Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
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
Edmond O'Brien said, "I have never seen John Ford happier than he was in making this; he came on the set positively beaming every morning, and that was not the usual thing with him." O'Brien also said everyone involved seemed to enjoy making the film. See more »
Ransom Stoddard, at the school scene, makes a reference to "truck farmer." This phrase refers not to the motorized vehicle, but to the much older use of "truck" meaning barter or commerce. See more »
[descending from railway carriage and consulting pocket watch]
Thanks, Jason. On time.
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Starring the greatest actor ever in Jimmy Stewart and the man who defined Western acting in John Wayne, one knew the movie was going to be good. But this movie tops them all. The movie continues through many great plot twists and unexpected events to arrive at a moving and stunning conclusion. Love, violence, politics, law, law-enforcement: this movie has it all. It is a western drama with action and even a little mystery topped off with a few comedic moments. Start to finish, you won't find anything like it anywhere else. Make sure you see this movie.
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