The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

    For continuity, all discussion
    please post here:-
    Duke's Movies- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


    Plot Summary
    Senator Ranse Stoddard returns to the city Shinbone in the Wild West to go to the funeral of his friend, Tom Doniphon. To a journalist, who's wondering what the senator is doing in Shinbone, he tells how his career started as "the man who shot Liberty Valance". As a lawyer he went to Shinbone, where he met his wife Hallie and Tom Doniphon. He taught the people there to read and write. Then he met the greatest bandit of the region, Liberty Valance....
    Summary written by Tony Kessen

    Full Cast
    John Wayne .... Tom Doniphon
    James Stewart .... Ransom Stoddard
    Vera Miles .... Hallie Stoddard
    Lee Marvin .... Liberty Valance
    Edmond O'Brien .... Dutton Peabody (Editor of the Shinbone Star)
    Andy Devine .... Marshal 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')
    Charles Akins .... (uncredited)
    Mario Arteaga .... Henchman (uncredited)
    Gertrude Astor .... (uncredited)
    Leonard Baker .... Man (uncredited)
    Danny Borzage .... Townsman (uncredited)
    Robert Donner .... (uncredited)
    Larry Finley .... Bar X man (uncredited)
    Shug Fisher .... Kaintuck (drunk) (uncredited)
    Helen Gibson .... (uncredited)
    Sam Harris .... (uncredited)
    Chuck Hayward .... Henchman (uncredited)
    William Henry .... (uncredited)
    Bryan 'Slim' Hightower .... Shotgun (uncredited)
    Earle Hodgins .... Clute Dumphries (uncredited)
    Stuart Holmes .... (uncredited)
    Ed Jauregui .... Drummer (uncredited)
    Jack Kenny .... (uncredited)
    Anna Lee .... Mrs. Prescott (widow in stage holdup) (uncredited)
    Jacqueline Malouf .... Lietta Appleyard (uncredited)
    Ted Mapes .... Highpockets (uncredited)
    Montie Montana .... Politician on horseback (uncredited)
    Bob Morgan .... Roughrider (uncredited)
    Charles Morton .... Drummer (uncredited)
    Eva Novak .... (uncredited)
    Jack Pennick .... Jack (barman) (uncredited)
    Dorothy Phillips .... (uncredited)
    Stephanie Pond-Smith .... (uncredited)
    Chuck Roberson .... Henchman (uncredited)
    Buddy Roosevelt .... (uncredited)
    Charles Seel .... President, election council (uncredited)
    Slim Talbot .... (uncredited)
    Ralph Volkie .... Townsman (uncredited)
    Max Wagner .... Poker game dealer (uncredited)
    Blackie Whiteford .... (uncredited)
    Jack Williams .... Henchman (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    James Warner Bellah screenplay
    Willis Goldbeck screenplay
    Dorothy M. Johnson story

    Original Music
    Cyril J. Mockridge (as Cyril Mockridge)

    Non-Original Music
    Alfred Newman (from "Young Mr. Lincoln") (uncredited)

    William H. Clothier (director of photography)

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
    Wingate Smith .... assistant director

    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)

    Director Trademark: [John Ford] [cards] Liberty Valance plays the Dead Man's Hand (Aces and Eights) before going out to duel Ransom Stoddard.

    Several reasons have been put forward for the film being in black and white. John Ford once claimed it added to the tension, however others involved with production said Paramount was cutting costs and so they had to make the movie on sound stages at the studio. Without the budget restraints, Ford would have been in Monument Valley using Technicolor stock. It has also been suggested that since both John Wayne and James Stewart were playing characters thirty years younger than they actually were (Wayne was 54 when the movie was filmed in the autumn of 1961 and Stewart was 53), the movie needed to be in black and white because they would never have got away with it in color. The age difference was particularly noticeable in Stewart's case, since he was playing a young lawyer who had only just graduated from law school and had moved West without even practicing law back East.

    At the beginning of the movie, in the scene in which Vera Miles comes near John Wayne's burned house, the music from John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) is played.

    Some of the earlier scenes in the movie, particularly in the restaurant, were apparently styled by John Ford as a mocking tribute to the films of his friend and fellow director, Howard Hawks.

    Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) refers to Valance as "... the toughest man south of the Picketwire," then adds, "next to me!" The Picketwire is not a wire fence dividing line; it was slang for the Purgatoire River, which flows into the Arkansas.

    First occasion of John Wayne calling someone "Pilgrim".

    John Ford had considered casting a young actor as Stoddard, but feared that would highlight the fact that John Wayne was too old to play Doniphon.

    In the scene where Stoddard is carried into the "Peter's Place" kitchen wounded, Nora (Jeanette Nolan) gives him a cup of coffee laced with what she describes as "Akvavit, Swedish brandy" - the bottle is, in fact, a quite recognizable Akvavit bottle. The drink is found in all of Scandinavia but is largely considered to stem from Denmark.

    In promotional posters for the film, James Stewart appears to be billed first; however, in the film itself, John Wayne's screen card appears first, followed by Stewart's.

    The last time John Qualen plays a Scandinavian character alongside a John Wayne lead.

    This was John Ford's last film in black and white.

    Final film of Stuart Holmes.

    At the time of release, this was dismissed as a lesser work from a once-great director and was stuck on the bottom half of double-bills.

    During the territorial convention, three of the actors (John Wayne, Andy Devine and John Carradine) had performed together previously in Stagecoach (1939) under the helm of the same director John Ford.

    John Ford deliberately shot this film on soundstages in an effort to distance it from his Monument Valley epics.

    O.Z. Whitehead, playing a teenager, was actually fifty years old in real life.

    * Incorrectly regarded as goofs: In the flashback, Tom Doniphon tells Stoddard that he killed Liberty Valance, it is Stoddard who shoots first, than Doniphon. But since we've been shown that Stoddard can't hit the broad side of a barn (and in fact, his aim is wild), Doniphon's probably right.

    * Incorrectly regarded as goofs: 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.

    * Continuity: In the reverse shot during the climactic political rally, the opposing parties switch sides.

    * Continuity: When we see Liberty Valance shot the first time in the film, he stands up with his left leg stepping on the boardwalk and then brings his right leg over his left leg, stepping actually on the boardwalk. On the "replay," Valance swings his right leg over his left, steps right into the street, and falls slightly forward without touching the boardwalk with his right leg at all.

    * Continuity: During the statehood/territory political rally, when Peabody completes his nomination of Stoddard for Congress, Doc Willoughby alternates between standing on the floor and on a chair between shots.

    * Factual errors: 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.

    * Continuity: Dutton Peabody was a little lax in his typesetting. The SHINEBONE STAR newspaper Rance Stoddard complimented Peabody on ("Cattlemen Fight Statehood") was VOL XXX, No. 42. Then many weeks (or months) later at the election of delegates Liberty Valance picks up a newspaper ("Two Homesteaders Killed By Liberty Valance and Gang") which also carries the same VOL. XXX, No 42.

    * Continuity: In front of the Tom's coffin, Marshal Link's hat appears and disappears between shots on the box which he holds.

    * Continuity: When Tom Doniphon enters the room that the territorial convention is held, we can see several women watching the convention from outside the room. However, later when Tom and Ransom Stoddard leave the room (and when Ransom re-enters the room), the women are gone.

    * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Stoddard is setting the paint cans on the fence posts, they make a tinny sound that clearly indicates they're empty. Yet when shot by Doniphon, they discharge a great amount of paint.

    * Revealing mistakes: In the last scene on the train, as Stewart is returning to Washington with his wife, the scenery outside the train repeats two and a half times...including a painted crosswalk which is unlikely to have existed at that time in a rural area.

    * Continuity: Toward the end when the Stoddards are back to pay respects to Tom Doniphon, Rance snaps his watch cover shut and puts it in his vest pocket. He then enters the room and is snapping it shut and putting it in his vest pocket again.

    * Continuity: After Doniphan shoots the paint cans, the amount and patterns of the paint on Ranse's jacket changes.

    * Continuity: As Hallie tends to Ranse's bullet wound from Valance, the position and cleanliness of Ranse's hand changes.

    * Anachronisms: One of the songs being played in the saloon was "Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight," but the song was written in 1886 by Theodore Metz, several years after the time the story is set in.

    * Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the closing scenes as Stewart and Miles ride home on the train, they have a conversation; there is no noise from the train in the background whatsoever.

    * Anachronisms: Another song played at the Convention is "Come Friends Who Plough The Sea" from Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Pirates of Penzance', written many years later than the action of the film.

    * Continuity: When Tom enters the kitchen as Hallie is tending to Rance's wound and when he starts getting drunk his shirt is dark (probably Wayne's favorite blue, if the movie were in color). When he arrives at his ranch, the shirt is now much lighter (possibly red if in color.)

    * Continuity: When Tom arrives drunk at the dream house and staggers in, his shirt is light gray. Once he's inside and lights the lantern, his shirt is black. Then in the scene where Pompey rescues Tom from the burning house, when he first lays Tom on the buckboard, Tom's shirt is light gray again. When Tom tells Pompey to get the horses, it's clearly light gray. Then after Pompey frees the horses and the camera cuts back to Tom in the back of the buckboard, his shirt is clean and black once again.

    * Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In the school scene, Ransom talks about the "law of the land" (US Constitution) and mentions changing or amending it. He continues the lesson but refers to it as the Declaration of Independence instead of the US Constitution.

    * Factual errors: In the school scene, Ransom asks his students about the Constitution of the United States. He is pleased when Pompey recites from memory "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." and finishes the quote for him "...that all men are created equal." But the quote is from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

    * Revealing mistakes: During the train ride back with Stoddard and his wife, the scenery is going by so fast that it is hardly recognizable, however the conductor states that they'll be there in no time because they'll be going 25mph. At 25 mph you could easily view the countryside. Additionally, as the conductor was talking with Stoddad he was perfectly still, no swaying back and forth, as anyone would've done on a train in the 1800s.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    California, USA
    Janss Conejo Ranch, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
    Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

    Previous discussion:-
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    For continuity, all discussion
    please post here:-
    Duke's Movies- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 American Western film directed by John Ford
    starring James Stewart and John Wayne.
    The black-and-white film was released by Paramount Pictures.
    The screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck
    was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson.
    The supporting cast includes Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine,
    John Carradine, Woody Strode, Strother Martin, and Lee Van Cleef.

    In 2007 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
    by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

    Well this film, is an all time classic and in amongst
    the top Duke films, ever made.
    A great favourite, amongst fans, all over.
    A mean, moody story,
    made even more moody, by the fact, that it was shot in black and white.

    Depending on which publicity you read, this was either, a Duke film,
    or a James Stewart film, either way, neither of them cared.

    Duke was brilliant in this film, and completely at home with his role.
    Lee Marvin was, great, and it's hard to believe, that they could have made Donovans Reef, so poor.
    Vera Miles, presented herself well, so did the clutch of Ford regulars,
    including a part for ex-footballer, Woody Strode, who apparently
    was restrained from, knocking the living daylights, out of Duke!!

    At first critics failed to understand the film, but later, critical evaluation
    grew more positive, and it is now classed
    as one of the best films of its genre

    User Review


    Who's The Better Man Here? Answer: Neither.
    22 June 2007 | by jvincent1 (United States)

    I just read the comments of someone from August 30, 2004, who had reached the conclusion that John Wayne's character had stepped aside "for the better man," played by Jimmy Stewart. From my view, nothing could be farther from the truth. For all Ransom Stoddard's disdain for frontier violence, in the end, he was left with no choice but to pick-up a gun to finally silence Liberty Valance, something Valance knew better than to do with Wayne's Tom Doniphon. Call Stoddard the idealist and Doniphon the realist, but don't call him the better man. In 1946, John Ford directed My Darling Clementine, perfectly blending Wayne and Henry Fonda with his usual cast of characters to create a masterwork. Sixteen years later, he put Wayne together with Stewart (plus all the ol' gang) and made another peerless film. There was a time I didn't really "get" John Ford and John Wayne. One day, I awoke and now, the greatness of these two giants of the cinema is undeniable.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().