The BYU Motion Picture Archive is screening “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” in the Harold B. Lee. Library Auditorium on level one tonight at 7:00 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30.
“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” features John Wayne and James Stewart in their first film together under the direction of John Ford. The film tells the story of a small frontier town that is terrorized by a wild gunman, Liberty Valance. Stewart and Wayne are unlikely friends who team up to rid the town of Liberty Valance and his gang.
James D’Arc, curator in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections department, organizes the BYU Film series so that people can see classic movies the way the were intended: on the big screen. D’Arc encourages all to come to the show, even if they are not typically fans of western movies.
“This is one that I can guarantee, even if someone doesn’t think he or she is attuned to westerns, they are going to like this one,” D’Arc said. “Because of the characters, the story and the twists and turns. And a fantastic cast of veteran actors who know how to do it right. So it’s enjoyable on many levels.”
After its debut in 1962, singer Gene Pitney wrote a hit song based on the film. Attendees will hear the song as well as receive additional insight about the movie from D’Arc.
“I do an introduction before the film,” D’Arc said. “I prepare program notes that every attendee receives that contains cast, credits, financial success and background history of the film. Then at the end of the film, I give my ‘final word,’ bringing up things that people appreciate more after they have seen the film.”
Tonight’s screening is part of a series of screenings that will continue through the semester. Information about future screenings can be found on the BYU Motion Picture Archive Film Series page.