The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence was the last film that John Ford and John Wayne had made together. Although this wouldn’t be the last film for John Ford, many believed that this would be the last great film he had made. What makes it different and more interesting from any other western film John Ford had made is that there is a really strong struggle for a man between truth and justice. The film begins with a man, Stoddard, who is a lawyer that came to a town called Shinbone to help bring justice by the books. He wanted America to be settled by the law as it was written by our founding fathers. As soon as he travels to the old west, he soon realizes that in the west there really are no rules. As his stagecoach is about to arrive to Shinbone, he gets held up by a man named Liberty Valence and his crew. He survives the attack, however he see’s his first goal in moving to the west, bringing Liberty Valence to justice and locking him up legally. He is helped throughout the film by Donovan (John Wayne), a typical lone cowboy. Donovan tries to help Stoddard to see that in the west the only way to bring justice is a gun in your hand. Being from the north Stoddard finds that it is not in his best interests. He see’s that Liberty Valence is a menace to Shinbone and no one wants to deal with him or else they would face death. Through one character, Liberty Valence, John Ford shows the struggle that Stoddard goes through is the morals and ethics of the townspeople in Shinbone are not of what he would expect up in the north where he originally came from. Donovan see’s where he is coming from with his sense of justice but finds it unrealistic in the west. Stoddard is surrounded by those who agree with Donovan’s vision of the west. He meets a newspaper printer who will tell a story of any legend, like Liberty Valence, and print whatever is necessary. Even if that means not

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