“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” came out 50 years ago this Spring, but the western directed by four-time Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ford remains as timeless as the Old West.
It’s scheduled to screen at downtown Peoria’s non-profit Apollo Theater on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Starring Academy Award winners James Stewart, John Wayne and Edmond O’Brien, the 123-minute drama revolves around an idealistic attorney (Stewart) recalling when he and rough-and-tumble cowboy (Wayne) joined forces to fight local gunslinger Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin, in a terrific performance).
It has a philosophical subplot, too, as the lawyer has achieved political success on an undeserved reputation and remains troubled by the legend. The cowboy – who utters “pilgrim,” in what would become a line long associated with Wayne – knew it didn’t matter.
Co-starring O’Brien as a newspaperman and Vera Miles as the lawyer’s wife, the Oscar-nominated picture (for costume design) also features an A-list of western actors including Lee Van Cleef, Andy Devine, Denver Pyle, Strother Martin, Ken Murray, Shug Fisher and Jack Pennick, plus outstanding character actors John Carradine and Woody Strode.
The last of Ford’s black-and-white westerns, the nostalgic “Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” also features music by Alfred Newman and a hit song by ‘60s rocker Gene Pitney.
Show times at the Apollo are at 7:00 p.m. Donations are $5 and $4 for kids, students and seniors. For details call (309) 673-4343.