Polemics & Exchanges

Print the Wrong Legend

The two takes on American Sniper in the April issue (Wayne Allensworth’s “An American Tragedy,” Correspondence; George McCartney’s “Hopalong Rides the Iraqi Range,” In the Dark) were both great reads . . . but allow for a little Dr. Lecteresque correction: “No no no, Dr. McCartney, you were doing fine.  You had established trust with the ultimate false dichotomy we live with represented by Pug-faced Podhoretz on one side and ‘listen to my adipose cells yitter with each other’ Michael Moore on the other; but this business of saying that Edmund O’Brien was the editor in Liberty Valance who made the famous ‘This is the West, Senator Stoddard—when the legend becomes fact we print the legend’ line at the end won’t do.”

O’Brien was indeed the editor when Liberty was terrorizing the locale; at the end, when Stoddard tells what really happened, O’Brien is long gone.  The editor at that point was Maxwell Scott, played by Carlton Young.

Sorry to be nitpicky, but next to Blazing Saddles, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is probably my favorite western.

        —Tom...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here

X