Wednesday, June 15, 2005
"I Second The Nomination."
I'm about 45 minutes into The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance when I'm thinking to myself, "this is a damn fine western." And then sure enough, as if to seal the deal, the man himself appears. Lee Van Cleef, a veteran of some of the greatest westerns ever made. Like his role in High Noon, Van Cleef plays the strong, menacing, silent type. A hard nosed, squinty tough guy. He might have only had a few lines in Liberty Valance, but they were damn fine lines. It wasn't great just because of him though, the rest of the cast was superb, at least by more traditional standards. I especially enjoyed watching a drunken John Wayne stumbling about, trashing a saloon and burning his own house down. And while I haven't seen too many films by John Ford as of yet, his name is always up there with the great American directors and this film certainly lives up to such a reputation. Liberty Valance is a classic western, filled with great themes of honor, liberty (no pun intended), justice, compassion, civility and (dare I say it....) friendship. And now that I've just read that last sentence I know that I am too tired to type rationally anymore.