The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) torrent download

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

1962

Drama / Western

8.1

Synopsis

When Senator Ransom Stoddard returns home to Shinbone for the funeral of Tom Doniphon, he recounts to a local newspaper editor the story behind it all. He had come to town many years before, a lawyer by profession. The stage was robbed on its way in by the local ruffian, Liberty Valance, and Stoddard has nothing to his name left save a few law books. He gets a job in the kitchen at the Ericson's restaurant and there meets his future wife, Hallie. The territory is vying for Statehood and Stoddard is selected as a representative over Valance, who continues terrorizing the town. When he destroys the local newspaper office and attacks the editor, Stoddard calls him out, though the conclusion is not quite as straightforward as legend would have it.

Director

John Ford

Cast

John Wayne
as Tom Doniphon
James Stewart
as Ransom Stoddard
Vera Miles
as Hallie Stoddard
Lee Marvin
as Liberty Valance
Edmond O'Brien
as Dutton Peabody
Ken Murray
as Doc Willoughby
John Carradine
as Maj. Cassius Starbuckle

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mattyholmes2004 10 /10

"This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend".

"This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend". - Maxwell Scott, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance In John Ford's most mournful tale, the legendary director asks the question "How did this present come to be? Just how did an inferior race of men whose only weapon was that of law and books defeat the old gunslingers of the great West? Just what exactly happened to the Western heroes portrayed by John Wayne when law and order came to town? How did the wilderness turn into a garden? In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John Ford depicts a world where everyone has got everything they wanted, but nobody seems happy with it… sound familiar to anyone? Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) arrives to Shinbone on a train with his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) to visit the funeral of an old friend named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne, remarkably the film opens where this iconic star is dead). The newspaper men have never heard of him, so why would such a powerful political figure visit the town to attend this funeral of a "nobody"? Through the use of a flashback, Stoddard tells us the tale of how he came to the town as a young lawyer but was immediately attacked by the psychotic villain Liberty Valance (terrifyingly played by Lee Marvin) who teaches him "Western law". The rest of the film tells the tale of how the man of books eventually defeated the race of the gunslinger and what sacrifices had to be made for that to happen.

In truth, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is more of a melodrama than a Western. Gone are the vibrant landscapes of Ford's landmark movie The Searchers six years earlier, which was so proudly promoted as being in VISTAVISION WIDESCREEN COLOR and instead the film has given way to a bleak, claustrophobic black and white tale, with so many enclosed sets and not one shot of Monument Valley.

There's a lack of a real bar scene, lack of shots of the landscape, lack of horses, lack of gunfights. It's a psychological Western, probably unlike anything ever filmed until maybe Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven.

Why is this movie so good then? In basic terms, it's about the sadness of progression and without giving way too much away the film tells a remarkable tale which truly does examine what Ford's view of the West as promoted in his earlier work truly meant. It's a tragic and pessimistic movie but it's a rewarding one, with huge replay value and one that leaves you with so many more questions than it does answers.

Do we prefer the legendary tale of our heroes or the truth? Are tales of people such as 'The Man With No Name' just more interesting than Wyatt Earp? Is living a lie as a successful guy better or worse than quietly dying as a hero? The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of the most complex Westerns that has ever been put on film and is a remarkable film when you consider it was directed by a guy who made his living telling grandeur tales of the American West. Well acted, very well written and is one of the most rewarding Westerns for replay value in the history of the genre.

Matt Holmes

www.obsessedwithfilm.com

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 9 /10

Honest, unpretentious and deeply moving...

Nostalgic, sour and powerful, Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is one of the most memorable of all his Westerns... It's triggered off, and that's the right phrase, as it turns out, by flashback... The old device works well in the hands of the master... In fact, John Ford couldn't have got the feeling he's after in any other way...

Ford seems to be mourning the Old West... It's a mixed feeling—composed of pride, regret, and a sense of the inherent injustice of life, and certain forebodings about the future...

When a famous elderly Senator Ranse Stoddard (James Stewart), looking every inch the revered veteran political figure, gets off a train at a small Western town with his good lady (Vera Miles) you can tell by the way his eye roves for and rests on bits of time remembered that this is very much a sentimental journey… He's come to pay his last respects to a friend of the long, long ago—a small rancher in those days, played by John Wayne...

Dissolve into the distant story—presenting young tenderfoot lawyer Stewart, eagerly intent on bringing Eastern law-books to bear on the problems of the West… His first taste of the West is a sound beating up, by a man called Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) who is a gunman employed by powerful cattlemen who oppose statehood for the Territory...

Nor does Ranse find any real custom even among the law-abiding... He starts his career, in fact, as a kitchen hand in a café where he's been taken by Tom Doniphon (Wayne) following his nasty experience with Liberty... Ford is at his 'domestic' best in this café which is run by a Swedish pair (John Qualen and Jeannette Nolan) and where Ranse's wife-to-be is one of the employees... Stewart, wearing an apron contrasted with Wayne, pure frontiersman, is something to see in that kitchen... And there's always an edge to their meetings...

It isn't hard to guess that before long the waitress, Tom's girl, is going to fail for the injured tenderfoot who takes on her education... Ranse eventually hangs up his sign in the office of the local newspaper editor, Dutton Peabody, a typical 'character', played by Edmond O'Brien, and from then on it's the story of a territory growing up and seeking statehood, with Ranse Stoddard maturing, too, as the natural leader of 'civilized' law and order aspirations...

But none of it could have happened without the removal of Liberty Valance... Ranse confronts him and the bullets fly but the bullet that actually drops him comes from another Winchester in the shadows... Ranse goes to Washington on the strength of ridding the territory of Liberty Valance, but he knows that the shot was fired by another man…

It's another film about the right man being in the right place at the right time in order to advance the course of Western civilization... Skillful, undoubtedly, but in this case the right man never gets his just deserts—if he ever wanted them, because the Wayne character in his way is just as much a part of the Old West as Marvin...

Herein lies the bitter essence of the film... Wayne, at heart, is as contemptuous of what Stewart stands for—talk and conferences and thick legal tomes as the gunman is… And through him you feel Ford saying that the hard men who had it the hardest on the frontier are soon forgotten, and some of the frontier's simple virtues have been buried with them…

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is honest, unpretentious and deeply moving... In no other Ford Western does the audience feel so involved... The playing is brilliant—from the smallest role to the beautifully interpreted ambivalent relationship of Wayne and Stewart...

Their acting style are quite different... Stewart had developed a standard repertoire of mannerisms that his public had come to cherish... Wayne's style was spare, clean and unadorned; he stood tall, very much himself... Certainly this film exemplifies a wonderful blending of three great talents, Ford's, Stewart's, and Wayne's, and their seamless mutual chemistry is one of the salient aspect of it...

Reviewed by jandesimpson N/A

Ford's chamber Western

Some films are slow to give up their secrets first time round and need some time to elapse before they are revalued. An opportunity to see "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" after a gap of several years turned out to be an unexpectedly rewarding experience. It had never been one of my favourite Ford films; indeed I was always puzzled why many rate it so highly in the canon. Its rather plain black-and-white visuals smack of low production values and it has little of the grand operatic sweep of many of his other Westerns. I can now see that I was rather missing the point: "Liberty Valance" is that rare thing, a chamber Western, a quiet and elegiac reappraisal of the legends of the West made almost at the end of Ford's creative career with "Cheyenne Autumn" the only Western still to come. A U.S. senator played by James Stewart returns with his wife (Vera Miles at her most attractive) to the small Western town, where, as a young man, he tied to set up a law business, to attend the funeral of the man (John Wayne) who saved his life when he tried to rid the community of its villain, Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Ford's Westerns had always been the stuff of legend. Now, towards the end of his career, he began to take the legend apart. The hero is not the one who goes on to become one of the town's most illustrious sons but the quiet man who fades into the background. It needs more than idealism to overcome evil, the film seems to be saying, Brute force has to be countered by brute force; moreover, true worth is not always rewarded or recognised by society. It is a bleak message that Ford is giving us. By homing in on character and plot to a far greater extent than usual, he gives us an experience that is often more akin to filmed theatre than cinema. There are unusually long sequences in studio built interiors, the diner, the bar and a theatre where an election adoption meeting is taking place. Outdoor sequences are few and far between. Instead of a large collective enemy such as marauding Indian tribes there is just the one baddy and his pair of sycophants. The pivotal action scene where Liberty Valance receives his just deserts takes place in a dark street and has none of the climactic sense of drama to be found in such shootouts as "My Darling Clementine" of Zinnemann's "High Noon". I can at last see that those very limitations that for so so long prevented me from appreciating "Liberty Valance" give it a sense of concentration and strength that the Western rarely achieves.

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