[quote=“Starblack, post:4, topic:1797”]The hype is entirely justified. This is one of relatively few Ford Westerns that I like pretty much unconditionally.
It’s also one of the most intelligent, poignant, self-aware Westerns out there, without ever becoming arch. The tragedy of Wayne’s character is what resonates most powerfully for me; it’s expertly traced, and Wayne himself is excellent, betraying plenty of bitterness as his way of life and the woman he loves slip away, but not a shred of self-pity.
Crucially, Ford and cinematographer William H. Clothier handle the key moment - the shooting of Valence - brilliantly, underpinning the legend that subsequently builds up around the event.
For once, “masterpiece” isn’t wide of the mark.
Oh, and terrific review Scherp.[/quote]
I, also, only rate two John Ford westerns, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “Fort Apache”. For me at least, “Fort Apache” is the most typical western. It has the ignorant commander (played excellently by Henry Fonda), John Wayne and Indians.
I don’t like Ford’s so-called “classic” westerns. I found “Stagecoach” basically an average “B” picture with a nicely handled climatic shootout and Indiana attack, but nothing to make it stick in your head. “The Searchers” was one of the most pointless and pretentious films I have ever seen, and that’s saying a lot.