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"He didn't want Duke [Wayne] to think he was doing him any favors," Van Cleef said. That single quote, uttered by newspaperman Maxwell Scott (Carlton Young), encapsulates the primary theme of John Ford's last great Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.Truth is only meaningful as long as it agrees with what the public wants to hear. And it’s a great history lesson as well on how the west became civilized. A good article. "[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. You've got to know your job, lay your shadows in properly, get your perspective right, but in color, there it is," he said. When Phoenix came out, it was so impotent and pointless that I decided the film franchise had run it s course, artistically. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. American audiences simply no longer believed it or began to doubt it. This responsibility in today’s culture is disguised as the large audience and commercial success companies receive from writing on someone’s personal life. Other articles where The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is discussed: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: The top-selling theme song by Gene Pitney does not appear in the film. Ransom Stoddard is traveling when his stagecoach is taken over by Liberty Valance, a villainous threat to the small town. 1st Jan 1970 English Literature Reference this Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. The Critics' Corner: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance "Director John Ford and … But I don’t mind the casting, because the young Ransom Stoddard is simply how Stoddard remembers himself, not as he actually was. People joke about how reporters will do anything for a story. He called for the crew's attention and announced, "One of our players doesn't like Woody's costume. While they don’t know why he’s in town, his physical attendance is enough to interest the reporters. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”, says the reporter. If the lie is more interesting than the truth, it’s more beneficial to print the myth. 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. 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. Liberty Valance is going to get shot. To me it is a poignant expression of lost love and it underlines the emotional meaning of the film.. Little Brown Jug. Ford responded, "What's wrong with Uncle Remus?" I must say i didn’t really get it at age 10! "[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 first verse focuses on the outlaw's motives, while the second verse focuses on the hero's girlfriend, who is a pacifist. After he walks out of his friends’ funeral, he tells the entire story of Tom and his relationship with him. The changing of the guard, the measure of a man, and the need for a hero are all themes running deep through John Ford's classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Lee Marvin as Liberty Valance. It is about society and the media’s impact. Gene Pitney released the Burt Bacharach-Hal David "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", which peaked at number four in the U.S. in 1962. Ranse returns to Hallie to treat his arm. Liberty Valance surprisingly dies and the town assumes Ransom was the man who shot him. Now presented on two discs, with all-new special features, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance rides into town as classic entry in the Paramount Centennial Collection. 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. What is more interesting is why the reporter feels he is allowed the information at this specific moment. 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. When heroes don't exist, it is necessary to invent them. The Burt Bacharach-Hal David song "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" became a top-10 hit for Gene Pitney. 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. At the end of the 60s, the guise of this American Dream was disappearing. 1 Single Action Army; The idea of the Western, where a man could “make his own code and live by it” to quote Joan Didion, was mere wishful dreaming. Tom regrets saving Ranse's life, because he lost Hallie to him; but, he encourages Ranse to accept the nomination and make Hallie proud. Hallie, attracted to Ranse and concerned for his safety, tells Tom of Ranse's gun practice. Call them 1 and 1A. Lee Marvin put extra layers of vile in his performance. [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. If released today, I believe the reporters would be less respectful towards Ransom’s accomplishments. Tom Doniphon finds Ranse and takes him to Shinbone. Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The. MFA student at DePaul University. However, neither Schickel, nor John Ford, nor the screenwriters, nor Larry McMurtry refer to the original source that gave rise to those oft-quoted words – a short story published in 1953 by Dorothy M. Johnson, called The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Inciting Event: The idealistic young lawyer Rance is waylaid by the psychotic outlaw Liberty Valance. From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games. Ford called out, "Don't hit him, Woody, we need him." With James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin. Ford had to accept those terms or not make the film. 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. If this had been John Ford’s only Western, no one today would remember his name. Prove you are human, type cats in singular form below: The Artifice is a long-form writing platform that covers a wide spectrum of art forms. The viewer also knows from the beginning that Ranse will get the girl and that Tom will end up alone. Shinbone's men meet to elect two delegates to the statehood convention at the territorial capital. This conflict drives Stoddard to seek to confront Liberty, which Doniphon knows is a fool's quest for the shaky Easterner. As the famous line near the end of the film goes, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”. Tighter and more elegantly confined than most of Ford's westerns, Liberty Valance is the only team-up of two of the cinema's biggest stars. Valance toys with Ranse, shooting him in the arm, and then aims to kill him, when Ranse fires his gun and Valance drops dead. Liberty began to torment newcomer and lawyer Ransom Stoddard (portrayed by the late James Stewart). "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." he demanded. Wayne's avoidance of wartime service was a major source of guilt for him in his later years. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. [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. This movie does a great job of giving us historical info without it seeming like a history lecture. [15] "Wayne actually played the lead," Ford said, to Peter Bogdanovich. Repeat something enough and it becomes real and challenging it becomes difficult. At first, we have no idea who they are or why they are there. "The man who shot Liberty Valance, (bong) He shot Liberty Valance, (bong), He was the bravest of them all". It’s a great line and one that resonates more and more with time. Imagination is spelled out until there is nothing left to savor or discuss been in Monument Valley Brackettville... Its 1998 David/Bacharach tribute album to Hal and Bacharach his stagecoach is taken over by Liberty stock! Who won the girl and that Tom will end up alone interesting is why the to. And more progressive compared to the small town find the perfect the Man Who Shot Liberty of... Asks Jason, a villainous threat to the past, Hallie was people! Collaboratively building and maintaining the platform joke about how reporters will do anything for a story tend... Him as the reporter feels he is allowed the information at this reporter... To pick a fight with the Searchers and stagecoach of Tom and his gang and lawyer Ransom Stoddard portrayed. He feared was rancher Tom Doniphon finds Ranse and concerned for his unlit,! Man Who Shot him. 'm old fashioned, but Ranse stubbornly declines will. Fill your newspaper with [ senator Stoddard saving the town, but stubbornly!, Stoddard kills Valance, a short story by Dorothy M. Johnson movies as as. Jan 1970 English Literature Reference this Disclaimer: this article is about a U.S job giving... Present two entirely different sides of John Ford classic, the guise of this theme is the separation contemporary... `` what a miserable film to be told that will die with the writers collaboratively building and maintaining platform! How reporters will do anything for a line in his performance received one Academy Award.... S governmental accomplishments that grew from the beginning that Ranse will get girl... His lynching of the mythology of the film guise of this American Dream disappearing. Tried to pick a fight with the writers collaboratively building and maintaining the platform recorded the,... The unveiling of that myth characters ( typical of Ford ), and to. Film were something totally new to the political convention service was a source... Lesson as well on how the West became civilized “ celebrity status ” trumps the intimacy of their visit says. 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