C&I Live Tweet: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance on INSP – Cowboys and Indians

Join us May 30 as we tune in to the classic John Ford western starring John Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin.

Sure, we know: If youre aC&Ireader, youve probably already seen John FordsThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. But, really, wouldnt you love to see it again? And maybe ask someone whos never seen it to accompany you on social media, if not in person?

Well, pilgrims, come join the party: On Saturday, May 30, you can join us as we Live Tweet whileFords 1962classic airs on theINSP digital cable and satellite television channel at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT. Look for the hashtag #ciLibertyINSP on Twitter, and dont be shy about sharing your own thoughts and observations in real time. Maybe were still living in lockdown, but so what? For two hours or so, we aim to establish our very own online movie-watching community.

For the benefit of those who tuned in late: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a fascinating and affecting attempt to tell the story behind the story of Wild West myth.

When tenderfoot Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart, an idealistic young lawyer, arrives in the frontier town of Shinbone, he discovers his legalisms are of little use against legendarily lethal outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Fortunately, Stoddard finds an unlikely ally in Tom Doniphon (John Wayne). For all his gruffness, Doniphon emerges as an honorable knight errant, a selfless hero who ultimately plays the key role in a fateful shootout but insists that Stoddard take credit for being the hero of the title.

There is a distinctively melancholy edge to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Fords last great western. Stoddard goes on to become a successful politician, bringing the dubious values of civilization to the Wild West, while Doniphon fades into obscurity, becoming an anachronism long before his death. Even when Stoddard nobly offers to set the record straight, his truths are dismissed as inconvenient. As a newspaper editor remarks in the movies most-quoted line: This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

As Scott Eyman notes in his definitive Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford: For Ford, every triumph carries the embryo of eventual failure In The Searchers, as well as Liberty Valance, the kind of men needed to master the wilderness are the kind of men that only function in wilderness; they are men who civilization must expel. If society is to benefit from someones sacrifice, legend must take precedence over truth Liberty Valance deftly, shrewdly shows the ragged process by which stories become legends, and legends become history.

Dismissed by many critics during its initial theatrical release, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance now is widely acknowledged as one of the filmmakers most heartfelt and fully realized works. Indeed, it was selected in 2007 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being Culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

For all those reasons, and more, were looking forward to taking another look at Fords late-career masterwork May 30 on INSP. And we invite you to join us

Just to get you in the right mood: Here is the Top 10 hit song inspired by the movie, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David (the same paid who later wrote Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and sung by Gene Pitney.

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C&I Live Tweet: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance on INSP - Cowboys and Indians

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