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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Made in 1962 (an age similarly experiencing major social change), this 118min B&W classic is one of John Ford's deepest, most thoughtfull films. Set amidst the years that saw civilisation as we understand it today replacing America's earlier 'Heroic' age, the story centres around the strained relationship between the "toughest man south of the Picket Wire" Liberty...
Published on 25 Aug 2012 by C. W. Bradbury

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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a strange film...
There's something about Liberty Valance that lingers for days. In many ways it's an appallingly bad and corny film, with way too many holes in the plot. Like, if most of the townsfolk can't read, how can they have a newspaper? It seems that by 1962 all Wayne had to do was walk on screen in full costume and smile. We didn't need to know any more about his character...
Published on 18 Oct 2007 by Karel Bata


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 25 Aug 2012
By 
C. W. Bradbury (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Made in 1962 (an age similarly experiencing major social change), this 118min B&W classic is one of John Ford's deepest, most thoughtfull films. Set amidst the years that saw civilisation as we understand it today replacing America's earlier 'Heroic' age, the story centres around the strained relationship between the "toughest man south of the Picket Wire" Liberty Valance(Lee Marvin), rock hard rancher Tom Donovan(John Wayne) and the educated/sophisticated but physically less self-reliant eastern lawyer Ranson Stoddart(James Stewart). The message of the film is simple but profound; although the 'new ways' of law and order are clearly beneficial, much is also lost with the passing of the more direct methods by which the old West both enforced acceptable behaviour and selected it's community leaders. Perhaps the most poigniant message of the film is how the true reality of Liberty's death is concealed by all those involved for various reasons, and the longer-term results that concealment has for big Tom Donovan, lawyer Stoddart's political career, the frontier town of Shinbone and also America's future. As both exciting entertainment and also food for thought, I cannot recommend this film highly enough, it's an absolutely first class depiction of the old West and it's people at their best!!!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inteligent, surprising, full of humour, with great casting and one very tragic character, 13 Sep 2007
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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How come, that the secret of making movies which could be THAT good, seems to be lost? No matter how long you look, you will not find in the contemporary cinema a movie which would be so smart, funny and tragic in the same time as this one. Well, ladies and gentlemen, behold here one of the most legendary masterpieces of western - and three giants of American cinema: James Stewart, John Wayne and Lee Marvin.

This is a highly symbolical story about the barbary being beaten away by the civilisation, the crime being reduced by law and the chaos of wilderness being replaced by order. The symbol of barbary, crime, chaos and violence is a jubilant, agressive, vile and primitive bandit, called Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). He is so horrible that almost strangely appealing, a force of nature which can fascinate - until we actually see his victims... He will be confronted by a young lawyer (James Stewart), who came to the Far West trying to establish a law practice, but who, in a lawless town, will end washing dishes.

Now, James Stewart was not a whimp (he actually ended the WWII as general of aviation - the only Hollywoodian actor who went as far in military) but in this movie he portrays the total opposite of Liberty Valance - he is civilised, nonviolent, polite, reserved (although well spoken), in fact he seems a little dull compared to the bandit. Until the day when he grabs that gun and (still wearing an apron!) walks to face Liberty Valance...

But the actor who is the reason for which this movie is such a masterpiece is the Duke himself - John Wayne. This is one of his most important, most complex and possibly the most tragic roles. His character represents what we have to loose when the heroic and barbaric times end. We gain civilisation, peace, law and order, but we lose also something - and although finally we get a fair deal, it is still painful. Even if you hate John Wayne, you will feel for his character in this movie - and you will be impressed by his acting.

The story is not linear - the tale of this one gunfight and its consequences is told twice, and before that we are going from one time to another. The plot is watertight - everything falls in place at the end with the precision of a Swiss clock mechanism. And the final punchline of this partly tragic but finally very funny film will simply blow you away!

This is a TREASURE of the world cinema - a classic to see and then see again.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and Entertaining, 5 Sep 2006
By 
Bill Kelly "willireid" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is, as other reviewers have stated, one of the greatest westerns ever. It can make this claim not through any blistering action sequences, but through its tension, its thoughtfulness and an awarness of time and place which is unmatched in the genre.

An example is the scene when the delegates crowd into the hall for the statehood vote - a nicely observed piece -while ignoring the black man sitting at the foot of the steps. A wonderful counterbalance to the talk of freedom inside the hall.

It is also, as I say extremely tense, and the scenes between Wayne and Marvin are as taut as anything either has appeared in elsewhere

Wonderful film
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Western !!!, 8 Sep 2003
By 
In 1962 John Ford gave us his last great film.
"The Man who shot Liberty Valance " is a truly classic picture. With the exception of "El Dorado" this is the last great classic Hollywood Western(although "Nevada Smith", "The Four Sons of Katie Elder" and "The War Wagon" were decent efforts. Starring John Wayne and James Stewart this film is an interesting study of the painful enforcement of law in the west, and the role of the myth in it's construction.
This picture is not only a classic film but a real treasure in movie history, not only for it's aesthetic beauty but also for the strong sense of nostalgia for the West and the Western genre itself that comes across in director John Ford's beautiful images of is imaginary heroic past that comes to life in the strong performances of John Wayne, Vera Miles, James Stewart, Lee Marvin and all the other suporting actors of Ford's stock company. The DVD edition is a let down for such an important film. Even if the picture quality is ok, the mono sound could have been remasterd to stereo and a making of documentary is obligatory.
Let's hope that a Special Edition would do this classic film justice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ford's elergy for the West, 2 Feb 2011
Quite simply this is one of the greatest films ever made, a classic which shows all John Ford's skill with the camera and lighting. There is no great vistas as in previous westerns like the Searchers, but all is concentrated in the mythical town of Shinbone. The two stars - Wayne and Stewart - give typically good performances but it is Lee Marvin in the title role who really steals the show. But the real star is Ford who racks up the tension until the inevitable shoot-out and the final twist at the end. 'This is the West, Sir. Print the Legend', says the editor, which is exactly what Ford did in this fabulous elergy to the mythical West.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, even if Westerns are not for you, 8 July 2013
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This review is from: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [Blu-ray] [1962] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Firstly the film, which is really good and not at all what you expect from a Western. Light on action but heavy on the dialogue it's a very entertaining watch with Jimmy Stewart outshining the Duke.

This Blu-Ray transfer is superb with really good shadows and no grain at all. For a 50 year old film this looks great. Sound is HD which really brings out the dialogue very cleanly and crisp.

There are no extras which is dissapointing, however there is a restored mono soundtrack for the purists out there.

All in all well worth getting even with the lack of extras and unlike many black and white films on Blu-Ray, this is a definite upgrade to any previous versions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another John Ford masterpiece, 22 Dec 2008
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is perhaps second only to The Searchers in the many great films John Ford directed. Again starring John Wayne as well as the always excellent James Stewart, Vera Miles and Lee Marvin. Essentially its a western which shows the beginning of the end for the old west.

If you watch this you need to remember that although this was made in 1962, John Ford had been making films since the early part of the 20th Century (1917). So this has a different feel to any sort of modern film. The pacing is much more relaxed and the amount of 'action' that occurs is limited to two or three key scenes.

However, the performances are uniformly excellent, the script and dialogue are mesmerising and Fords direction is impeccable. What all this 'old-fashioned' film-making allows Ford to do though, is fully develop the characters. So you get a wonderful mixture of sadness, occasional comic moments and a few typical classic western moments.

This is a film that will reward you through repeated viewings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Western Drama., 10 Jan 2009
Jimmy Stewart saves the day in an apron! -or does he? This is a classic piece set after the western dust has settled and Senator James Stewart returns to his past to bury it, and in the process recollects events that made him what he was.

Lee Marvin is excellent as the local menace Liberty Valance along with his co-horts ( one of which is Lee Van Cleef just a couple of years away from his big break (For A Few Dollars More (Special Edition) [1965]). John Wayne plays more or less a supporting role here but of course he dominates the screen before uttering a word. He delivers a great performance as the gruff but charming toughguy and is the perfect balance to Stewart's well-meaning lawyer. There is some top drawer casting with Vera Miles as the love interest and Woody Strode looking out for the Duke.

This story unfolds into a thoroughly entertaining western drama. Adios.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic John Wayne/John Ford collaboration, 13 Sep 2013
A tale of a love triangle, bullying and the changing of the western frontier.John Ford was one of the forerunners of making the western genre popular and here he destroyed the myth of the west years before the likes of Unforgiven.I'm not usually a fan of black and white westerns,but here it works perfectly.The lighting and the shadows give the film a noir look and feel and make it very atmospheric.The DVD improves upon it.The quality looks and sounds brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, terrific transfer., 29 July 2013
By 
Barry Vandenakker (Waterloo, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [Blu-ray] [1962] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I have always liked this movie, but now the experience is enhanced by the quality of the transfer. The picture shows excellent detail and beautiful deep blacks while maintaining good shadow detail. Yet it keeps a film like quality that is sometimes lost by the transfer from film to digital media. The audio is among the best I have ever heard for a film made in the early 60's. Highly recommended!
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