The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

directed by John Ford
Category: "Western"
Year of Release:1962
Date Added:01/10/2008
Date Watched:01/14/2006
Description: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.
My Rating:7

Reviews for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Review - Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The

Ransom Stoddard is an eastern lawyer who travels out west to make a living. On the way, his stagecoach is held up by Liberty Valance, and outlaw and gunman for the cattlemen. Ransom attempts to prevent Valance from robbing a woman and gets beaten up for his trouble. Ranse is found by Tom Doniphon and taken into town where he’s nursed back to health by Hallie Stoddard, a waitress in the café.

Ranse wants to know why nobody arrests Valance and argues when he’s told that the only way to deal with outlaws is by shooting them. Ranse organizes a school in the town and teaches Hallie and others how to read and what government is all about. Hallie falls for him, to the distress of Tom who also loves her.

When the elections for statehood come along, Ranse is elected as the representative of the small farmers. Valance shows up and tries to get himself elected. Failing, he calls Ranse out for a gunfight. Ranse debates fleeing, but decides to face Valance although he can’t hit the broad side of a barn. When Valance is shot, he become famous across the territory and is nominated as the representative to Washington. He feels guilty that he was elected just because he killed a man. But them Tom shows up and tells Ranse that he (Tom) really killed Valance from hiding across the street. Ranse wins the election and wins the girl.

When the territory becomes a state, Ranse is elected governor, then senator. The movie opens and closes with Ranse and Hallie returning to town years later for Tom’s funeral.

Pretty good. Ranse was a brave man who determined to uphold the law as long as he could but wasn’t afraid to face the bad guy when he ran out of other options. Tom was the real hero, though. He realized that Ranse’s way was better and so gave up the girl and his dreams so Ranse could pursue his. I gave it a 6 because it was rather corny. And I waited the entire movie for the song — in vain. The song was written for the movie but not used for some reason.
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