The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Eastern attorney Ranson Stoddard (James Stewart) heads to the wild West in search of a new life. He settles in the small town of Shinbone where he meets up with Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Valance is as bad a villain as there ever was,… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: May 28, 1962
DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

There's much to say about it; the simplest is that it's both the most romantic of Westerns and the greatest American political movie.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A great film, rich in thought and feeling, composed in rhythms that vary from the elegiac to the spontaneous.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Merely one of the greatest Westerns ever made, John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a genuine masterpiece, notable for (among other attributes) the immortal line, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

There is a purity to the John Ford style. His composition is classical. He arranges his characters within the frame to reflect power dynamics -- or sometimes to suggest a balance is changing.

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Nigel Floyd
Time Out

Ford's purest and most sustained expression of the familiar themes of the passing of the Old West, the conflict between the untamed wilderness and the cultivated garden, and the power of myth.

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TV Guide

A solid, if overrated, Ford western, one with its share of cliches and predictability. It's still fascinating to watch Wayne and Stewart deal with hellion Marvin in a changing West.

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Variety Staff

John Ford and the writers have somewhat overplayed their hands. They have taken a disarmingly simple and affecting premise, developed it with craft and skill to a natural point of conclusion, and then have proceeded to run it into the ground.

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A.H. Weiler
New York Times

A basically honest, rugged and mature saga has been sapped of a great deal of effect by an obvious, overlong and garrulous anticlimax.

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Richard Luck

John Ford's last great film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is also one of the last classic Westerns to come out of Hollywood.

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Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend". That quote is a great one, especially when it comes to taking a closer look at history, but… More
Bob O'Reilly
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance asks the question: can the moralist Jimmy Stewart civilize the west, or will it uncivilize him? Stewart, John Wayne, and Lee… More
Graham Jones
Ford's last masterpiece. A truly epic story of the end of the old west, Stewart and Wayne put in masterful performances.
xGary Xx
An ageing senator returns to a frontier town for the funeral of an old friend and reminisces over his life as a young man. Considered one of John Ford's… More
Reid Volk
I initially wasn't too enthused about the idea of sitting down with this film. While I certainly admire John Ford, I had grown accustomed to the more… More
Conner Rainwater
Easily one of the greatest movies ever made and a true Hollywood classic. John Wayne and John Ford always make flawless movies together, this is no exception.… More