The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: Centennial Collection – DVD Review

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All right, par’ners. Time to saddle up for a classic Western! And who better to take us back to the heyday of the film Western than two icons of the genre: John Wayne and director John Ford. Throw in James Stewart (It’s a Wonderful Life), and you’ve got a classic story about heroes, legends, the creation of the West.

Now, just so you’re jaw doesn’t hit the floor when you watch the movie, you should know that since this film is from 1962, there are several stereotypes in play throughout the movie. For the most part, these racial stereotypes are laughable (Ransom Stoddard (Stewart) giving Tom Doniphon’s (Wayne) black servant, Pompey “po’chop money” is one example).

Definitely a classic Western, the film is also one of only two films that John Wayne uses the word “pilgrim” in (the second is McLintock!).

What makes this “Centennial Collection” so special and purchase-worthy is the vast amount of special features and extras found within the two-disc set. These special features include:

Disc 1 Commentaries

Commentary by Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich during the film, which also includes audio recordings with John Ford and James Stewart.

Selected scene commentary with introductions by Dan Ford (John Ford’s grandson), including archival recordings with John Ford, James Stewart, and Lee Marvin.

The Size of Legends, The Soul of Myth: 7-Part Featurette

This in-depth 50 minute doc explores the making of the film through interviews with filmmakers, film historians, John Ford’s grandson, and Ford’s biographer. It’s a fascinating look at how movie studios operated in the past and how the new studio methods affected directors like John Ford.

Theatrical Trailer

See how trailers were cut back in the 1960s. Not as fast-paced and frenetic as trailers today. How could this trailer be re-cut in the style of the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen trailer?

Galleries

These include lobby cards and production stills publicity photos used in promoting the 1962 film. It also includes behind-the-scene photos of John Ford on-set with Wayne and Stewart during production.

A must-own for fans of Westerns, John Wayne, or classic American cinema!

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