Wrapping up Mother's Month, here's a western from 1962 featuring two great classic actors; James Stewart and John Wayne. For those more familiar with the John Wayne who calls people "pilgrim", this is pretty much the movie that made that famous.
The film begins with an aged Senator Ranse Stoddard (Stewart) and his wife, visiting the small town of Shinbone. It is there that a funeral is being held for the likes of Tom Doniphon (Wayne). It is here that the Senator is asked to review is past, and who Tom Doniphon was to him in his past.
The story then does a 25-year flashback to when Stoddard arrived in Shinbone as a young attourney. His stage coach is robbed by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), and when Stoddard stands up to him, he is brutally attacked by Valence's men. This results in Doniphon rescuing him, and giving him a place to stay until he gets on his feet.
When told about Valance, Stoddard finds out that Doniphon is the only man brave enough to stand up to Valance and his men, which sparks an energy inside Stoddard to train up and do the right thing, all while gaining respect as the new lawyer in town, as well as a teacher for some who can't read or write.
This is another example of a great American classic that one might look back on as inspiration for many other films. For example, one that springs to mind is the general scenario of 'Back to the Future III' in which Marty finds himself having to stand up to Tannen while gaining his own respect as a new man in town, willing to stand up to the bullies.
Though it stands with just the one Oscar nomination for Costume Design, it has gone down in history as one of the most important films of all time. Important enough of a piece of American history, that In 2007, it was chosen for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."... but how did I like it?
Well, to be honest, I've never been insanely big on the whole western genre. To me, that was more where my parents heroes lied, while I got the opportunity to see some of my comic book heroes instead. And I mean, as a whole, it's not exactly the most sought out genre Hollywood has to offer anymore, either. However -as far as the classic western goes, this title should probably be at the top of anyone's watch list when seeking out the "best of".
This is one of those classics that struck me as perhaps a little bit dry and even predictable, at first. However, one always has to take into account when it was released, and the whole cowboy/western thing was kind of the big deal of the time. All things considered, it has actually aged quite well, and I'm glad to have reached back into the past movie collection I would have otherwise ignored as a kid to see it.