A Storied Shooting

  title={A Storied Shooting},
  author={Joshua Foa Dienstag},
  journal={Political Theory},
  pages={290 - 318}
A variety of theorists have emphasized the paradox at the center of democratic legal authority, viz., that it cannot be self-derived but must ultimately rest on some extra-legal phenomenon, usually an act of exclusion. John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance examines precisely this paradoxical situation and, I argue, actually suggests a novel response that has escaped theorists who have considered the problem in the past. The film’s best-known line (“print the legend”) in fact represents… 
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pilgrim" throughout the film-a usage that became such a staple of John Wayne impersonators that it can be hard to remember that it is distinctive only to this film and serves a particular purpose

    Liberty Valance opened to tepid reviews: “Film Offers Big Names, Tired Topic” was the title of a short notice in the Chicago Daily Tribune

    • laxly made” (Ernest Callenbach, Film Quarterly 17,
    • 1963

    58). I have also benefited from reading the following: Lindsay Anderson

    • Myth and Law in the Films of John Ford
    • 1975

    The film doesn't endorse this [print-the-legend] point of view, it merely acknowledges the inevitability that beautiful lies will always overpower brutal or drab truths

    • A point recognized by some more than others: See
    • 1986

    The Democratic Paradox (New York: Verso

    • 2000

    This is hardly a universal view. Ransom's character is viewed much more positively in the excellent interpretation of the film presented in

    • 1974