John Waynes voice is perhaps one of his strongest assets as an actor Even

John waynes voice is perhaps one of his strongest

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John Wayne’s voice is perhaps one of his strongest assets as an actor. Even though the most famous line of the film does not come from Wayne—“This is the west, sir. When legend becomes fact, print it”—his powerful delivery allows his dialogue to resonate with the audience even after he has left the screen. As Tom Doniphon, he utilizes this voice to accentuate the “tough-guy” lines of the script. From the first instance he refers to Stoddard as “pilgrim”, we can anticipate that he will become the dominating male of the narrative. Tom proclaims, “Liberty Valance’s the toughest man south of the Picketwire…next to me.”“You looking for trouble?” asks Valance. “Why you aimin’ tohelp me find some?” Even as Liberty Valance casts a shadow of terror across the town, relishes the use of his leather bullwhip, and can be credited with the deaths of many, he also fails to check Wayne’s dominant masculinity. This masculinity also comes through in Tom Doniphon’s close relationship with Pompey. The political richness of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valancecan be seen in the ways it calls attention to racism. As we might expect, Wayne’s Tom Doniphon has progressive politics that are ahead of his time and often out of step with his surroundings. When Pompey enters the bar to retrieve Tom, the bartender does not serve him, and Tom pounds the bar and cries, “Give him a drink!” (Pompey does not drink, so he demurs; in any case, this scene illustrates his devotion to Tom as well as Tom’s loyalty to him, which stand out within the film). Of course, it is Ransom Stoddard, not Tom Doniphon, who is the titular man who shot Liberty Valance. But the fact that Stoddard’s proper name does not appear in the title can be interpreted as an acknowledgement that he is not the only star of the film. The ambiguity of who could claim the role of leading man in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valancealso played out in real life. Stewart was given top billing over Wayne in the film's posters and previews, but in the film itself Wayne receives top billing.4Even as his acting career catapulted him into stardom, the man known as “the Duke” remained an outsider among his fellow outsiders in two key ways. First, he was forty years old before he became known as a cinematic superstarmuch older than others in a similar position. One reason behind this was the fact that Wayne did not serve in World War II, so he was able to capitalize upon opportunities that would otherwise have not been available to him. Indeed, by many accounts he was plagued by guilt for his failure to serve in the war. Director John Ford capitalized upon this guilt to heighten the on-screen and off-screen rivalry between Stewart [who came to be regarded as a war hero] and Wayne: he famously

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