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December 8, 2013

Western classics scripted by art history

DUNCAN — Catch a western classic at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center as a free movie series begins this month with the 1962 John Ford film, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” in the T.H. McCasland Jr. Experience Theater, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15.

CTHC’s Andy Couch, associate curator and programs coordinator, said the western films relate to the permanent art collection displayed in the Garis Gallery of The American West.

 “John Ford was strongly influenced by western artists and painters like Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington.” Couch said.

Ford’s “Valance” stars John Wayne and James Stewart and was released as a black and white film by Paramount Pictures. The Library of Congress recognized this movie for its cultural and historical significance, and in 2007, the United States National Film Registry selected it for preservation.

“Many people may not realize the importance artists had on the film industry. We hope to educate people about art of the American West and their influence,” Couch says.

Couch will be available after the movie to discuss the movie and its direct connection to art and an informational handout will be provided.

While some are familiar with the movie, many have not experienced seeing it on the big screen.

The screenplay of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson. James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck wrote the screenplay.

The movie is rated PG-13 for western violence, mild profanity, mild alcohol and smoking use.

Two more Ford classics will be presented in February and March. The theater will be closed temporarily in January for upgrades, but the museum and gallery are open seven days a week.

For information, call CTHC at 580-252-6692. Stacy Cramer Moore is executive director of the museum.

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