The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
John Ford’s elegiac classic about the troubled arrival of ‘civilisation’ in the Old West.
Dir John Ford
With John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin
John Ford’s magisterial western explores the relative effectiveness of the law (represented by idealistic lawyer James Stewart) and brute force (represented by pragmatic rancher John Wayne) in dealing with an outlaw tormenting a town. The film offers a deeply elegiac, ironic reflection on the passing of the Old West and the advent of ‘civilisation’. And what of historical reality? ‘When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.’