When Senator Ransom Stoddard returns home to Shinbone for the funeral of Tom Doniphon, he recounts to a local newspaper editor the story behind it all. He had come to town many years before, a lawyer by profession. The stage was robbed on its way in by the local ruffian, Liberty Valance, and Stoddard has nothing to his name left save a few law books. He gets a job in the kitchen at the Ericson's restaurant and there meets his future wife, Hallie. The territory is vying for Statehood and Stoddard is selected as a representative over Valance, who continues terrorizing the town. When he destroys the local newspaper office and attacks the editor, Stoddard calls him out, though the conclusion is not quite as straightforward as legend would have it. Written by
In promotional posters for the film, James Stewart appears to be billed first; however, in the film itself, John Wayne's screen card appears first, followed by Stewart's. In addition the studio ordered all theater managers to place Wayne's name before Stewart's on their marquees. See more »
In the reverse shot during the climactic political rally, the opposing parties switch sides. See more »
[descending from railway carriage and consulting pocket watch]
Thanks, Jason. On time.
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Although I have seen this movie numerous times, I am just getting around to commenting on it. I measure other films against it when I see them. The James Stewart, John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, and Woody Strode performances are magnificent. It is important to note the contributions of past and future notables: Andy Devine, Lee Van Cleef (Hang'em High), and Strother Martin (Cool Hand Luke).
This movie captures some of the aspects of how hard life was on the western frontier towns and how they sprang up and died later in the era. Also, it it depicts how law and order are just as important today as in that time. Without L&O, you are in just another "third world" broken nation.
A superb motion picture!
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