyrical, romantic approach.
One of the greatest John Ford Westerns. Examines in microcosm both the evolution of the Old West into the Modern West and the conflict between forthrightness and expedient acceptance of perceptions. The all around great performances lend solid support to this parable of a maturing America.