The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Reviews

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June 23, 2017
A subtle, surprising and superb Western, signed by the genre master, John Ford. The confrontation between the Eastern man (James Stewart) and the Western guy (John Wayne) is a mixture of rivalry and friendship made possible by three-dimensional characters beautifully portrayed by the two stars. Yet, the richness, the greatness of the film lies in its complexity- its ability to be regarded differently according to sensibilities. The clever line "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend" might hold the answer about who killed Liberty Valance, the subject of the film. Still, no matter what the answer is, 'The Man Who Killed Liberty Valance' is untypical and unmissable. One of the most complete Westerns I've seen.
½ April 15, 2017
Ronson Stoddard, a lawyer, head out west in search of a new life. He settles in a small town but soon comes into conflict with the local crime lord, Liberty Valance. Stoddard's only ally is rancher Tom Doniphon. With Stoddard's knowledge of the law and Doniphon's gun, they are determined to bring Valance down.

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.
April 13, 2017
I love the unusual pairing of two great actors in James Stewart and John Wayne. The cast is just outstanding all-around with more stars, such as Vera Miles and Lee Marvin. The story was kind of predictable and there wasn't as much action as I thought there would be. However, the sets were perfect for a Western. It's a decent film overall. (First and only viewing - 4/13/2017)
February 25, 2017
10 out of 10:

Dark, thought provoking, and well acted, The Man who Shot Liberty Valence is one of the finest westerns of all time.
½ November 6, 2016
Corny as hell but stiil very affecting. Jimmy Stewart's eastern lawyer brings civilisation to wild west Shinbone with John Wayne's reluctant help. John Ford westerns are often thought provoking and there is plenty to chew on here.
½ October 26, 2016
In many ways, John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a bit different from many of the Westerns it's surrounded by. Released just before the rise of the Spaghetti Western. characterized by gritty gang warfare and bounty hunting, the film is a quieter story dealing largely with the changing politics of the era, largely constrained to interiors rather than the expanses of the West. While these elements feel kind of refreshing in the genre, and there's lots of other nice elements to back the movie up, the film itself feels a little flat in delivery. The first act, setting up the characters and relationships, and third act, in which the title really comes into play, are solid and show signs of a really engaging Western, but the middle drags and hinders these elements at times. It's a slow paced story that takes its time in getting to its conclusion, which is admirable but sometimes leaves you wishing for a bit of a quicker pace. In terms of acting, James Stewart and John Wayne, two legends working together in the same film for the first time, are both expectedly great, helped by playing characters with opposing worldviews that allows for a unique dynamic. Vera Miles is a pleasant supporting presence and Lee Marvin is a mostly imposing figure as Valance, although the character sometimes feels like little more than a Westernized school bully. As a whole, it's legendary for a reason, but doesn't come without its fair share of problems.
½ October 20, 2016
Featuring standout performances from both Stewart and Wayne, this is one of the Western genre's greatest offerings and a film that ultimately transcends the genre. It's dark and challenging, and surprisingly violent. In the end you're left with two men changed by difficult decisions and how they live with both their accomplishments and the regret of what may have been.
September 19, 2016
I haven't watched many westerns. However, I liked this movie. The story and the acting were good.
July 15, 2016
...the is still the the bar for westerns.
July 14, 2016
Only 92%?! What's wrong with people?
July 5, 2016
"When the Legend becomes fact, print the legend." In the context of the film this refers to the fact that our narrator and film's main protagonist did not in fact shot the legendary outlaw Liberty Valance and that all the acclaim that he has enjoyed with telling that lie is undeserved.

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?
June 29, 2016
Writing a review of this film could take ages. Putting it simply, it's perfect in every way. What makes this this film perfect isn't the acting or actors per se. They are great and no one else could take their spot in the film, but it is what their roles in the film represent. There is a lot to think about when watching this film. A lot to discuss. Films like this give us a story that isn't what it appears to be on the surface. Ford playfully makes fun of issues such as race, law & order, and violence. One might not understand that he is doing this, which is why this film is perfect. Some will enjoy it for what it appears to be, and others will enjoy it for what it means. Thus, the finale of the film, who shot Liberty Valence?, symbolizes that. Our answer to that question will show how we interpret the film.
May 8, 2016
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a western in the most classic and powerful sense, among the most romantic and political.
April 29, 2016
Really didn't feel this movie at all. The cast was all wrong, the sound stage setting was horrible and obvious. Very muted western...and James Steward....same character in every movie.
April 13, 2016
Maybe the greatest Western ever made. What performances, such a twist!
March 12, 2016
I heard Christopher Frayling say that this was Sergio Leone's favourite John Ford picture. When I heard that, I knew I had to check it out.
January 5, 2016
One of the best westerns out there.
December 20, 2015
I don't know why I find watching John Wayne call James Stewart "pilgrim" the entire film is hilarious?
December 19, 2015
looking back to an era when America stood for much goodness and was still young enough to want to make things better. And a time when goodness, truth and honesty were virtues we all sought, unlike the present time where our leaders lie outright and we allow it.
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