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      Stagecoach

      Now Playing 1h 36m Western List
      100% Tomatometer 47 Reviews 86% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings John Ford's landmark Western revolves around an assorted group of colorful passengers aboard the Overland stagecoach bound for Lordsburg, New Mexico, in the 1880s. An alcoholic philosophizer (Thomas Mitchell), a lady of ill repute (Claire Trevor) and a timid liquor salesman (Donald Meek) are among the motley crew of travelers who must contend with an escaped outlaw, the Ringo Kid (John Wayne), and the ever-present threat of an Apache attack as they make their way across the Wild West. Read More Read Less Now in Theaters Now Playing Buy Tickets

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      Critics Consensus

      Typifying the best that the Western genre has to offer, Stagecoach is a rip-roaring adventure given dramatic heft by John Ford's dynamic direction and John Wayne's mesmerizing star turn.

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      Critics Reviews

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      John C. Mosher New Yorker For the sake of the view, you forgive all. In Stagecoach, the view is certainly something, and it hardly matters at all what goes on. The credit for the valuable things in this film unquestionably belongs to the cameramen. Aug 15, 2022 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Directorially, production is John Ford in peak form, sustaining interest and suspense throughout, and presenting exceptional characterizations. Picture is a display of photographic grandeur. Feb 18, 2020 Full Review TIME Staff TIME Magazine The rugged background of Monument Valley, Ariz..., the admirable pace given to the screen play by Writer Dudley Nichols and Director John Ford, the unostentatious acting of a well-chosen cast make it one of the season's most satisfactory pictures. Feb 18, 2020 Full Review Zita Short InSession Film Ford directs with characteristic reserve and passion for capturing the beauty of the natural world, and his dramatic camerawork helped to make this a landmark entry in the genre. Feb 1, 2023 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins The characters are interesting, the politics and social class discord intriguing, and the action-oriented cinematography above standard. Rated: 8/10 Jul 30, 2020 Full Review David Parkinson Radio Times Everything about this picture is perfection. Rated: 5/5 Feb 18, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      ChrisCSH H "Stagecoach" is a grand sweeping western epic with realistic [for the time] landscapes, thrilling, gun fights, and a dramatic climax. Stagecoach is worthy of every Oscar nomination it got and one. The picture has many memorable characters, with the one standing out to be John Wayne, for even at the time you could see he would become a great western star. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/20/24 Full Review Danny T There's much to like about this movie. Then there's that ending. The sheriff turns a blind eye to the "hero" seeking out and killing a couple of bad guys (as long as he agrees to go far away as soon as he does the deed), which endears him all the more to his newfound love; sick. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/24/24 Full Review Noel F It really is a classic. The character development is far beyond most shoot'em up Westerns. There are some details about bad decisions and bad people being rewarded, but overall it is a good, mostly clean tale. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/31/24 Full Review nick s The characters are rich and interesting with good arcs, which really anchors this movie. To see how not to do it, try the 66 remake. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 11/26/23 Full Review Matthew B At the time when Stagecoach was made, the studio was reluctant to allow director John Ford to make it, because it was considered that westerns had gone out of fashion after the talkies had started to be made. Of course there were other westerns in the 1930s, and Stagecoach was only one of a number of westerns that restored the popularity of its genre. Ford knew how to compose shots beautifully. He made scenes that were taut and suspenseful. He understood the right balance between intimate close-ups and long-shots. He even used sets that had a roof on them, something Welles certainly took from Ford. Surprisingly enough, seeing roofs was a rarity in movies at that time. So much of Stagecoach has become a staple part of the western today that it risks looking like a cliché to us today. Expect to see a travel movie with a group of motley passengers, some serious and some humorous, facing a series of adventures on the way to their destination. You can also see the familiar sight of Apaches threatening our heroes until they are saved by the cavalry. There are two aspects of Stagecoach that seem hardly new now, but which were definitely novel at the time. One of these was the backdrop for the action. Monument Valley has been used in so many westerns and sci-fi movies now that many film fans can recognise it on sight. The second aspect would become a familiar sight in westerns until the 1970s. I refer to film's leading star. From his dramatic entrance into the film, it might be assumed that this actor was a well-known figure at the time. His character's name is mentioned early in the film, but we wait nearly twenty minutes to see him. When he arrives, the camera shakily zooms in on him as if we are supposed to recognise a big-name star. We do recognise him. It is none other than John Wayne. However Wayne was not a famous actor at the time. He was hardly a novice actor being given his first chance of stardom either. Stagecoach would be Wayne's 80th movie. Despite this prolific rate of appearing in films, Wayne was still an undistinguished actor at the time. The studio therefore opposed the casting of Wayne, and his salary for the movie was lower than that of almost all his leading co-stars. Ford over-rode the objections of the studio, because he believed that Wayne had the makings of an everyman hero, and he was determined to make it so, even if he had to bully Wayne in order to tease a good performance out of him. This indeed he did. Wayne rose to the challenge and became a much-loved actor ever after. He had no hard feelings about Ford's blunt directing style, and made another 13 movies with the tough director. While Wayne may be the star, the focus of interest in Stagecoach covers all the passengers travelling in the coach. Ford was often happiest making films about entire families or communities. The little travelling party are divided by class, by attitude and by moral standards, but they briefly become equals when faced by adversity, and they have to work together against a common enemy. What is surprising about Stagecoach is that it still seems fresh after all these years. Many elements of the film may have reappeared in dozens of westerns made since then, but the particular combination in this film is unusually pleasing. It retains its freshness, even when watched again and again, and it is a film that deserves repeated viewing. I wrote a longer appreciation of Stagecoach on my blog page if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/stagecoach-1939/ Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/17/23 Full Review Leaburn O A very decent Western with Wayne at his best. I'm no fan of his later work but the young Wayne had presence. I can see how the claustrophobic dialogue in the stagecoach must have influenced the first half of The Hateful Eight. This one has a slightly odd and disjointed storyline, I can't say I fully followed it but you get the general Western gist as to who the good guys and who the bad guys are. The obvious downside to the film is listening to Andy Devine's irritating voice throughout…no idea how that dumb schtick created a career for himself. Found a decent quality version of this one on YouTube. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 07/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis John Ford's landmark Western revolves around an assorted group of colorful passengers aboard the Overland stagecoach bound for Lordsburg, New Mexico, in the 1880s. An alcoholic philosophizer (Thomas Mitchell), a lady of ill repute (Claire Trevor) and a timid liquor salesman (Donald Meek) are among the motley crew of travelers who must contend with an escaped outlaw, the Ringo Kid (John Wayne), and the ever-present threat of an Apache attack as they make their way across the Wild West.
      Director
      John Ford
      Producer
      John Ford
      Screenwriter
      Ernest Haycox, Dudley Nichols, Ben Hecht
      Distributor
      UCLA Film and Television Archive [us], Warner Home Vídeo, United Artists
      Production Co
      Walter Wanger Productions, Inc.
      Genre
      Western
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 2, 1939, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 29, 2011
      Runtime
      1h 36m
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.37:1)
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