The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance
I love westerns, obviously. I mean, I committed a good year of my life to Western Tales of Terror, and have been hammering away at a couple other western projects this year as well. There's something so earnest and heartfelt about even the cheesiest of western that's missing in modern cinema. The Cowboy movie is an art form unto itself. That being said, I'm not really a John Wayne kind of guy. I think he's... well... just a bad actor. That being said, there's a couple of John Wayne movies I love. True Grit is one, El Dorado another, and, then, there's The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance. It's certainly one of the most traditional movies John Ford ever directed, and the performances of Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne serve to turn a story of revenge and politics into one of the most compelling coming of age stories about adults ever made. John Wayne plays the more experienced, more cynical, and for the most part drunk and abuse cowhand. Jimmy Stewart becomes his ward, of a sort. The political back drop of the territory fighting towards statehood is this great counter point to the idea of the West being tamed. It's delicate and smart, and outright compelling. The twist, along with the bitter-sweet ending, are also some real cinematic highlights. Just for seeing how a character can be both the winner and the loser simultaneously. So, if you want a classic black and white western, this is where to go. Well, this and High Noon, obviously.
On a side note, they must say the name Liberty Vallance several hundred times through the course of the movie. It's... very strange.