A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
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
When Ransom Stoddard is found and brought to the Swedish
innkeepers, Nora makes him drink "Swedish aquavit", but in fact she offers him "Rød Aalborg" (translates: Red Aalborg) which is a Danish aquavit. See more »
[descending from railway carriage and consulting pocket watch]
Thanks, Jason. On time.
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The director's unique brand of character-driven storytelling has seldom been matched. In this film, John Ford succeeds in telling his audience a story that is universal : how to stand up to bullies even if violence is not your cup of tea. He couldn't have chosen his actors better to mark the different approaches to violence. John Wayne gives one of his best performances here and puts paid to his critics in what is a finely tuned role. James Stewart is perfect as the ever-suffering lawyer lost in the realm of gunsmoke. Lee Marvin is the ultimate sadist in a role remarkably similar to the one he played in The Big Heat. Some of John Ford's favourite stalwarts fill out the cast: Andy Devine as the lovable but cowardly sheriff and Edmond O'Brien as the newspaperman stand out. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance remains a classic for the right reason : no matter how predictable or sentimental the story, it's a timeless testimony to the art of film-making by a great artist.
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