The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Reviews
I?m not exactly an expert in the Western genre, but I could basically predict what was going to happen from one scene to the next in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It latches onto a number of familiar plot devices, although I?m willing to bet this movie did it first, I just know it from derivative stories. And that?s not to suggest anything that this movie does is bad or uninteresting. I get quite involved in stories like this, because we have such a clear-cut villain against admirable protagonists. I like the way the story is laid out, and even the framing device works for me, because it somehow adds emotional weight to the end of the story after we know all that happened before.
There was a romance subplot as well in the film, that could have been a pointless distraction, but I didn?t mind because of how well it was handled. Most of it was understated as they trusted the viewer to know what was actually going on. I thought it was intelligent storytelling and that?s not something you get all the time, especially not nowadays. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a film that one could easily pigeonhole into the genre of Western, which has never been my favorite, but it has elements of a character drama and even feels a little like a biopic (that?s how realistic they made it all seem.) There were some small elements that didn?t click for me in this film, but in general I loved it.
Another great western from John Ford. Great plot, with a good twist at the end. More than a conventional western-action-drama, the movie covers issues like press freedom, vigilantism, law and order, and even has a romantic angle.
John Wayne and James Stewart play their parts to perfection. Lee Marvin is evil personified as Liberty Valance.
A timeless classic.
Dark, thought provoking, and well acted, The Man who Shot Liberty Valence is one of the finest westerns of all time.
It's an obvious, yet still rather powerful metaphor our own society and history. After all, so much of our collective history is in fact legends and stories. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree, Paul Revere didn't ride the incredible midnight ride alone, and Christopher Columbus wasn't the first person to discover America. Yet we tell these stories over and over because they have a strong moral or inspirational point to them. They shape us and our society more than most 'real' people we know or ever will know. In a way, the lies we live and the legends we tell are more real than the world of facts.
Besides, who wants a little something like facts to ruin a good story right?