Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 123 minutes
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." That's more than the code of a newspaperman in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; it's practically the operating credo of director John Ford, the most honored of American filmmakers. In this late film from a long career, Ford looks at the civilizing of an Old West town, Shinbone, through the sad memories of settlers looking back. In the town's wide-open youth, two-fisted Westerner John Wayne and tenderfoot newcomer James Stewart clash over a woman (Vera Miles) but ultimately unite against the notorious outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Ford's nostalgia for the past is tempered by his stark approach, unusual for the visual poet of Stagecoach and The Searchers. The two heavyweights, Wayne and Stewart, are good together, with Wayne the embodiment of rugged individualism and Stewart the idealistic prophet of the civilization that will eventually tame the Wild West. This may be the saddest Western ever made, closer to an elegy than an action movie, and as cleanly beautiful as its central symbol, the cactus rose. --Robert Horton
Rance, did you mean what you said about bein' able to teach me to read?
Teach you to read? Why, sure. A smart girl like you? Why you'll be reading in no time.
I know the Good Book from preacher talk and all; but it would be a solid comfort to be able to read it on my own.
I know my ABCs in Swedish, but not in English.
Then I'll teach you too, Nora. Hallie will be my first pupil and you'll be my second.
Can't a man have a drink in peace in this town!
Nobody's botherin' you, Doniphon.
Marshal! What are we payin' you for? Run this scum out of town.
You heard the man! High Pockets, Kaintuck I deputize you to help run this scum out of town!
Jack, hand me that b-b-b-bung starter!
You tell those ranchers north of the Picketwire that it was me, Link Appleyard, run you out of town and I'll do it again if you ever come back!
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