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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

John Wayne  Actor James Stewart  Actor Vera Miles  Actor Lee Marvin  Actor Edmond O'Brien  Actor

MPAA Rating: NR
Contains:Mild Violence,Western Violence

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

UPC: 097360611441

Studio: Paramount

MPAA Rating: NR   Contains:[Mild Violence, Western Violence]

Summary: 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. The film opens in 1910, with distinguished and influential U.S. senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) and his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) returning to the dusty little frontier town where they met and married twenty-five years earlier. They have come back to attend the funeral of impoverished "nobody" Tom Doniphon (John Wayne). When a reporter asks why, Stoddard relates a film-long flashback. He recalls how, as a greenhorn lawyer, he had run afoul of notorious gunman Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), who worked for a powerful cartel which had the territory in its clutches. Time and again, "pilgrim" Stoddard had his hide saved by the much-feared but essentially decent Doniphon. It wasn't that Doniphon was particularly fond of Stoddard; it was simply that Hallie was in love with Stoddard, and Doniphon was in love with Hallie and would do anything to assure her happiness, even if it meant giving her up to a greenhorn. When Liberty Valance challenged Stoddard to a showdown, everyone in town was certain that the greenhorn didn't stand a chance. Still, when the smoke cleared, Stoddard was still standing, and Liberty Valance lay dead. On the strength of his reputation as the man who shot Valance, Stoddard was railroaded into a political career, in the hope that he'd rid the territory of corruption. Stoddard balked at the notion of winning an election simply because he killed a man-until Doniphon, in strictest confidence, told Stoddard the truth: It was Doniphon, not Stoddard, who shot down Valance. Stoddard was about to reveal this to the world, but Doniphon told him not to. It was far more important in Doniphon's eyes that a decent, honest man like Stoddard become a major political figure; Stoddard represented the "new" civilized west, while Doniphon knew that he and the West he represented were already anachronisms. Thus Stoddard went on to a spectacular political career, bringing extensive reforms to the state, while Doniphon faded into the woodwork. His story finished, the aged Stoddard asks the reporter if he plans to print the truth. The reporter responds by tearing up his notes. "This is the West, sir, " the reporter explains quietly. "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." 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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Category: Western

Awards: Best Black and White Costume Design – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Features: cc Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs
Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround; restored English mono
English subtitles
Interactive menus
Scene selection
Theatrical trailer

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Format: DVD

Release Date: 06/05/2001

Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1, 1 USA & territories, Canada

Runtime: 123 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Language(s) English

Subtitles: English

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Chapters: Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. Shinbone [:02]
2. Stand And Deliver [2:09]
3. Law And Order [6:58]
4. Kitchen Hand [4:01]
5. Cactus Rose [5:04]
6. One Measly Steak [:30]
7. Western Education [7:13]
8. Pop Gun [2:50]
9. Mass Meeting Elections [4:10]
10. Stop The Presses [4:09]
11. Aces and Eights [4:27]
12. Home Fire [8:17]
13. Statehood [3:52]
14. "Think back, Pilgrim." [5:59]
15. Print The Legend [1:19]

Lucia Bozzola

In his elegy to the Western hero, John Ford reveals the facts while printing the western legend. To examine what was at stake in transforming the western wilderness into a civilized garden, Ford sets up the opposition between James Stewart's Eastern lawyer Ranse Stoddard and Lee Marvin's brutal outlaw Liberty Valance, with John Wayne's archetypal hero Tom Doniphon forced to intervene. While Tom takes Stoddard's side in favor of the greater good, the spread of civilization comes at his own expense. Stoddard has to come to terms with the fact that the legendary words that fuel his success erase the truth of the genuine charismatic heroes; as a place of literary and cinematic legend, the West has no room for such veracity. Shot in black-and-white with few exteriors, Liberty Valance's melancholy nocturnal atmosphere matches the story's suggestion that the West's glory days have passed. Though not as highly regarded when it was released, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has since come to be seen as one of Ford's greatest Westerns, and a key predecessor to such late '60s-'70s Western eulogies as The Wild Bunch (1969) and The Shootist (1976). ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Cast and Crew: John Ford  Director 
John Ford  Producer 
Willis Goldbeck  Producer 
Willis Goldbeck  Screenwriter 
Cyril Mockridge  Composer (Music Score) 
Alfred Newman  Composer (Music Score) 
James Warner Bellah  Screenwriter 
John Wayne  Actor 
James Stewart  Actor 
Vera Miles  Actor 
Lee Marvin  Actor 
Edmond O'Brien  Actor 
Andy Devine  Actor 
Ken Murray  Actor 
John Carradine  Actor 
Jeanette Nolan  Actor 
John Qualen  Actor 
Woody Strode  Actor 
Denver Pyle  Actor 
Strother Martin  Actor 
Lee Van Cleef  Actor 
Robert Simon  Actor 
O.Z. Whitehead  Actor 
Paul Birch  Actor 
Joseph Hoover  Actor 
Gertrude Astor  Actor 
Helen Gibson  Actor 
Sam Harris  Actor 
William Henry  Actor 
Stuart Holmes  Actor 
Eva Novak  Actor 
Dorothy Phillips  Actor 
Buddy Roosevelt  Actor 
Slim Talbot  Actor 
Blackie Whiteford  Actor 
Edward Jaurequi  Actor 
Carleton Young  Actor 
Mario Arteaga  Actor 
Larry Finley  Actor 
Shug Fisher  Actor 
Chuck Hayward  Actor 
Earl Hodgins  Actor 
Anna Lee  Actor 
Ted Mapes  Actor 
Montie Montana  Actor 
Bob Morgan  Actor 
Charles Morton  Actor 
Jack Pennick  Actor 
Chuck Roberson  Actor 
Charles Seel  Actor 
Ralph Volkie  Actor 
Jack Williams  Actor 
Willis B. Bouchey  Actor 
Danny Borzage  Actor 
Jack Kenny  Actor 
Robert Donner  Actor 

Country: USA