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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
Valance addresses several characters as "dude." From the 1870s to 1960s, this was a pejorative term with the approximate meaning of "overdressed city slicker," usually applied to city dwellers visiting rural areas. In the 1960s, surfer culture adapted the term to mean "friend" or "companion." See more »
The train conductor at the ending scene remarks to Ransom Stoddard that the train will be able to maintain a speed of 25mph all the way to Washington. Locomotives at the turn of the century (and later) were achieving speeds in excess of 90 mph. Considering that the closing scene is 30 or so yrs later than the main part of the film, the speed quoted is much too slow! Telephone service was already established in this mid western town as evidenced in the opening scene. The date could be well after the year 1900. 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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