Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Film: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (197/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

My initial reaction to this was an unfair one; I was really really tired of John Wayne. Now I've said before that westerns aren't really my bag, but I've found things along the way to admire about the genre. But with John Wayne dominating the genre, especially on this list, it was starting to feel like déjà vu...when he showed up in this movie in those pants and that hat, he looked like a person in a John Wayne costume. But it's not his fault. He did his thing and did it well, and was rewarded with role after role playing, more often than not, the quintessential cowboy. But there was plenty to enjoy in this film. I loved the rest of the cast; Vera Miles, Andy Devine,  Edmond O'Brien, Lee Marvin, Woody Strode, and especially Jimmy Stewart are all great. They all have such interesting faces. This is a story about a new world replacing the old, and the way sacrifices must be made in order to help usher in positive change. It's a story of heartbreak and strength and finding one's voice, and the cast tells that story effectively. I especially liked when Stewart and Wayne shared scenes together; they played off each other well. So I guess I'm not completely sick of John Wayne. Not just yet. 

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