The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


How should one deal with evil? What are people capable of doing when they are given unconstrained liberty? Why does democracy work when people run things physically away from the very people it wants to assist? These are a few of the questions that arise as one watches John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Progress and civilization are wonderful—but the train that signals them also carries a lot of moral pollution. Join Mike and Dan for a dive into this perfect Western and hear what happens when they apply the famous line, “Print the legend,” to John Ford’s, John Wayne’s, and Jimmy Stewart’s military careers. Pick up that steak and give it a listen!

Robert Matzen’s Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe tells the story of Stewart’s learning to fly, joining the Army, and leading dangerous missions in the Second World War.

Follow us on X or Letterboxd. Incredible bumper music by John Deley.

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Daniel Moran

Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen Minute Film Fanatics. You can find his writing and other podcasts about books and films on Pages and Frames.

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