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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.

The penultimate Western of director John Ford, re-teamed with frequent collaborator John Wayne, and joined by James Stewart, who had found major success in the 50s in saddles and spurs for director Anthony Mann. By this time Wayne had become a cultural icon, symbolizing the cowboy-soldier hero both on and off the screen. Stewart gives perhaps his greatest Western performance as an idealistic lawyer who brings civilization to the primitive frontier, but rises to national recognition ironically through a gunfight showdown. Shot in black and white, and using mostly studio interiors, Ford and company (producer Willis Goldbeck co-scripting with James Warner Bellah) spin a yarn of archetypes and myths, but with new self-awareness of the lies that perpetrated the Western mythology (“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”). Kenneth Turan applauded, “Told with a simplicity that feels almost like ritual...Liberty Valance unfolds seamlessly, without a frame wasted or out of place.” Added to the National Film Registry in 2007. With Vera Miles, Edmond O’Brien, Woody Strode, Andy Devine and
Lee Marvin as the snarling varmint, Liberty Valance.

Played at

Ahrya Fine Arts, 8.19.17 - 8.19.17

Runtime: 124 min
Language: English

Director: John Ford
Writer(s): James Warner Bellah, Willis Goldbeck
Cast: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles