The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

122 mins | Western | 1962

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HISTORY

The musical score's theme was originally written by Alfred Newman for Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln ... More Less

The musical score's theme was originally written by Alfred Newman for Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). More Less

CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A John Ford Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
"Young mr. lincoln" theme
SOUND
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" by Dorothy M. Johnson in her Indian Country (New York, 1953).
DETAILS
Release Date:
1962
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 May: April 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures
Copyright Date:
13 April 1962
Copyright Number:
LP21681
Duration(in mins):
122
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In 1910, Sen. Ranse Stoddard and his wife, Hallie, arrive in the small town of Shinbone to attend the funeral of Tom Doniphon. A reporter questions him about his unannounced appearance, and Ranse tells about his early days as a young lawyer in Shinbone, when he opposed the ruthless rule of Liberty Valance, a notorious gunfighter. The only other two men in the town who were unafraid of the outlaw were Dutton Peabody, a drunken but courageous newspaper editor, and Tom Doniphon, a respected rancher in love with Hallie, who was then a young waitress. Valance became outraged when Ranse was elected delegate to a territorial convention and taunted him into a duel. Hallie knew that Ranse could not handle a gun and pleaded with Tom to save Ranse; but Tom, sick of Ranse's foolhardy bravery, refused. Late one night, Ranse and Valance faced each other on the darkened main street of the town. Several shots were fired, and although Ranse was wounded, Valance was the one who lay dead. Ranse became known as "the man who shot Liberty Valance" and was nominated to run for Congress. Unable to face a career built on a killing, he decided to refuse the nomination. Tom then appeared and confessed that it was he who, out of love for Hallie, fired from the shadows that night. Tom, in effect, became Ranse's conscience, the force that carried him to the U. S. Senate and a brilliant career in Washington, while Tom died a pauper. Ranse's story finished, the reporter decides not to print it because in the old West the legend had become ... +


In 1910, Sen. Ranse Stoddard and his wife, Hallie, arrive in the small town of Shinbone to attend the funeral of Tom Doniphon. A reporter questions him about his unannounced appearance, and Ranse tells about his early days as a young lawyer in Shinbone, when he opposed the ruthless rule of Liberty Valance, a notorious gunfighter. The only other two men in the town who were unafraid of the outlaw were Dutton Peabody, a drunken but courageous newspaper editor, and Tom Doniphon, a respected rancher in love with Hallie, who was then a young waitress. Valance became outraged when Ranse was elected delegate to a territorial convention and taunted him into a duel. Hallie knew that Ranse could not handle a gun and pleaded with Tom to save Ranse; but Tom, sick of Ranse's foolhardy bravery, refused. Late one night, Ranse and Valance faced each other on the darkened main street of the town. Several shots were fired, and although Ranse was wounded, Valance was the one who lay dead. Ranse became known as "the man who shot Liberty Valance" and was nominated to run for Congress. Unable to face a career built on a killing, he decided to refuse the nomination. Tom then appeared and confessed that it was he who, out of love for Hallie, fired from the shadows that night. Tom, in effect, became Ranse's conscience, the force that carried him to the U. S. Senate and a brilliant career in Washington, while Tom died a pauper. Ranse's story finished, the reporter decides not to print it because in the old West the legend had become fact. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.