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

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Reviews

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November 9, 2017
Horrible movie and cast
October 29, 2017
Good John Ford western. Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.
October 28, 2017
Inspirational, Politically Historical. I cry every time I watch it. Always in my TOP 5 Duke Movies...sometimes I love it more than others and then other times, I love The War Wagon, Big Jake, Red River more.
½ October 5, 2017
With excellent direction from John Ford and with absolutely top-notch casting with John Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin all being perfect for their roles and every one of them excelled at them, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance also has a big heart at its core, very strong humor and dialogue and it is a film that favors story over action as it explores the modernization of the Old West, the politics of the 19th century and the phenomenon of the legend becoming a fact. I also really admired its transgressive but very truthful and important message that sometimes the law cannot help you and you have to resort to physical confrontation. Smart, funny and moving with a great flashback structure to it, this film truly is one of the best westerns of all time.
September 26, 2017
I always love James Stewart in any leading role, so it was a treat to see him in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I like that he was playing the straight-laced lawyer who wasn?t the type to fit in amongst all the rough frontier folks. And it made sense that over time his charm and honest nature won over the townspeople. John Wayne offers a great contrast to Stewart, and I was surprised how well they played off one another. I wasn?t the biggest fan of John Wayne going into this movie, but I thought he perfectly fit this role. And they are just the two leads but there were also good performances from the supporting people including Vera Miles, Andy Devine, and especially Lee Marvin.

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.
September 13, 2017
A western featuring the likes of both the legendary John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, how can you go wrong? Well it'd be pretty damn hard that's for sure. Black & white as well which gives it the feel of a really classic western. Good story, Lee Marvin as the villain and once again John Wayne plays a bit of a jerk here but in the end redeems himself. Also couldn't get over the fact that he says 'pilgrim' way too many times in this, it's a bit comical. Still, this was good stuff. Me likey.
August 14, 2017
Sometimes it's nice to allow a legend to be believed, even if it isn't true
July 4, 2017
A good western with a smart script and one of John Wayne's best characters.
July 2, 2017
Horrible. I love Jim Stewart, I love westerns, I have a very long attention span, but this movie is unwatchable and I can't for the life of me understand wat the heck you people like about this. Jim Stewart is way to old for the role of The young man part as is everone else. There are endless reasons to turn this movie off and zero reasons to watch it. Howard the duck is a better movie.
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?
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