When the Legend Becomes Fact…

Review of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Directed by John FordBy PAUL D. MILLERHere is a movie that just begs to be a Jeopardy question. The category is “Classic Film.” The answers are: “The only movie in which Jimmy Stewart punches John Wayne in the face,” “The second movie in which Jimmy Stewart plays a U.S. Senator,” and “The best John Ford movie never to be nominated for anything.” The question: “What is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”? It is the 117th or 205th greatest film of a … [Read more...]

That’ll Be the Day

Review of The Searchers, Directed by John FordBy PAUL D. MILLERThe Searchers (1956) is a John Wayne western made in the 1950s, which might immediately suggest to you a certain kind of movie:  an all-American hero fighting outlaws and Indians with a six-shooter, a pack of one-liners, and a grinning swagger.  Wayne did plenty of those movies—this isn’t one of them.  Not by a long shot.  Instead, think of a western directed by Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, or Ingmar Bergman.The … [Read more...]