Stagecoach (1939)


"Well, there are some things a man just can't run away from. " The Ringo Kid

"Well, there are some things a man just can't run away from. " The Ringo Kid

☆ Masterpiece 

Stagecoach (1939) is the first modern western.


Directed by John Ford.


Starring John WayneClaire Trevor, Thomas Mitchell and Andy Devine among many others.


What struck me most about Stagecoach was how Ford had taken it upon himself to showcase John Wayne and make him into an international film star. Yet, John managed to showcase all the other actors in the film as well. The story unfolds gradually to let us get to know each and every character in the story. The entire movie seems like one cliche after another, because the story and scenes have been copied, borrowed and plundered countless times by numerous directors. Ford trims every frame in the film to its bare minimum, which makes for a tight, simple story. Orson Welles has said he viewed Stagecoach over 40 times while making Citizen Kane. Thomas Mitchell won an Oscar for his portrayal of a drunken doctor in the film.

In the scene below watch how Ford makes his good, old friend Wayne shine by having him in a dramatic entrance. John Wayne had already been in over 40 movies and was 32 years old, but Ford makes him look in his early 20's and just starting out in his first film. Ford only shot one take per scene and sometimes errors occured like in the scene below where Wayne is out of focus as the camera zooms in on him. The name of the town they are coming from is Tonto which means stupid or foolish in Spanish. Tonto also happens to be the name of the Lone Ranger's side kick.



video


Trivia - When Ford was asked why the Indians didn't just shoot the stagecoach horses John replied,  "Because that would have been the end of the movie."


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Note - If you would like to view Stagecoach to rent or buy please click on the link below the comments. It is sponsored by Google, so it is the safest and most secure way to get a copy for your film library.