- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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john ford was probably for directing what bobby knight was for coaching. flawed..not always easy to get along with ..or for some people to like. he did make the western a respected form of story telling. he also could direct a few other type of stories. maybe the best way to view him was from a distance.
This is a perfect film...sparse...clean...and simple...no need for any excess...I love this film!
Attn.. kate who wrote to this site. Regarding the horses and the trip wires. I believe the film you may be confusing Stagecoach with, would be Charge of the Light Brigade, staring Errol Flynn. John Ford hired real native American Indians and the best stunt people in the business. Michael Curtis on the other hand, at some point lost control, a number of times, especially, during the final charge scenes and people were hurt and killed as well as many horses had to be destroyed. Errol Flynn never forgave Curtis and helped form humane society policies to put an end to animal cruelty.
- Michael Whitty
The movie that made John Wayne a star with everything you want in a western film "Stagecoach" was one of many great films from 1939 as it brought in the John Ford- John Wayne collaboration. What makes "Stagecoach" a classic are all the different characters on board including John Wayne's "ringo kid" who was actually meant to be taken to jail but winds up saving people from an indian attack. Thomas Mitchell, who had a great year including "Gone With The Wind", won an Oscar as a drinking doctor as there were others in the cast along for the ride including stagecoach driver Andy Devine. The combination of characters and action come togather wonderfully when the stagecoach is attacked by indians and everyone has to do their part to get through the moment. John Ford's direction showed a mastery of characters and action.
- kevin sellers
Not only is this Ford's first great Western, it may well be the first psychological Western; where complexity of character vies with action and setting in overall importance. In other words, bravo to Dudley Nichols for a fine screenplay that shows several key characters with both virtues and flaws, like John Carradine's gallant and hair trigger tempered ex Confederate soldier, Louise Platt's elegant and gentle, yet snobbish cavalry wife, and Thomas Mitchell's self destructive and insightful doctor, to go along with the more standard heroes (John Wayne's noble gunfighter) and villains (Burton Churchill's despicable banker.) Give it an A. P.S. If usually intelligent TCM reviewers can say that John Wayne "cannot act," then they are saying that there is no difference between The Ringo Kid, in this film, and, say, Ethan Edwards in "The Searchers" or Col. Nathan Brittles in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon." Since this is obviously an indefensible position, why don't Wayne haters at least admit that, while he's no James Stewart or Henry Fonda, he's as good as Randolph Scott. Or maybe they hate Scott, as well.
Great Characters and Horse Stunts
- In the Saddle
Guess I have two things to say about this movie. First off we see John Wayne on his way to being a star and he has a couple of great lines. . In the supporting cast, keep an eye out for Doc and the Gambler. I'm well over 60. I grew up outside a big city and went from a horse rental rider to a lifetime horse owner. Over the years, I've brushed, saddled and rode more horses than I can remember. I've taken care of sick and hurt horses. All this doesn't stop me from watching this movie. I still enjoy watching the stunt riding in this movie. Lets face it, those horses were gone before I was born.
Shameful killing of horses
I liked this movie until I read that many of the horses in the final shot had to be killed due to broken bones suffered when the horses were tripped. I will never watch this movie again.
Overall-3/5Lead Performers-3/5Supporting Cast-3/5Director-4/5Score-3/5Screenplay-2/5Cinematography-4/5Importance-4/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-3/5
- Dashiell Barnes
An original & mature western that launched Wayne to stardom. Great collection of performances, especially Mitchell in his Oscar- winning performance as Dr. Josiah Boone. Outstanding action & beautiful scenes of tenderness, added by Ford's distinct touch. A terrific western by Wayne & Ford. I give it a 4.5/5.
How can anyone say the film would have been better without John Wayne? His presence is felt throughout the film, he was an amazing personality who could act some too.
John Wayne is...
- Ann Brown
...beautiful. In his star-making turn as the Ringo Kid, Wayne's entrance into the film takes one's breath away. The Kid is sincere, controlled, romantic, and singleminded in his need to avenge his family. Wayne's timing is wonderful and his expressive face, moving only his eyes at times tells the audience everything it needs to know. But of course this is a Ford western so we get much more than action, great stunts (don't miss the Indian jumping on the stage horses, it is spectacular),and lots of shooting. The microcosm of society foist together under trying circumstances is fascinating to watch, especially since the cast is sublime - Thomas Mitchell, Donald Meek, John Carradine, Claire Trevor, and stuntman Yakima Canute are screen actors who know their business well. Don't miss this film, which is beautifully shot in Ford's favorite Monument Valley. The compleat film.
- James Higgins
This is a fine film, and excellent western, great direction from John Ford, but I do feel it is a bit overrated. Claire Trevor and Thomas Mitchell deliver excellent performances. Andy Devine does fine as well, good score. And John Wayne is not a good actor and feel the film would have benefited by someone who could act.
"You might need me and this Winchester. Saw a ranch house burning last night." What an entrance. Even on TV you are taken aback by John Wayne's presence. Immediately likeable, but you know he is a little dangerous. Can't imagine what it was like to see in a movie theater in 1939 for the first time. Instant stardom (after many years in movies). A great John Ford movie and one of my favorite westerns.
John Ford and John Wayne, the best of the best!
- John Hull
There is little doubt that Stagecoach is one of the greatest pieces of film making in American movie history. The story of a band of travelers fighting for their lives was a common theme in western stories, but John Ford turned it into the best example of that anyone has ever seen. He took a relatively unknown actor, gave him a plumb role, and then worked his magic.Ford composed and edited his work in his head and in the camera, and didn't do a lot of alternate takes, so there was little for editors to do except follow where he led. It's a good thing for movie fans that he did. There is a quality about "Stagecoach" and the way he directed Wayne and the rest of the cast that puts it on a pinnacle nobody has surpassed, and only Ford himself equaled with his cavalry trilogy.You can't get any better than John Ford and John Wayne together, and you can't get any better than "Stagecoach" when you're talking about westerns.
Perhaps The Greatest Western Of All Time
- Michael O'Farrell
How does one begin to praise this film? From that stellar year 1939, a year filled with innumerable screen gems, STAGECOACH belongs in the upper tier of a long list of indelible movie masterpieces. It most certainly rivals both GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WIZARD OF OZ as a timeless masterpiece. Director John Ford, possibly the greatest of all American film directors, made many great films but I think Stagecoach may be his masterwork. In terms of story and the execution of that story into a dramatic, comical, witty and altogether thrilling screenplay, STAGECOACH has few rivals. Add to that some of the most picturesque camera work ever committed to film, displaying the breadth and width of Monument Valley. It took the audience's breath away in 1939 and it continues to do so in 2007 , unfortunately in a less than pristine print. But Ford's vision is large and epochol enough that it hardly matters. His vision of a long ago American West, teeming with people, their goodness and their foibles, with calvary and Indians, horses and dust and the terrible beauty of endless vistas that threaten to dwarf everything else, is something wondrous to behold. STAGECOACH is a film for the ages.
THOMAS MITCHELL STEALS THE SHOW!
I am a die-hard Wayne fan, but I was totally impressed with Thomas Mitchell's performance as "Doc" in this movie. He gave it a "Compassionate" slant and he had some of the best lines. He carried most of the cast with his humor. He made the role of the Town Drunk one of the strongest charactors when "the going got tough". His role validated all the other charactors and made their stories more interesting. Without his performance, this would not have been the classic that it is! Throughout the movie, I waited for his next great line!