IMDb > The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- Clip: You didn't kill Liberty Valance
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- Clip: Hit that can
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- Clip: You pick it up


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8.1/10   55,833 votes »
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James Warner Bellah (screenplay) and
Willis Goldbeck (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 April 1962 (USA) See more »
Two Great Stars Appear Together For the First Time! See more »
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"A Lawyer ....and a teacher....the first west of the Rosey Buttes." See more (219 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Tom Doniphon

James Stewart ... Ransom Stoddard

Vera Miles ... Hallie Stoddard

Lee Marvin ... Liberty Valance

Edmond O'Brien ... Dutton Peabody

Andy Devine ... Link Appleyard

Ken Murray ... Doc Willoughby

John Carradine ... Maj. Cassius Starbuckle

Jeanette Nolan ... Nora Ericson

John Qualen ... Peter Ericson

Willis Bouchey ... Jason Tully - Conductor

Carleton Young ... Maxwell Scott

Woody Strode ... Pompey

Denver Pyle ... Amos Carruthers

Strother Martin ... Floyd

Lee Van Cleef ... Reese

Robert F. Simon ... Handy Strong

O.Z. Whitehead ... Herbert Carruthers

Paul Birch ... Mayor Winder
Joseph Hoover ... Charlie Hasbrouck - Reporter for 'The Star'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Akins ... Townsman (uncredited)
Mario Arteaga ... Henchman (uncredited)

Gertrude Astor ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Frank Baker ... Gambler (uncredited)
Leonard Baker ... Man (uncredited)
John Barton ... Townsman (uncredited)
Oscar Blank ... Townsman (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Musician (uncredited)
Rudy Bowman ... Townsman (uncredited)

Chet Brandenburg ... Townsman (uncredited)

Jerry Brown ... Townsman (uncredited)
George Bruggeman ... Townsman (uncredited)
Dick Cherney ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... Townsman (uncredited)
Bud Cokes ... Townsman (uncredited)
Russell Custer ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jaye Durkus ... Townsman (uncredited)

Larry Finley ... Bar X Man (uncredited)

Shug Fisher ... Kaintuck (uncredited)

Duke Fishman ... Townsman (uncredited)
Fritz Ford ... Townsman (uncredited)
Ben Frommer ... Cantina Bartender (uncredited)

Helen Gibson ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Herman Hack ... Townsman (uncredited)

Chuck Hamilton ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward ... Henchman (uncredited)
Tom Hennesy ... Buck Langhorn (uncredited)

William Henry ... Gambler (uncredited)
Lars Hensen ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)
Bryan 'Slim' Hightower ... Shotgun (uncredited)

Earle Hodgins ... Clute Dumfries (uncredited)
Tex Holden ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)

Stuart Holmes ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)

Jimmie Horan ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)

Michael Jeffers ... Barfly (uncredited)
Eddie Juaregui ... Drummer (uncredited)

Jack Kenny ... Townsman (uncredited)

Ethan Laidlaw ... Party Member at Convention (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr ... Townsman (uncredited)

Anna Lee ... Mrs. Prescott - Widow in Stage Holdup (uncredited)

Carl M. Leviness ... Statehood Council Member (uncredited)
Jack Lilley ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jacqueline Malouf ... Lietta Appleyard (uncredited)

Ted Mapes ... Highpockets (uncredited)

Rod McGaughy ... Statehood Council Member (uncredited)
Charles McQuary ... Statesman (uncredited)
King Mojave ... Statehood Council Member (uncredited)

Montie Montana ... Cowboy on Pinto Pony (uncredited)
Bob Morgan ... Roughrider (uncredited)

Charles Morton ... Drummer (uncredited)

Eva Novak ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Ron Nyman ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Jack - Bartender (uncredited)

Jack Perrin ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)

Dorothy Phillips ... Townswoman (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)
John Quijada ... Townsman (uncredited)
John Rice ... Townsman (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Henchman (uncredited)
Robert Robinson ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)

Buddy Roosevelt ... Townsman (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ... Bartender (uncredited)

Scott Seaton ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)
Charles Seel ... Election Council President (uncredited)

Tom Smith ... Barfly (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Barfly (uncredited)

Rudy Sooter ... Statehood Audience Member (uncredited)
Slim Talbot ... Cowboy (uncredited)

Jack Tornek ... Townsman (uncredited)
George Tracy ... Townsman (uncredited)
Sid Troy ... Townsman (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Townsman (uncredited)

Max Wagner ... Townsman (uncredited)

Blackie Whiteford ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Williams ... Henchman (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford 
Writing credits
James Warner Bellah (screenplay) and
Willis Goldbeck (screenplay)

Dorothy M. Johnson (based on the story by)

Produced by
Willis Goldbeck .... producer
John Ford .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Cyril J. Mockridge (music scored by) (as Cyril Mockridge)
Cinematography by
William H. Clothier (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Otho Lovering (edited by)
Art Direction by
Eddie Imazu 
Hal Pereira 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer (set decorations)
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes)
Ron Talsky (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Nellie Manley .... hair style supervisor
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Don Robb .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Bud Brill .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Robert Ayres .... illustrator (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles Grenzbach .... sound recordist
Philip Mitchell .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
Sarah McGrail .... image processing specialist (uncredited)
John Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Hennesy .... stunts (uncredited)
Bryan 'Slim' Hightower .... stunts (uncredited)
John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Juaregui .... stunts (uncredited)
Ted Mapes .... stunts (uncredited)
Louise Montana .... stunts (uncredited)
Montie Montana .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Needham .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Denis Cameron .... still photographer (uncredited)
Carl Manoogian .... crane operator (uncredited)
Harrold Weinberger .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Stu Linder .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Irvin Talbot .... conductor
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
123 min | Brazil:124 min | West Germany:113 min (cut version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

John Ford only shot just what he needed with very little extra coverage on. He also preferred to do a minimum of takes, saying that after the first few, the actors get tired and jaded and their performances lack spontaneity. That's why he liked to work with the same people over and over again (the famed Ford "stock company"), because he could count on them to know what he wanted and give it to him on the first take.See more »
Anachronisms: One of the songs being played in the saloon was "Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight," but the song was written in 1896 by Theodore Metz, several years after the time the story is set in.See more »
[first lines]
Ransom Stoddard:[descending from railway carriage and consulting pocket watch] Thanks, Jason. On time.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Westworld: The Stray (#1.3)" (2016)See more »
Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here!See more »


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34 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
"A Lawyer ....and a teacher....the first west of the Rosey Buttes.", 9 October 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Senator James Stewart and his wife Vera Miles get a telegram from their old home in Shinbone about the death of a friend. They arrive in Shinbone and go to a sparsely attended service. When prodded a bit by the editor of the Shinbone Star, a paper he was once employed at, Stewart sits down and tells the story of just how his political career got its start.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is John Ford's final homage to the western film genre that made his reputation. It's maybe the most nostalgic of westerns he ever did. Beginning with the cast all of whom are way too old for their parts. But if you notice there's a kind of soft focus photography used on John Wayne, James Stewart, and Lee Marvin which masks their age. The skill of these players does the rest.

Stewart arrives in Shinbone, a newly minted attorney who has taken Horace Greeley's advice and the stagecoach he's riding on gets held up by the local outlaw Liberty Valance and henchmen. When Stewart protests Valance, played by Lee Marvin beats him with the butt end of a silver knob whip and leaves him on the road.

He's found by John Wayne who brings him to Shinbone to get medical attention. Stewart stays with restaurant owners John Qualen and Jenanette Nolan and their daughter Vera Miles who's Wayne's girl. Miles who can't even read or write takes quite a shine to the educated easterner.

But Stewart and newspaper editor Edmond O'Brien keep getting on Liberty Valance's bad side, especially when they come out publicly for statehood whereas the big cattle ranchers who hire Liberty Valance and henchmen want to keep this part of the USA a territory for as long as they can. This is all leading to an inevitable showdown.

Lee Marvin as Liberty Valance is one evil man. No subtle psychology here, no explanations of a mom who didn't love him or a girl that dumped him, he's just an evil guy who likes being evil. If Liberty has any redeeming qualities, despite repeated viewings of this film, I haven't found any. Marvin clearly enjoyed this part, but he never turned it into a burlesque of himself. That he waited for Cat Ballou to do.

John Wayne who by this time was playing more roughhewn types than he did when he was Ringo Kid in Stagecoach, gets back to that kind of a portrayal here. He's more Ringo than he is Ethan Edwards. But that's at the beginning. Over the course of the film he changes into something like Ethan Edwards, his character from The Searchers. What happens to make him that way in fact is the story of the film.

But actually the film really does belong to Stewart. He's on screen for most of it, he's the protagonist here and until almost the end, what's happening to him is what The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is all about.

Ford once again rounds out his cast with many of his favorite players in support. Andy Devine as the cowardly marshal, John Carradine as a pompous windbag politician, Woody Strode, Denver Pyle, Strother Martin, all who had appeared in Ford films before.

There are two to single out however. This was the last film Jack Pennick ever did with John Ford. You might not know his name, but he and that horse-face countenance appeared in just about every sound John Ford film there is. He has a bit role as a bartender. Pennick died after completing this film.

Edmond O'Brien made his one and only appearance in this film as Dutton Peabody, founder, editor, and owner of the Shinbone Star and as he said himself, he sweeps the place out occasionally. He's a regular character in Ford films, the wise friend of the hero who has a bit of a drinking problem. Kind of like Thomas Mitchell as Doc Boone in Stagecoach.

Like Stewart, O'Brien is an eastern immigrant who came west to be his own newspaper editor like his former boss Horace Greeley. Words are his weapons, like the law is Stewart's. It's no wonder that these two annoy Lee Marvin so. Even the fast draw hired gun can't kill public opinion.

When they're both chosen as Shinbone's Delegates to the territorial convention it is O'Brien who makes the nominating speech to draft Stewart for the job. It is one of his finest bits in his long and distinguished career. It encapsulates a lot of what Ford was trying to say about progress and progress in the American west. In the end it is the farmer, the merchant, the builder of cities will eventually triumph just about anywhere. Stewart and he are as much pioneers as Wayne and the others in Shinbone are, they're just the next logical step.

Progress always comes at a price. We see the price in the beginning and the end of the film, the scenes of Shinbone during the early Twentieth Century. The paved streets, the electric lights are there because of who came before and what they did. There wasn't room in the changing west for many like Wayne and Marvin, their time came and went, just as Stewart's time came and went too.

Actually I think the real winner in this film was always Vera Miles. She started out as an illiterate girl working in her parent's restaurant and wound up the wife of a United States Senator. That's progress too.

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