Print This Post Print This Post

The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceFacebooktwitterlinkedinmail

“Listen, there’s nothing wrong with Tom Doniphon.”

“Sure, Duke, I know,” says Jimmy Stewart. “He’s a great guy.”

“I don’t mind you getting the girl, Jimmy. But I don’t like the way people are saying Tom was disturbed. He couldn’t have been. I played him like I’ve played a hundred characters.”

Jimmy smiles. “That’s right. You played Tom Doniphon as tough as all the others.”

“So what’re they saying, Jimmy?”

“Well, Duke, people were wondering why this big heroic guy was still single in his mid-fifties.”

Sweeping his hand at the world, he says, “Are they saying I played a queer?”

“No, not that.”

“Well, what’s the problem?”

“I don’t think it’s a problem, Duke. It’s just a little unusual. We don’t know if Tom had girlfriends before Hallie. All that’s unsaid.”

“Well, they sure know Hallie was my girl till you came to town. And that I was adding a room to my ranch house so she’d be comfortable after we got married.”

Jimmy pats Duke on the shoulder and waits a few seconds before he says, “I was wondering why Tom hadn’t asked her a lot sooner.”

“I kinda wondered that, too. If not for the script, I’d have sealed things long before you came to town.”

“No offense, Duke, but she liked you as a friend, not as a husband. She wanted me for that.”

“I guess you can thank the loudmouth director, John Ford, for that.”

“I didn’t have anything to do with how things turned out, you know that,” Jimmy says. “You should’ve been recognized as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

“I probably should’ve told everyone.”

“Something in Tom wanted me to get credit. Then Hallie tended to my wounds and you returned to your ranch and got drunk and burned down her new room.”

Duke looks out the window. “People keep asking me, ‘What did you do all those years after Jimmy and Hallie left town together?’”

“I think people assumed you spent the rest of your life living alone and drinking too much.”

“Jimmy, in that situation I might’ve been drunk but I wouldn’t have been alone. I’ve been bringing in beauties all my life.”

“Of course you have, Duke. But not Tom Doniphon, at least not as portrayed.”

“I’ll take a role like this once in a while but not so often people forget who John Wayne really is.”

This entry was posted in James Stewart, John Ford, John Wayne, Movies.