The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Film Analysis

976 Words4 Pages
Classic western films dominated the screen in the 1960s, with major productions such as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) directed by Sergio Leone, The Magnificent Seven (1960) directed by John Sturges, and what is considered a well-known western produced in this area, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and James Stewart as the main characters. While The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance meets all the criteria to classify it as a classic western, that being set in a culture structured around codes of honor and personal justice and gunslingers in every scene of the movie, the film lacks many characteristics to classify it as a well-rounded film.
Set in the late 1800s, a senator by the name of Ransom Stoddard visits this town in the middle of nowhere with his wife to attend the funeral of one of his old friends Tom Doniphan. Many question the reasoning for the appearance of Ransom because not many know who Tom Doniphan was. With the local newspaper harassing him for answers as to who Tom Doniphan was, Ransom gives in and tells the tale through the use of flashbacks. Over the course of two hours, the audience is drawn into the
…show more content…
The hero commits or fails to commit actions that hurt other people. These are characters with moral flaws, and the stories drive toward the moment when the hero uncovers his or her moral blindness. While Ransom Stoddard is depicted as a coward, he attempts to face this in the duel against Liberty Valance. While this would have been the moment Stoddard faces this flaw, it ends up being taken away from him with the help of his “partner in crime” Tom Doniphan. Indeed, Stoddard would have most likely died in that duel if it weren’t for Doniphan’s’ help, Stoddard still ended up being the coward he always was, and ends up being rewarded for it as being elected as the towns representative in Washington,

More about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Film Analysis

Open Document