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Author Topic: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)  (Read 31523 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #90 on: June 14, 2012, 09:20:22 AM »

I can sympathize up to a point drink. It's hard to watch movies are excessively strident in promoting a point-of-view. My opinions on Stanley Kramer, the Billy Jack movies and certain Oliver Stone movies are of-record. Last time I watched JFK I was literally screaming at certain parts of it.

That said, ideological concerns ought be secondary to aesthetic ones. The problem I have with, say, Inherit the Wind isn't its politics or even the message, but that's conveyed in a ham-fisted and obnoxious manner. A Man for All Seasons and The Crucible present similar dilemmas much better, and in a more entertaining fashion. I can hate a message film even if I agree with the message. I can like a movie without subscribing to its point-of-view.
   
   In any case, what on Earth is wrong with an alternative message? I enjoy Battle of Algiers or Strike without subscribing to Marxism. I appreciate Triumph of the Will without being a Nazi. I admire A Man for All Seasons without being a Catholic. I (mostly) enjoy JFK or Nixon without being a conspiracy nut. I can watch Gunga Din or The Four Feathers without advocating imperialism, or old-fashioned Westerns without being a white supremacist. One should at least engage a work of art whether or not its worldview agrees with yours.

It's very close-minded to restrict quality cinema to movies that adhere to your beliefs. But hey, if you wish to occupy such a crabbed position, that's your call.   

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« Reply #91 on: June 14, 2012, 01:57:50 PM »

I can sympathize up to a point drink. It's hard to watch movies are excessively strident in promoting a point-of-view. My opinions on Stanley Kramer, the Billy Jack movies and certain Oliver Stone movies are of-record. Last time I watched JFK I was literally screaming at certain parts of it.

That said, ideological concerns ought be secondary to aesthetic ones. The problem I have with, say, Inherit the Wind isn't its politics or even the message, but that's conveyed in a ham-fisted and obnoxious manner. A Man for All Seasons and The Crucible present similar dilemmas much better, and in a more entertaining fashion. I can hate a message film even if I agree with the message. I can like a movie without subscribing to its point-of-view.
   
   In any case, what on Earth is wrong with an alternative message? I enjoy Battle of Algiers or Strike without subscribing to Marxism. I appreciate Triumph of the Will without being a Nazi. I admire A Man for All Seasons without being a Catholic. I (mostly) enjoy JFK or Nixon without being a conspiracy nut. I can watch Gunga Din or The Four Feathers without advocating imperialism, or old-fashioned Westerns without being a white supremacist. One should at least engage a work of art whether or not its worldview agrees with yours.

It's very close-minded to restrict quality cinema to movies that adhere to your beliefs. But hey, if you wish to occupy such a crabbed position, that's your call.  

I agree that ideological concerns are secondary to aesthetic ones. It's actually very rare that I'll be watching a movie but I just completely tuned myself out after a while cuz it's hit-you-over-the-head message is ridiculous. Off the top of my head, I can't even remember any other instance where this happened, (though I have not seen any of the movies you mentioned). But The Grapes of Wrath was one case where once I realized what it was all about, I just couldn't enjoy it any more.

As I said, when discussing a message-movie, I  address the message, but that is far from everything.  I thoroughly enjoy the good SW's even though I know that many of them are political movies made by hardcore Leftists.  And even after criticizing Dances With Wolves's cartoonish treatment of whites, I still rated it a 9/10 cuz it was a very enjoyable movie.

However, each person has a certain line that once you cross that, it's hard for him to enjoy a movie and forget the fact that he finds the message is ridiculous. The Grapes of Wrath crossed that line for me; it is an exception, not the rule. I was actually enjoying the movie -- and I've been clear that strictly from an aesthetic standpoint, the movie was made well -- basically until the part where they arrive at the gov't camp. (I'd never read the book so I didn't know anything about the story when I began watching the movie). This film is a straight-up hit you over the head with a message. And that message was just plain stupid.

So I feel the most honest thing I could do is to be clear about why I didn't like the movie. And if someone asks me whether I'd recommend TGOW, my response would be "If you can enjoy 129 minutes of socialism that was made well from an artistic standpoint, then definitely see it. But if you are a staunch believer that Socialism is thoroughly evil and won't forget that for these 129 minutes, then don't see the movie. Cuz that is what it's about, beginning to end." I guess that's one thing that makes TGOW different for me: there are many movies involving gangsters or Westerns or other stuff that have Leftist themes, and I don't mind. But in TGOW it's just plain hit you over the head beginning to end all about that and nothing else. There's no way to avoid it, no way to focus on anything else. Capitalism = poverty, misery, and abuse; Collectivism = happiness. Well that's ridiculous.



« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 04:06:35 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: June 14, 2012, 03:11:03 PM »

Fair enough for most of your comment. That's a reasonable position and I agree with most of it.

I really don't understand this harping on Grapes though. It's a liberal story for sure, but "propaganda"? What exactly does it falsify? Everything I've read indicates Steinbeck and Ford greatly toned down what the Okies went through in the Dust Bowl era.

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« Reply #93 on: June 14, 2012, 04:02:05 PM »

Fair enough for most of your comment. That's a reasonable position and I agree with most of it.

I really don't understand this harping on Grapes though. It's a liberal story for sure, but "propaganda"? What exactly does it falsify? Everything I've read indicates Steinbeck and Ford greatly toned down what the Okies went through in the Dust Bowl era.

I am not disputing the incredible hardships that the Okies went through. I've seen pictures and read accounts of lives -- across America -- during the Great Depression, that could make me cry. My problem is that the way the movie portrays it, the source of all these problems is Evil Capitalism and the source for all the good is Big Government.

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« Reply #94 on: December 19, 2012, 07:31:59 AM »

Would you say TMWSLV and  Rio Bravo were the first of a few films which popularize the word "dude" into main stream culture?



I know that the word "pilgrim" didn´t quite make the cut.

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« Reply #95 on: March 05, 2013, 09:28:41 PM »

On the issue of crying in movies, I've been reading Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren's How to Read a Book. There's a chapter on reading "Stories" in which they recommend that the reader read the story quickly, in one sitting if possible, and with full immersion. I think the same applies to movies. The audience has to live in the world of the author before they can judge it. If one is brought to tears, I imagine this would be a sign that one is on the right track. (Provided they are not bored to tears  Wink)


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« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2013, 09:38:42 PM »

Oh, and I have a question!

I just rewatched this, and I was struck (surprisingly for the first time) by the big lie, that is, the fact that Ransom has apparently never told anyone the truth about the man who shot Liberty Valence. Seeing as it's the title, I assume we're prompted to think about this. (Incidentally, see my post on titles if you have a title you'd like to discuss http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11594.0). The lie reminds me of the lie in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, regarding Kurtz' last words. It's a tricky thing. What was right to do?

If he had told Hallie the truth, perhaps he would have lost her. I mean, that was the reason Tom kept the secret, to keep Hallie happy. And had he told the public, his career would have suffered. I suppose we are to think that he did a lot for the state. Hallie makes a comment about how the wilderness has become a garden, and "aren't you proud" she says to Rans. So was all this worth the lie? It is clear that the lie bothers Rans. The conductor's line at the end "Nothing is too good for the man who shot Liberty Valence" conjures a terribly moving expression on Ransom's face. One of sadness and perhaps guilt.

What do yall think?


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« Reply #97 on: March 05, 2013, 11:40:20 PM »

well I think Stoddard is portrayed as a positive character and I don't think he was intentionally lying to advance his political career. He just wanted a private law practice; he didn't have political aspirations until later on when the townsfolk convinced him to represent them. I agree that at the end when the conductor says nothing is too big for the man who shot liberty valance, Stoddard's face does show sadness or frustration.

I think Ford was just making a comment in general, that although his cinema generally has a very hopeful and positive view of the American West, American life, and the American Dream; he knows that much of it is myth and based on bullshit. Like how the reporter says the famous line, "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." And Stoddard's whole long distinguished political career was begun on a falsehood (even though he wasn't trying to perpetuate that falsehood IMO). Also in Fort Apache, where Capt. York has personally witnessed the folly and arrogance of Col. Thursday, yet he perpetuates the myth of Thursday's greatness, because, as Ford said, he believed it's good for the country to have heroes to look up to.

So IMO it's Ford acknowledging the bullshit that some of this is all based on. Leone himself said that TMWSLV is his favorite Ford Western because at this point, Ford finally discovered pessimism. (Though I would argue that, as mentioned above, Fort Apache has a similar bit of cynicism at the end).

« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 12:45:00 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #98 on: May 18, 2014, 10:05:31 PM »

there's discussion about TMWSLV in the Fort Apache thread, specifically comparing the "print the legend" endings, the pessimism of the movies, and Leone's love for TMWSLV's pessimism. That discussion begins here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2799.msg171818#msg171818

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« Reply #99 on: July 01, 2015, 08:33:52 AM »

On blu, October 13th.

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« Reply #100 on: July 01, 2015, 09:13:11 AM »

Now, l don't remember it, but does Wayne shoot Marvin on the back?

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« Reply #101 on: July 01, 2015, 09:55:37 AM »

Now, l don't remember it, but does Wayne shoot Marvin on the back?

More from the side, Wayne is in the side alley off the street.

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« Reply #102 on: July 01, 2015, 11:47:06 AM »

On blu, October 13th.

Finally!

Too late for me, though. I already have the UK, region-free, BRD.

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« Reply #103 on: July 01, 2015, 10:08:28 PM »

More from the side, Wayne is in the side alley off the street.

Yeah, thx.

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« Reply #104 on: October 01, 2015, 11:18:11 AM »

Paramount Wants to Remake ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’
http://www.slashfilm.com/liberty-valance-remake/

Quote
Variety reports that Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos) was originally involved as a writer, but that a new writer is being sought now. The remake will be produced by Matt Jackson of IM Global, and in all likelihood it will not be a strict remake of the western setting featured in John Ford’s film.
 
This Liberty Valance remake could be set “in a relatively contemporary period, such as 1980s Western Pennsylvania amid the retrenchment of the steel and auto industries,” says Variety.

The Tracking Board also reports on the remake effort, saying that the outlaws of the original could be replaced with Polish gangsters, and that the remake will be “an urban crime/thriller in the vein of The Departed, The Town, and Mystic River.”

The original film begins 30 years after the primary action in the film, soon flashing back to the meat of the story three decades earlier. We can probably expect the remake to be structured in similar fashion, with modern bookend scenes and most of the action set, as mentioned, in the 1980s.

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