James Stewart Cowboy / Riding on …

“The great thing about the movies … is you’re giving people little … tiny pieces of time … that they never forget.”
– James Stewart

So ends my tribute to James Stewart / Western Hero
one of my Top Ten Favorite Western Stars.
I could go on and on about him because …
James made about 18 Westerns.
Several are considered Western Classics.

You decide:


TWO RODE TOGETHER, James Stewart, 1961' Photo | AllPosters.com | Old western movies, Western film, Western movies

“I’d like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job
and seemed to mean what he said.”
James Stewart

Done Jimmy.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance / Oddity No. 2: BILLING Mysteries … Part 2 … The Posters

Movie Posters in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
also seem to be different than what I would have expected.

On every poster James Stewart’s name is Billed above John Wayne’s.
You would at least expect them to be side by side? No?
Even then, Stewart’s name appears first.
And though some might argue that they appear equal in
size, color and text, Stewart’s name is still before Wayne’s.
Again, I wouldn’t expect to see this unless
it was approved by Wayne himself.

It’s possible there’s something going on here
that I don’t know about … ? Contractual agreement?
*shrug?* But there it is.

I wonder though that if The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
came out today the Poster might look like this instead:

But … you know what? Though Jimmy was unquestionably worthy
I wonder if he could have cared at all?

In any case: “This is the West, sir.
When the legend becomes fact print the legend.”

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance / Oddity No. 2: The BILLING Mystery … Part 1 …

In Movies, Billing is a big deal.
Billing refers to Order, Place, Size, and Color of your name
as it appears on The Marquee, Posters, Advertising, Film Trailer,
and on Screen, etc. – if at all.
In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
I noticed some interesting Billing anomalies.

Between 1949–1957 and 1959–1974
John Wayne
was in the Top Ten Money Making Stars 25 times!!!

That’s a record number.
This includes 1962 when The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance was made.
So you’d expect that Wayne would be Top Billed on everything, right?
But for some reason (unknown to me), he wasn’t.
Let’s start with the Official Trailer Preview.

James Stewart is Billed first!?
Wayne is Billed Second!:

Both Bills are the same size and configuration …
BUT Wayne’s Bill is still an obvious Second.

I doubt this could have occurred without Wayne’s approval.
Wayne had great respect and friendship with Stewart.
This was later reflected again when Stewart was handpicked by Wayne
for a nice role in Wayne’s final Film: The Shootist (1976).

And it’s notable that both Stars were Billed
ahead of the actual Movie Title Banner itself:

This reflects Stewart’s and Wayne’s Star Power of course –
They were the Draw.

However …
… on the actual Film Screen … things are different:
Wayne is Billed first – as we would have expected.

Stewart is second …

… and both are still Billed before the Film Banner:

Another interesting Billing oddity of that Lee Marvin isn’t Billed at all !!
in most any of the Movie’s advertising –
even though he plays the Title character, Liberty Valance.

Lee had not yet emerged as a Top Star.

That was soon to change.

We’re going to check the
Billing on the Movie’s Posters.

James Stewart … My Top Ten Western Stars … Pt. 2

Whether we like it or not, Weapons have played a monumental role
in World History. Still do. And we see no end in sight.
This should make us all wonder …
And somewhere among this uncountable tally,
are the weapons and guns of the American West.

The Winchester ’73

This is not to celebrate Weapon technology,
yet such has always been at the forefront of human endeavour.

IMFDB “Internet Movie Firearms Database” – a website I often refer to
for research here does offer quite a bit on “Winchester ’73”.

I drop a few of their images here:


There she is:

File:W73 08.jpg

During the Dodge City competition, Wyatt Earp (Will Geer) displays the prized “One of a Thousand” Winchester 1873 rifle.
Lin McAdam (Jimmy Stewart) takes aim with the custom Winchester.
Lin McAdam (Jimmy Stewart) takes aim with the custom Winchester.
'Dutch Henry' Brown (Stephen McNally) takes aim with the Winchester.
‘Dutch Henry’ Brown (Stephen McNally) takes aim with the Winchester.

Tony Curtis even gets a good look at the rifle …

Pvt. Doan (Tony Curtis) takes up the Winchester.

OK … moving on to My Favorite James Stewart Western:
The Man from Laramie / 1955

The Wild Bunch cont. ……………… Casting Call Part 1

The Wild Bunch - The Walk reversed

A Wilder Bunch??

Casting Call Part 1 / Pike Bishop
The Wild Bunch 1973

The Wild Bunch - Holden
The Wild Bunch / Pike Bishop / William Holden

I always like to check who got a particular role/part/casting – and how – why? Who refused it – missed out? The casting story for The Wild Bunch reveals some very interesting candidates.

Who would you have picked? Why? A very tough decision.

Wikipedia says: “Director Sam Peckinpah considered many actors for the Pike Bishop role, before casting William Holden: Richard Boone, Sterling Hayden, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, and James Stewart. Marvin actually accepted the role but pulled out after he was offered a larger pay deal to star in Paint Your Wagon (1969).”

Pretty well a Who’s Who of Western film Icons.

Who would you have Cast?:

Richard Boone

Richard Boone Western Filmography
Way of a Gaucho
– (1952) / Pony Soldier (uncredited) (1952)
City of Bad Men – (1953) / The Siege at Red River – (1954)
The Raid – (1954) / Ten Wanted Men – (1955)
Man Without a Star – (1955) / Robbers’ Roost – (1955)
Star in the Dust – (1956) / The Tall T – (1957)
The Alamo – (1960) / A Thunder of Drums – (1961)
Rio Conchos – (1964) / Hombre – (1967)
Big Jake  (1971) / Against a Crooked Sky – (1975)
Diamante Lobo – (1976) / The Shootist – (1976)

Richard Boone TV Westerns
Frontier – episode – The Salt War -1956)
Studio One in Hollywood – episode – Dead of Noon – (1957)
Have Gun – Will Travel – 225 episodes – (1957–1963)
Cimarron Strip – episode – The Roarer – (1967)
Hec Ramsey – 10 episodes – (1972-1974)

Sterling Hayden

Sterling Hayden Western Filmography
1949 El Paso / 1952 Flaming Feather
1952 Denver and Rio Grande / 1952 Hellgate
1953 Kansas Pacific / 1954 Arrow In the Dust
1954 Johnny Guitar / 1955 Timberjack
1955 Shotgun / 1955 Top Gun
1955 The Last Command / 1957 Gun Battle at Monterey
1957 The Iron Sheriff / 1958 Terror in a Texas Town
1975 Cipolla Colt

Sterling Hayden TV Westerns
1957 Zane Grey Theater / 1957 Wagon Train
1982 The Blue and the Gray

Charleton Heston

Charleton Heston Western Filmography
1952 The Savage / 1952 The President’s Lady
1953 Pony Express / 1953 Arrowhead
1955 The Far Horizons / 1957 Three Violent People
1958 The Big Country /  1965 Major Dundee
1968 Will Penny1972 The Call of the Wild
1980 The Mountain Men / 1993 Tombstone

Burt Lancaster 2

Burt Lancaster Western Filmography
1951 Vengeance Valley / 1951 Ten Tall Men
1954 Apache1954 Vera Cruz
The Kentuckian / 1956 The Rainmaker
1957 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral / 1960 The Unforgiven
1965 The Hallelujah Trail / 1966 The Professionals
1968 The Scalphunters / 1971 Lawman
1971 Valdez Is Coming1972 Ulzana’s Raid
1976 Buffalo Bill and the Indians 1981 Cattle Annie and Little Britches

Lee Marvin

Lee Marvin Western Filmography
Gun Fury (1953) / The Raid (1954)
The Comancheros (1961) / The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Cat Ballou (1965) / The Professionals (1966)
Paint Your Wagon (1969) / Monte Walsh (1970)
The Spikes Gang (1974)

TV Westerns:
Wagon Train
Bonanza, and The Virginian … 

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum Western Filmography
1943 Hoppy Serves a Writ / 1943 Border Patrol
1943 Leather Burners / 1943 Colt Comrades
1943 The Lone Star Trail / 1943 Beyond the Last Frontier
1943 Bar 20 / 1943 False Colors
1943 Riders of the Deadline / 1944 Nevada
1945 West of the Pecos / 1947 Pursued
1948 Blood on the Moon / 1949 The Red Pony
1952 The Lusty Men / 1954 River of No Return
1955 Man with the Gun / 1956 Bandido
1959 The Wonderful Country / 1967 El Dorado
1967 The Way West / 1968 Villa Rides
1968 5 Card Stud / 1969 Young Billy Young
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
1993 Tombstone Narrator / 1995 Dead Man

Robert Mitchum TV Work
1985 North and South

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck Western Filmography
1946 Duel in the Sun / 1946 Yellow Sky
1950 The Gunfighter / 1950 Only the Valiant
1958 The Bravados / 1958 The Big Country
1962 How the West Was Won / 1967 The Stalking Moon
1967 Mackenna’s Gold / 1982 The Blue and the Gray
1989 Old Gringo

James Stewart 2

James Stewart Western Filmography
1939 Destry Rides Again / 1950 Winchester ’73
1950 Broken Arrow / 1952 Bend of the River
1953 The Naked Spur / 1954 The Far Country
1955 The Man from Laramie / 1961 Two Rode Together
1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
1962 How the West Was Won / 1964 Cheyenne Autumn
1965 Shenandoah / 1966 The Rare Breed
1968 Firecreek / 1968 Bandolero!
1970 The Cheyenne Social Club
1976 The Shootist

Amazing … stunning. You can’t lose. Put all the names in a hat and pull one out … any one of them would have done a great job.

Next let’s have a look at Ernest Borgnine’s role of Dutch Engstrom …

Ernest Borgnine

Liberty Valance / Goodguys and Badguys …

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - John Wayne
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – John Wayne
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Showdown
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Showdown
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Showdown 2
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Showdown
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Showdown 4
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Showdown

Liberty Valance / Marvin – “Right between the eyes”

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The Next one ... is Right Between the Eyes
“The next one … is right between the eyes.”


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It’s often interesting to read reviews from when the time the film was originally released – and see how they bear up as to how the film is presently regarded.
Several movies that are now regarded as Classics were savagely ripped by reviewers of the day. But time often tells a different story. However …

Wikipedia tells us (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Shot_Liberty_Valance)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance was an instant hit when released in April 1962, thanks to its classic story and popular stars John Wayne and James Stewart. Produced on a budget of $3.2 million, the film grossed $8,000,000 at the box office, making it the 16th highest grossing film of 1962. Edith Head‘s costumes for the film were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, one of the few westerns to ever be nominated for the award. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has continued its popularity through repeated television broadcasts and the rental market. It is also widely considered to be one of director John Ford‘s best westerns and generally ranks alongside Red RiverThe SearchersThe Big Trail, and Stagecoach as one of John Wayne‘s best films.”

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Rotten Tomatoes Review
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Rotten Tomatoes Review

The Critics liked – and the People liked it.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - IMDB Review
A Classic
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Andy Devine and Woody Strode
Andy Devine and Woody Strode

Below: A nice video presentation with a nice rendition of song The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance written by songsters Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis.
Warning: possible huge spoilers … if you’ve never seen the movie.