The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (/ˈvæləns/) is a 1962 American dramatic western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and James Stewart. Despite this, the review maintained that the film "has more than enough gusto to see it through," and that Ford had "lost none of his talent for catching the real heart, humor and violent flavor of the Old West in spite of the notable rustiness of his technique. Nate’s films. "[10][13], Ford's behavior "...really pissed Wayne off," Strode said, "but he would never take it out on Ford," the man largely responsible for his rise to stardom. Stoddard blows out the match for his unlit pipe, and stares downward. The Burt Bacharach-Hal David song "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" became a top-10 hit for Gene Pitney. [8] According to cinematographer William H. Clothier, however, "There was one reason and one reason only ... Paramount was cutting costs. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--but unlike Pilate, Ford waits for an answer. Tom also makes sure Ranse understands Hallie is Tom's girl by showing renovations to his ranch house are intended for his marriage to her. At a saloon, Valance learns Ranse is waiting for him outside. He also ridiculed Wayne for failing to enlist during World War II, during which Ford filmed a series of widely praised combat documentaries for the Office of Strategic Services and was wounded at the Battle of Midway,[11] and Stewart served with distinction as a bomber pilot and commanded a bomber group. Corral. Other cast- and crew-members also noticed Stewart's apparent immunity from Ford's abuse. [12], Stewart related that midway through filming, Wayne asked him why he, Stewart, never seemed to be the target of Ford's venomous remarks. He called for the crew's attention and announced, "One of our players doesn't like Woody's costume. re: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Posted by Kafka on 12/12/20 at 8:29 pm to L1C4 Marvin steals it Jimmy Stewart is to old for his role (even he agreed). [21] Jimmie Rodgers also recorded the song, in the Gene Pitney style. The viewer also knows from the beginning that Ranse will get the girl and that Tom will end up alone. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a film directed by John Ford with John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien .... Year: 1962. On TV he would have been dispatched by the second commercial and the villainy would have passed to some shadowy employer, some ruthless rancher who didn't want statehood. Stoddard's story flashes back 25 years. 4 on New Zealand's "Lever Hit Parade".. In the present, Stoddard's political accomplishments fill in the intervening years; but his story will not be published, with editor Scott stating, "This is the West, sir. At the time of its release, the film was not well received by critics, many of whom found it claustrophobic. Tom Doniphon finds Ranse and takes him to Shinbone. With James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin. Shinbone's men meet to elect two delegates to the statehood convention at the territorial capital. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the top 100 Western songs of all time. [33] Director Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) listed Ford as a major influence on his work, and Liberty Valance as his favorite Ford film. Stoddard thus became a local legend, and he was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate. Ranse's wounds are treated by Tom's girlfriend, Hallie, and others, who explain to him that Valance terrorizes the residents, and the town's Marshal Appleyard is powerless to stop him. Ford called out, "Don't hit him, Woody, we need him." The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Join here. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists: This article is about 1962 film. https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Man-Who-Shot-Liberty-Valance-film-1962, Turner Classic Movies - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, AllMovie - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Gunfight at the O.K. I'm glad you made it. Amazon.com "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." As one journalist says—in the film’s famous tagline— “This is the West, sir. Valance challenges Ranse to a gunfight to be held later in the evening. "[20] Portions of the song There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight are played in scenes by bar musicians and a marching band. Edith Head's costumes were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design (black-and-white), one of the few Westerns ever nominated in that category. in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--but unlike Pilate, Ford waits for an answer. Author/co-author of numerous books about the cinema and is regarded as one of the foremost James Bond scholars. [15] "Wayne actually played the lead," Ford said, to Peter Bogdanovich. The film's music score was composed by Cyril J. Mockridge, but in scenes involving Hallie's relationships with Doniphon and Stoddard, Ford reprised Alfred Newman's "Ann Rutledge Theme", from Young Mr. Lincoln. choose a film to view and to write a short 3 to 4 page essay. Though based upon the movie's plotline, it was not used in the film. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) was another nostalgic and memorable B/W John Ford-directed film about the passing of the Old West and the rise of civilization - it was his last great film. Tom advises Ranse of Valance's trickery. "What a miserable film to make," he added. The conductor replies, "Nothing's too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance." His book, (From left) James Stewart, John Ford, and John Wayne on the set of the motion picture, Writers: James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck. Short Interpretation of the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Omissions? "Jimmy Stewart had most of the sides [sequences with dialogue], but Wayne was the central character, the motivation for the whole thing. Valance toys with Ranse, shooting him in the arm, and then aims to kill him, when Ranse fires his gun and Valance drops dead. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a film that is highly revered today by critics and audiences alike, although when it was released in 1962 it wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm. The film is considered one of Ford's best,[31] and in one poll, ranked with The Searchers and The Shootist as one of Wayne's best Westerns. The film, also starring James Stewart, Lee Marvin and Vera Miles, is Ford’s most political film that subverts a lot of myths about the American West as well as the John Wayne persona that Ford himself created “This is the West, sir. Ironically today it is one of John Ford’s most popular films along with The Searchers and Stagecoach. [19] The film scholar Kathryn Kalinak notes that Ann Rutledge's theme "encodes longing" and "fleshes out the failed love affair between Hallie and Tom Doniphon, the growing love between Hallie and Ranse Stoddard, and the traumatic loss experienced by Hallie over her choice of one over the other, none of which is clearly articulated by dialogue. "It was the only film," he said, "where [Ford] learned about something called pessimism. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”. Ford responded, "What's wrong with Uncle Remus?" Valance and his gang vandalize Peabody's newspaper office and beat him nearly to death after Peabody ran a story about Valance's prior murder of some farmers. Stewart said he "wanted to crawl into a mouse hole", but Wayne told him, "Well, welcome to the club. Liberty Valance is going to get shot. Liberty is portrayed as being an almost mystic… When the horses did stop, Wayne tried to pick a fight with the younger and fitter Strode. Our latest episode for parents features the topic of empathy. You've got to know your job, lay your shadows in properly, get your perspective right, but in color, there it is," he said. He told Bogdanovich that he used the theme in both films to evoke repressed desire and lost love. Ranse returns to Hallie to treat his arm. In a tale told in flashback, he relates how he arrived in Shinbone hoping to establish a law office but found the town terrorized by Valance and his gang. [22], Liberty Valance was released in April 1962, and achieved both financial and critical success. The song spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. Senator Ranse Stoddard and his wife Hallie arrive in Shinbone, a frontier town in an unnamed western state, to attend the funeral of Tom Doniphon. No. Most of the western was shot on a sound stage, and its set-bound constrictions and cheap look showed in the final print. Directed by John Ford. Upon entering the territory as a young attorney, Ranse is beaten and robbed by Liberty Valance and his gang. "[35] The New Yorker's Richard Brody described it as "the greatest American political movie", because of its depictions of a free press, town meetings, statehood debates, and the "civilizing influence" of education in frontier America.[33]. "[30], More recent assessments have been more uniformly positive. While filming an exterior shot on a horse-drawn cart, Wayne almost lost control of the horses and knocked Strode away when he attempted to help. It deceives the viewer from the start. There is no review for this diary entry. This conflict drives Stoddard to seek to confront Liberty, which Doniphon knows is a fool's quest for the shaky Easterner. 4, while reaching No. They are there to pay their respects to their old friend Tom Doniphon (John Wayne), who is being buried in a pauper’s grave. Ranse and Dutton Peabody, the local newspaper editor, are elected, despite Valance and his gang's attempt to bully the residents into nominating him in order to represent the cattle barons. [14], Stewart received top billing over Wayne on promotional posters, but in the film itself Wayne's screen card appears first and slightly higher on a sign post. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."[3][4]. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." Genres: Western, Drama. he demanded. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, American western film, released in 1962, that was John Ford’s poetic and sombre look at the end of the Wild West era. Multiple stories and speculations exist to explain this decision. The top-selling theme song by Gene Pitney does not appear in the film. For a close analysis, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmWgRiGyd_4&feature=youtu.be "[26], Richard L. Coe of The Washington Post called the film "a leisurely yarn boasting fine performances," but was bothered by "the incredulous fact that the lively townsfolk of Shinbone didn't polish off Valence [sic] for themselves. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. (Wayne's football career at USC had been curtailed by injuries.) The Blues Brothers. [32] Roger Ebert wrote that each of the 10 Ford/Wayne westerns is "... complete and self-contained in a way that approaches perfection", and singled out Liberty Valance as "the most pensive and thoughtful" of the group. By a man. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, American western film, released in 1962, that was John Ford’s poetic and sombre look at the end of the Wild West era. Share this page. Wayne's avoidance of wartime service was a major source of guilt for him in his later years. A senator returns to a western town for the funeral of an old friend and tells the story of his origins. Add a review? Strode blamed Ford for nearly all the friction on the set. In contrast to prior John Ford Westerns, such as The Searchers (1956) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Liberty Valance was shot in black-and-white on Paramount's soundstages. Filming in black and white helped ease the suspension of disbelief necessary to accept that disparity. "[25] A. H. Weiler of The New York Times wrote that "Mr. Ford, who has struck more gold in the West than any other film-maker, also has mined a rich vein here," but opined that the film "bogs down" once Stoddard becomes famous, en route to "an obvious, overlong, and garrulous anticlimax. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It was also covered by the Australian rock band Regurgitator on its 1998 David/Bacharach tribute album To Hal and Bacharach. What should have been left to enthrall the imagination is spelled out until there is nothing left to savor or discuss. "[34] In a retrospective analysis, The New York Times called Liberty Valance "...one of the great Western classics," because "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. Although Stoddard was meek in nature, Valance’s continued harassment of him resulted in an impromptu showdown in which Valance was shot dead. A great scene from John Ford's western. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? He tosses down Aces and Eights - The infamous "Dead Man's Hand". In contrast to prior John Ford Westerns, such as The Searchers (1956) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Liberty Valance was shot in black-and-white on Paramount's soundstages. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Starring: John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles. – Nominated, This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 04:59. 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. That's more than the code of a newspaperman in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; it's practically the operating credo of director John Ford, the most honored of American filmmakers.In this late film from a long career, Ford looks at the civilizing of an Old West town, Shinbone, through the sad memories of settlers looking back. "[27] John L. Scott of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Director Ford is guilty of a few lengthy, slow periods in his story-telling, but for the most part the old, reliable Ford touches are there. Nate is using Letterboxd to share film reviews and lists with friends. Questions arise when Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) attends the funeral of a local man named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) in a small Western town. [23], Contemporary reviews were generally positive, although a number of critics thought the final act was a letdown. Ford resented the studio's intrusion and retaliated by taunting Wayne relentlessly throughout the filming. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. It seems as though the film is moralizing on … Yet, while it is an enjoyable film it falls distinctly shy of its innate story potential. Multiple stories and speculations exist to explain this decision. Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. The film was released April 18, 1962, and the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 the week ending April 28, 1962, peaking at number four in June. Then, toward the end of filming, Ford asked Stewart what he thought of Strode's costume for the film's beginning and end, when the actors were playing their parts 25 years older. However, he confesses to the local reporters that he had learned years ago that it was Doniphon who actually fired the fatal shot at Valance and later allowed Stoddard to be credited with the deed. "You might say I'm old fashioned, but black and white is real photography. Tom regrets saving Ranse's life, because he lost Hallie to him; but, he encourages Ranse to accept the nomination and make Hallie proud. "[9], Another condition imposed by the studio, according to Van Cleef, was that Wayne be cast as Doniphon. For the 1962 release of the like-titled tune, see, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (stage play), There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight, Academy Award for Best Costume Design (black-and-white), "Librarian of Congress Announces National Film Registry Selections for 2007", "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs | Library of Congress", "John Ford's Wilderness: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", "Gene Pitney, Who Sang of 60's Teenage Pathos, Dies at 65", "The 35th Academy Awards (1963) Nominees and Winners", "Top 7 John Ford films (because we couldn't pick just 5)", "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees", "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Man_Who_Shot_Liberty_Valance&oldid=994335789, Films based on works by Dorothy M. Johnson, United States National Film Registry films, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Maxwell Scott: "This is the West, sir. With mostly interior scenes, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance eschews the lush landscapes and widescreen cinematography that were hallmarks of Ford’s movies. Deepwater Horizon. "[5] Ford also reportedly argued that the climactic shoot-out between Valance and Stoddard would not have worked in color. The Man who shot Liberty Valance(1962) was the last western that John Ford made with John Wayne. "[28] Harrison's Reports gave the film a grade of "Very Good",[29] but Brendan Gill of The New Yorker was negative and called it "a parody of Mr. Ford's best work. "How rich did you get while Jimmy was risking his life?" Interesting? Ford claimed to prefer that medium over color: "In black and white, you've got to be very careful. "[16], Parts of the film were shot in Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks, California.[17][18]. Played by Lee Marvin in the film version, the only man he feared was rancher Tom Doniphon, played by John Wayne. The studio also specified that Wayne's name appear before Stewart's on theatre marquees, reportedly at Ford's request. In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the newspaper editor says, "This is the West. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is an entertaining and emotionally involving western. [6], Others have interpreted the absence of the magnificent outdoor vistas so prevalent in earlier Ford Westerns as "a fundamental reimagining [by Ford] of his mythic West" – a grittier, less romantic, more realistic portrayal of frontier life. The screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck was adapted from a 1953 short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson. Although atypical of his usual works, it is widely considered Ford’s last great movie and among his best westerns. Otherwise we would have been in Monument Valley or Brackettville and we would have had color stock. He was a sadistic and violent Old West outlaw, a holy terror to the town of Shinbone, and the ruthless leader of an outlaw gang. You've got to know your job, lay your shadows in properly, get your perspective right, but in color, there it is," he said. Tom is the only man who stands up to Valance, stating that force is all Valance understands. Stoddard, who rode to fame as a tenderfoot lawyer credited with having fatally shot the notorious gunman Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), makes a startling confession to local newspaper reporters. Ford claimed to prefer that medium over color: "In black and white, you've got to be very careful. Now, I don't know if Mr. Stewart has a prejudice against Negroes, but I just wanted you all to know about it." Like Pontius Pilate, director John Ford asks "What is truth?" The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Posted on December 31, 2015 by jaycluitt In the town of Shinbone, Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) and his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) have returned for the funeral of Tom Doniphon, a man who evidently meant a great deal to them. James Taylor covered it on his 1985 album That's Why I'm Here, as did The Royal Guardsmen on their 1967 album Snoopy vs. the Red Baron. Rewatched by Nate. Rated the #7 best film of 1962, and #253 in the greatest all-time movies (according to RYM users). Film, Action and adventure. When the fact becomes legend, print the legend," Ford's films show the legend. For the majority of the film, we are led to believe that the man who shot Liberty Valance is Ransom Stoddard, attorney at law. Although atypical of his usual works, it is widely considered Ford’s last great movie and among his best westerns. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962 ★★★★★ Dec 06, 2020. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Add to Calendar 04/09/2021 07:30 PM 04/10/2021 09:30 PM America/Los_Angeles Paramount Film Series: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The story opens with the return of elderly U.S. Sen. In addition, the film features a host of scene-stealing character actors—including Andy Devine, Woody Strode, Edmond O’Brien, Lee Van Cleef and John Carradine—and Marvin’s Valance is one of the screen’s most notorious villains. The ambiguity of the film lies in the title itself. Tom sees how much the two care for each other, and he retreats to his farm in a drunken rage where he burns down his house. Hallie, attracted to Ranse and concerned for his safety, tells Tom of Ranse's gun practice. Wayne later told Strode, "We gotta work together. Pitney said in an interview that he was in the studio about to record the song when "... Bacharach informed us that the film just came out." As Stoddard returns to Washington, D.C. with Hallie, and contemplates retiring to Shinbone, he thanks the train conductor for the railroad's many courtesies. Stewart replied, "It looks a bit Uncle Remussy to me." The cast was uniformly superb, even if Wayne and Stewart were arguably too old for their roles. "He ended up taking it out on me." At the statehood convention, Ranse decides to withdraw his name for territorial delegate for statehood, concluding he is not worthy after killing Valance. [7] A more pragmatic interpretation cites the fact that Wayne and Stewart, two of Hollywood's biggest stars working together for the first time, were considerably older (54 and 53, respectively) than the characters they were playing. Updates? The story opens with the return Ransom Stoddard (played by James Stewart) and his wife, Hallie (Vera Miles), to their small hometown of Shinbone in the American West. The film begins in 1910 when a successful aging U.S. senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) and his wife of twenty-five years Hallie (Vera Miles) return to the small western town Shinbone, where they met, to attend the funeral of Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) a man known in the town as a good man … Despite his confession, Stoddard finds the press uninterested in publishing the revelation, preferring instead to let his myth remain unaffected. "He didn't want Duke [Wayne] to think he was doing him any favors," Van Cleef said. The budget for the black and white film was severely limited, so director Ford didn't have the luxury of on-location filming to showcase the vistas in his favorite locale, Monument Valley. 2 on Canada's CHUM Hit Parade, and No. (studio) 4 of 7 found this interesting. Although most sources say the film was shot almost entirely at Paramount Studios, with exteriors on the Janss Conejo Ranch in Thousand Oaks, California, a documentary about the making of it revealed that the town and train shots were done on Lot 3 at MGM. Liberty began to torment newcomer and lawyer Ransom Stoddard (portrayed by the late James Stewart). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. As presented through another flashback within the flashback that frames the story, Tom tells Ranse it was he, Tom, who fired the fatal shot killing Valance, not Ranse. "You might say I'm old fashioned, but black and white i… Tom offers to assist Ranse in leaving town, but Ranse stubbornly declines. Variety called the film "entertaining and emotionally involving," but thought if the film had ended 20 minutes earlier, "it would have been a taut, cumulative study of the irony of heroic destiny," instead of concluding with "condescending, melodramatic, anticlimactic strokes. Ford had to accept those terms or not make the film. Foreshadowing: Liberty is playing poker when Ransom calls him out for his lynching of the newspaper editor Peabody. But the studio would not finance the film unless it starred two big western names. Ranse is determined that law and justice can prevail over Valance; however, Ranse begins practicing with a gun. "[24], The Monthly Film Bulletin agreed, lamenting that the "final anticlimactic 20 minutes ... all but destroy the value of the disarming simplicity and natural warmth which are Ford's everlasting stock-in-trade." Discuss at least one the three themes of the course – the frontier and the West, the struggle between good and evil, and religious understanding and misunderstanding, as appropriate for the films that you have chosen. [10] Strode recounted that Ford "kept needling Duke about his failure to make it as a football player", comparing him to Strode (a former NFL running back), whom he pronounced "a real football player". Time Out says. Produced for $3.2 million, it grossed $8 million,[2] making it the 15th-highest grossing film of 1962. "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, which was released by Gene Pitney in 1962. Three Classic Westerns in Box Set. Directed by: John Ford. As they pay their respects, local newspaper editor Maxwell Scott asks Stoddard why a United States senator would make the long journey from Washington to attend the funeral of a local rancher. 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