Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ann Althouse Is Right

I consider "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" to be one of the top five "blackest" movies of all time. The other four, which you might wish to view, are; "The Ox-Bow Incident", with a very young Henry Fonda in a supporting role, "Touch of Evil", with Orson Welles at his darkest and a young Charlton Heston playing a Mexican police officer, "Apocolypse Now, Redux" (which I am sure you have seen), and the blackest movie ever made (and one I am also sure you have seen), "Taxi Driver". I am not a lawyer, but the mistrust in lawyers and the law in general are pervasive throughout these films. Not disrespect, but mistrust.

In "Liberty Valance", one good guy accompanies the other good guy's body to his burial, while the bad guy has been dispatched years before. (I always have wondered what Tom did with his life after shooting Liberty Valance, contrary to his beloved "code of the West", and losing the girl.)

In "Ox-Bow", the only good guy gets murdered by vigilantes and the really bad guy self-administers justice, while the rest live with their guilt for the rest of their lives.

In "Touch of Evil", a former good guy has become a bad guy, a really bad guy, while his long sufering love and longer suffering partner recreate themselves as inherently good, right at the end.

In "Apocolypse", the good guy (or is he the bad guy) gets chopped up, while the other good guy (or is he really the bad guy) does the chopping.

In "Taxi Driver", the good guy is the bad guy, or vice versa, whichever comes first. This movie had a shock ending that I could not believe, to the point that I laughed out loud in the theater when I first saw it. When the tape became available (this was before DVD), I bought it immediately to watch it again to see if it truly ended the way I remembered it. Yep, the deranged maniac is considered the hero.

I would guess that, of all the movies listed above, you have seen neither "The Ox-Bow Incident" nor "Touch of Evil". Make it a point to see them.

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