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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Doniphon’

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by John Ford

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)(DVD)  Directed by John Ford (Stagecoach (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Searchers (1956) and, of course, many, many others), starring John Wayne (Stagecoach (1939), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949),  The Searchers (1956) and many others), James Stewart (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and many others), Vera Miles (The Searchers (1956), Psycho (1960)), Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Big Red One (1980)) and others.  This excellent, rather sad, western looks at the transition in the American West from wide-open range, and its underpinning of individual justice, to American statehood, and rule by law and order.  The actions and implications of this change are personified in the lives, and personalities, of its two protagonists, Tom Doniphon (I personally thought is was “Donovan”..), played by John Wayne , the independent, rough and gun-carrying cowboy, and Ransom Stoddard, the Easterner, attorney at law, (and often referred to as “Dude” or, by Doniphon/Wayne, “Pilgrim”), played by James Stewart.

In keeping with the thematic “restrictions” of  “liberty” which characterise the story, Ford shot The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance primarily on studio sets, in contrast to his repeated use of location shooting, notably the majestic, wide-open spaces of the American West (often Monument Valley in Utah, USA), which have been the setting of so many iconic John Ford films (see above).

In any case, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is essential viewing for anyone interested in the films of John Ford, or any of the stellar cast of actors. (PR)

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top image: Wikipedia

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