The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Overview:

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) was a Drama - Romance Film directed by John Ford and produced by John Ford and Willis Goldbeck.


In director Ford's swan song for the conventional frontier Western, he answers the Death Valley panorama of his classical frontier films with the demise of the archetypal gunfighter-hero, with Wayne and Stewart representing wilderness vs. civilization. Stewart plays Ransom Stoddard, a law-school graduate from the East who tries to bring peace to the burgeoning town of Shinbone, which suffers under the tyranny of Valance (Marvin). After a series of run-ins and a hopeless attempt by Tom Doniphon (Wayne), a gritty Western hero, to teach him to shoot, Stoddard agrees to a showdown with Valance, but the real shooter - and savior - of Shinbone is his friendly rival, Doniphon. As peace comes to Shinbone, Stoddard wins an election and the hand of Doniphon's girl (Miles), while Doniphon never tells the townspeople the truth about the killing. A wonderfully realized film, which is both an elegy to a dying way of life and a wise commentary on the fragility of modern society. A keystone in Ford's career. Gene Pitney's title song was a million-seller.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2007.

Academy Awards 1962 --- Ceremony Number 35 (source: AMPAS)

Best Costume DesignEdith HeadNominated

BlogHub Articles:

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

By Beatrice on Sep 16, 2017 From Flickers in Time

The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceDirected by John Ford Written by James Warner Beliah and Willis Goldbeck from a story by Dorothy M. Johnson 1962/USA Paramount Pictures/John Ford Productions Repeat viewing/Netflix rental One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die John Ford delivers another cla... Read full article

Classic Movie Quotes: 'Print the Legend' from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

By Amanda Garrett on Apr 8, 2017 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm writing about the story behind the "print the legend" quote from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). This article is part of The Second Annual Classic Quotes Blogathon hosted by The Flapper Dame. The quote "when the legend becomes fact, print the legend" from director John Ford... Read full article


By Theresa Brown on Oct 2, 2016 From CineMaven's Essays from the Couch

?Sir, I don?t want to intrude. But a United States Senator is news. I?m the editor of a newspaper with a state~wide circulation. I?ve got a responsibility to know why you came all the way down here to bury a man. You can?t just say ?his name was Tom Doniphon,? and leave it at that. Who was Tom Donip... Read full article

1001 Classic Movies: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

By Amanda Garrett on Sep 26, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), starring John Wayne and James Stewart, is one of the 1001 classic movies you should see. Each Monday, I'm going to recommend a classic movie you should see (for the reasons behind the 1001 series and reviews of earlier films covered go here). This year's b... Read full article

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) with John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart

By Greg Orypeck on Feb 26, 2015 From Classic Film Freak

Share This!?I know those law books mean a lot to you, but not out here.??Out here a man settles his own problems.??Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) to Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance?is a milestone film in a number of ways.??Although receiving poor reviews and a disappointi... Read full article

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Quotes from

Tom Doniphon: [to Ransom Stoddard] Hey, pilgrim! You forgot your pop-gun!

Hallie: Rance, do you think I could... I mean, grown up and all... do you think I could learn to read?
Ransom Stoddard: Why, sure you can, Hallie. Why, there's nothing to it. It'd be... it'd be easy. Can you learn how to read? Why, I can... I can teach you. A smart girl like you? Of course you can learn how to read. Now, do you want to try?
Hallie: It's awful worrisome not knowing how. I know the Good Book from preacher talk; but it'd be a soul comfort if I could read the words myself.

Ransom Stoddard: You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?
Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

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Facts about

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.
Final film of Blackie Whiteford.
John Ford:  [cards]  Liberty Valance plays the Dead Man's Hand (Aces and Eights) before going out to duel Ransom Stoddard.
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Best Costume Design Oscar 1962

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National Film Registry

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Released 1962
Inducted 2007

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Also directed by John Ford

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Also produced by John Ford

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Also released in 1962

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