The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

DrKenDrKen Chicago
Thanks, men.  I did a quick sample of the first few minutes and I got a 1 hour and 31 minutes of glorious podcast and an ARon mispronunciation in the first minute!  Worth the price of admission right there.

Can't wait to dig into the whole thing on the drive home.  Even got a Jim planning to be bored as fuck watching the movie declaration.  I sense he might come around as the podcast goes on.  I'll stay tuned.

Thanks again.  Can't wait to hear the whole thing.

To answer the "Did Jimmy Stewart ever play a bad guy" question - he was a bank robber in Bandolero but, as a recall, he's not really evil and ends up as the guy you're rooting for.  I heard he played a murderer in some really early movie I've never seen.



    Have never seen this movie, but now Jack Palance dramatically being shot by some man will always make me giggle...
  • GeorgeGeorge Astoria, New York
    I'm 20 mins in, and never seen the movie. I think I may stop the pod and watch the movie when I get home. I love this topic.

    Also love how much I seem to always agree with you guys when you discuss the topic of race in America.

    Will return with my review.
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago
    To answer another question, this is essentially the only film that John Wayne calls somebody "Pilgrim" in and it is because he's calling Jimmy Stewart that specifically.  He does say it, I think once, in McClintock but not nearly the 300 times he says it in this film.

    The "pilgrim" thing became a John Wayne stereotype, I think, because Robin Williams used it all the time in his John Wayne impression back in the day.  I can't confirm that's true.  It's just my recollection.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    DrKen said:

    The "pilgrim" thing became a John Wayne stereotype, I think, because Robin Williams used it all the time in his John Wayne impression back in the day.  I can't confirm that's true.  It's just my recollection.

    That seems right to me. Fun fact, my grandparents who lived in Colorado were close by to where a John Wayne was filmed and he stopped over at their house/ranch to ask to use the restroom. Strangely enough, at one point Ward Bond, a friend of Wayne's did the same later on.
  • Seems like that's what Private Joker thought as well.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, if you're at all into Westerns, or classic Hollywood films, this is a must see movie.  It's really front burnered my desire to see some more Ford and also Peckinpah films.  Gutsy call, but it paid off, Dr. Ken.
  • The Searchers is FANTASTIC, ARon, a must see.
  • On an irrelevant note, Pompey, goddamn if he doesnt look like Ron Fucking Artest!!!!
  • Seriously though , i enjoyed this, especially jimmy stewart in his element as the every man, john wayne as well the man, really compelling
  • I fell out when Jim said he hasn't seen Tombstone.
  • Have become pretty phlegmatic about it, and just assume that Jim hasn't seen any movies at this point, haha.
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago

    The Searchers is FANTASTIC, ARon, a must see.

    Absolutely!  I was torn between Valance and The Searchers.  The Searchers is a movie I studied in film class in college so I'd done a pretty extensive coverage of it before and I'd never really seen/read much on Valance. 

    Also, I think Searchers is just so damn dark that I wasn't sure how that would translate in a podcast.  The only levity in The Searchers comes from a racist stereotype of an overweight Native American that is cruelly treated and played for laughs.  But, there are certainly great themes in that as well.

    As far as acting and John Wayne, The Searchers is a movie to see him act.  Also, underrated in my opinion but one of my favorite Wayne films is The Shootist, his last movie.  His acting in that, I think, was great but I guess you could say he played himself there too as John Wayne dying of cancer playing a guy dying of cancer.  Also has Jimmy Stewart.  I highly recommend that as well.  The knowledge that he also has cancer really makes the performance that much more poignant.
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago
    Sorry, one last thing with Valance and The Searchers.  Valance feels like a very closed-in movie.  Almost everything takes place on one city block, except for the unstoppable train of progress that takes Stewart in and out of town.

    The Searchers is the opposite.  That movie has the sweeping vistas in color that you expect from an expansive western.  John Wayne is almost never inside because he doesn't conform to a family-type situation.  He's an outsider and that's where he mainly stays, outside.

    It would be an interesting contrast to view one after the other, I think.
  • Couldn't agree more with all your excellent points, anyone who wants to see John Wayne at the apex of his acting chops should see this movie, he's terrific.
  • FernNYC17FernNYC17 New York, NY
    Just finished listening. Excellent Podcast. Def going to check out this Gem. Congrats @DrKen on your bold Choice Paying off. this give me hope that my Commission later this year hits a Home Run half as good as yours.
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago
    edited April 2016
    I couldn't hold off.  I listened to the whole thing.  In my honest opinion, this was the greatest podcast you've ever done!

    Seriously, though, that was incredibly interesting.  The movie's even better than I realized! 

    I appreciate you guys diving so deep into the themes.  I thought it was a great 'cast.

    Some points as I was listening -

    Jim has a good point on ARon's plan to go back with some other Westerns, even the Ford/Wayne ones had some less inspiring outings.  Valance, to me, is tied with The Searchers as the best offerings.  I'd say -

    Valance, Searchers, Quiet Man, Stagecoach - Great
    Rio Grande, Yellow Ribbon, Fort Apache, Horse Soldiers, 3 Godfathers - range from decent to very good (I'd have to rewatch to remember which is which)

    You can skip Donovan's Reef.  Thank me later.

    Also, please allow me to temper your enthusiasm for The Cowboys.  I'd look toward McClintock or, if you want to watch a western comedy, North to Alaska is pretty entertaining, but certainly no classic.

    I'd watch Searchers, then The Shootist, then spin the wheel and go nuts.  Sorry, I can talk John Wayne movies all day long.

    I'm pleased that you liked it but I would have been just as pleased if you'd given me the business for an hour.  To anybody thinking about commissioning a podcast, I can't recommend it more highly.  Extremely entertaining.
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago
    Ahhh, I forgot Red River.  How could I forget Red River?!?  An almost greatest western of all time candidate that completely blew the ending.

    Rio Bravo, also very good.  Howard Hawks knew how to make great movies.
  • MichelleMichelle California

    I fell out when Jim said he hasn't seen Tombstone.

    Right??? Even *I've* seen Tombstone. Great movie, btw.

    Just finished this cast and I really want to see the film now. The last and pretty much only John Wayne I've seen is Stagecoach, when the historic theater in town showed it on the big screen a couple of years ago. Pair him with Jimmy Stewart and you've already got a great movie.

  • elgat0elgat0 Clearwater
    On the Jimmy Stewart as bad guy angle...Not a villian, but he plays a pretty dark character in Vertigo.  I believe the same applies to Winchester '73.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Vertigo is BRILLIANT all the way around. Definitely a must-see.
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    I was listening to the cast and some points I had
    1 the movie was made during the time of the " studio system" so the director was the boss writers and others were just cogs who came to work and punched in.
    2 if you want a on location film watch the searchers, stagecoach and the others Wayne and Ford shot in monument valley UT.
    3 Pompi wasn't a slave. I think that it was kind of a class system being Wayne at the top because he had a business and was educated and everyone else catering to the guy who keeps the town in business. Pompi would have been on of the level at the bottom maybe higher than the Mexicans in that world.
    4 Lee Van Cleef WTF no respect for "The Bad"
    5 If you watch a bunch of Ford movies he uses a lot of the same actors
    6 Ford was a feared son of a bitch. Also one of his later films was Mister Roberts but he left the production for some reason.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    The thing you have to remember about Jim and I, is imagine you saw maybe 4-5 rated R movies before you were 20, and in my case 30. Not per year, total.  At least half of PG-13 movies, too, especially anything touching on magic or the occult or horror, or features crime or blatant immorality.  The vast hole this would leave in your pop culture knowledge.  Filling that in let alone going back and seeing classics is something you just have to set out and do, and you can never really catch up.  I am frequently thankful that my natural inclinations lead me to the AFI top 100 and I polished 2/3rds of that before the thought of doing some sort of critical analysis even started to form in my head.

    I'm not being defensive, just offering a perspective.  Hearing "oh man, I can't believe you haven't seen this movie!" is a very common occurrence for us both, haha.

    That said; Tombstone WTF Jim?!!
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago
    edited April 2016
    Back to Jimmy Stewart for a minute - my favorite Jimmy Stewart moment is in The Shootist where he plays Wayne's doctor, a doctor with the worst bedside manner in history.

    When Wayne says "give it to me straight, doc", Stewart comes back with immediately "ALRIGHT!  YOU HAVE A CANCER! ADVANCED!" 


    I'd give a spoiler warning but it's basically the first scene of the movie after Wayne gives a great "Well, pardon me all to hell" quote in an earlier scene.

    I can't quite do it justice.  Here it is at 2:35 -

  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    Great movie, but I prefer Oliver Stone's version: The Men Who Shot Liberty Valence.
  • DrKenDrKen Chicago

    Great movie, but I prefer Oliver Stone's version: The Men Who Shot Liberty Valence.

    Liberty did go back...and to the right, back....and to the right, back....and to the right....
    Natter CastMichelle
  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    Alan Alda plays "Hawkeye Greyjoy" on Horace and Pete
  • fidozfidoz Houston
    Looks like it's been covered all ready but I was going to say, you may want to watch The Searchers before labeling Valance Ford's greatest. 

  • DrKenDrKen Chicago
    edited April 2016
    kingbee67 said:

    6 Ford was a feared son of a bitch. 

    There are some crazy stories about how mean Ford was to Wayne.  And they were like best friends!  Kept talking about how much he sucked at acting, etc.  

    I was curious to see if the "big reveal" was telegraphed.  I saw this movie originally when I was younger and I was in the ARon camp.  I didn't see it coming and it threw me.  I also thought Wayne was upset that he'd lost his girl.

    The Liberty/Doniphon steak scene is one of my favorite of all time.  Whenever I just want to watch someone look like a badass, I watch that scene.  When he kicks that guy in the face without breaking eye-contact with Valance, I think that's about the baddest ass move in movie history.

    I was concerned that you'd find Sheriff Link Appleyard a bit too cartoonish.  That was always a bit of an issue for me.  But, he needs to be to leave it up to Stewart and Wayne to be the justice in the town.

    And I still quote "A BEER AIN'T DRINKIN'" any time somebody questions why or if I'm drinking a beer.
  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    Check out Stagecoach.  Not as good as Valence, but it establishes John Ford better than any other film.
  • Stagecoach is really remarkable, particularly for its time.

    Not John Ford, but you should see High Noon and then Howard Hawks and John Wayne's response to High Noon, Rio Bravo.
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