1. something that is proven to be true.*
A traditional story that is sometimes regarded as historically accurate but not authenticated.*
*Definitions from Oxford Languages
The title of this narrative came from the script of the great Western film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, comprised of an All-Star cast including John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, Andy Devine, Edmond O’Brien, John Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, Stother Martin, Jeanette Nolan, and Denver Pyle, among other notable actors/actresses of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and even before and after those decades.
John Ford’s film tells the story of an aspiring lawyer passing through western territory where residents were discussing the idea of becoming states. An outlaw, along with his two accomplices, terrorized the residents, instilling fear among the majority of settlers. The local policeman was an afflicted and fearful man. When he was sober he acted as a political activist and informant for the residents of the town where they lived.
Pretty much the only person willing to stand up to the outlaw was John Wayne’s character, until the young lawyer, played by Stewart, tried but was beaten, and left for dead, by Lee Marvin’s character, Liberty Valance, and Rance, Stewart’s character, planned a way to legally see Valance end up in a jail cell.
Not wanting to be a spoiler, if you haven’t yet seen the film, I will just use the line from the movie, which is the title of this narrative, to illustrate something that I am sure has related, does relate, or will relate to all of us somewhere, sometime in our lives.
Just because the quote uses the word print, this is not meant to be a slam pointed to any form of media, nor is it meant to be a slam toward or against any person, it’s just a caveat saying that sometimes what we may see or hear, may not be the whole story, and nothing but the story.
In many arenas in peoples’ lives, things are said about persons and events involving, people, groups, and/or happenings that maybe only part of the story behind them. That’s not to say people, groups, or occurrences may not be noteworthy, it just may mean that at times the people, groups, or events may be either embellished a lot, or mis-told or mis-reported, possibly distorting the facts or skewing happenings or events, making them somewhat different than what is/was actually fact.
Many people have heard/used this expression. “a fish story,” When a story has been told repeatedly, “the fish” Sometimes the story gets bigger and more legend-like with every telling. It is not uncommon for people close to the event, or those who were there at the time, to embellish their version of events. “behind closed doors,” Who have heard, seen, and/or experienced things as they really are, but who later saw and/or listened to the legend instead.
Perhaps, some’s belief in the legend may be due to their not being “behind the scenes,” The legend becomes a reality for them. When they hear the story over and over again, it sounds so real that many people believe in it.
Many people want to believe in legends because they are more romantic and exciting than factual stories. They can make underdogs into heroes. People love to cheer for underdogs and hope they get their 15 minutes of fame. But in many cases, the factual stories are often more exciting, romantic, and make heroes out of the underdogs. “The Rest of the Story.” There will be some who’ve witnessed and truly know what is really fact and not just legend. Maybe that’s a testament to phrases that begin, “Truth be told…”