Stagecoach solidified John Ford as one of American cinema's most important directors and made a star of John Wayne, while it established most of the conventions for all movie Westerns to come. The story takes place on a stagecoach journey across the West. Led by the Ringo Kid (Wayne), the stagecoach is filled with a number of people who have nothing in common yet pull together over the course of their voyage, since they have to struggle through natural disasters and attacks by outlaws and Indians. Stagecoach is filled with exciting action and beautiful visuals, as well as surprisingly detailed character sketches, which easily makes it one of the greatest Westerns ever filmed. Thomas Mitchell won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the alcoholic Dr. Josiah Boone, and the musical score also won an Oscar. Remade in 1966 and 1988, the latter time as a made-for-television movie. … More
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Critic Reviews for Stagecoach
Directorially, production is John Ford in peak form, sustaining interest and suspense throughout, and presenting exceptional characterizations. Picture is a display of photographic grandeur.
Seen today, Stagecoach may not seem very original. That's because it influenced countless later movies in which a mixed bag of characters are thrown together by chance and forced to survive an ordeal.
Impossible to overstate the influence of Ford's magnificent film, generally considered to be the first modern Western.
John Ford has swept aside ten years of artifice and talkie compromise and has made a motion picture that sings a song of camera.
With this, Ford transformed the western from fading B-movie filler into genuine adult fare.
[VIDEO] Orson Welles famously said he watched "Stagecoach" 40 times before he made "Citizen Kane." It's easy to see why.
Stagecoach is not just one of the greatest and most influential Westerns ever made; it's also a template for the ensemble film.
...a thoughtful ensemble examination of grace (and lack of grace) under stress.
John Ford's classic western is a landmark of the genre for so many reasons: mature, classically constructed and superbly directed, it made a star of John Wayne...
Criterion Collection's two-disc set... [is] a small film-school education, through the copious supplementary materials, on how the film broke new ground, why it remains so important today...
A particularly special entry in Ford's already lengthy career... his first absolutely perfect movie.
One of the best Westerns ever made, Ford's Stagecoach is a very stylized work, shot in black-and-white and influenced by German Expressionism. Sharply written by Dudley Nichols, it features strong characterizations well-played by the entire ensemble.
Rustic classic John Ford film, Duke's first big one.
After 10 years, John Wayne finally arrives
The first great Western... Instead of rote good-guy / bad-guy conflict, Stagecoach emphasized characterization, social commentary, and moral drama.
A true classic. Despite most of the characters being archtypes, Ford has created a Western setting in which we get involved in the lives of these people; Wayne is sincere in his first major role, and Carradine almost steals the show as the gambler. Claire
Audience Reviews for Stagecoach
How riveting it is to get immersed in this classic influential Western that is not only entertaining and exciting but above all a sincere story that always rings true with its unforgettable gallery of three-dimensional characters who grow on us to make us really care for them.More
A stagecoach containing a disparate assortment of characters comes under Indian attack. John Ford revolutionized the genre with this beautifully crafted western and John Wayne was catapulted to stardom for his performance as the vengeance seeking gunfighter caught up in defending a group of strangers. But for me, the film is all about Thomas Mitchell as his preferred typecast of intellectual drunkard although it's one of many wonderful performances as the faultless cast represent a hugely likeable bunch and offer Ford an opportunity to highlight social prejudices. The message is to never judge a book by its cover as outlaws can be honourable, "fallen women" can be thoughtful and considerate, drunks can be courageous and respected gentlemen can be crooks. Also featuring some ground breaking stuntwork, this story has been remade many times and its influence can be seen in everything from the work of Akira Kurosawa to The Breakfast Club and it still stands up as one of the very best of the genre.More
I realize that my review is going to be considered controversial, but listen, this is all just my opinion.
I do love westerns. They are an American institution, and, by and large, have proven to be perhaps the only genre films that are truly uniquely American.
Having said that, this film is overrated. Yes, it wasn't the first western, but it pretty much defined the genre and set the standard for basically every film to follow for the new few decades until revisionism hit starting in the late 60s. This put both John Ford and John Wayne on the map, making icons and legends out of them, but c'mon, if you strip away all of the historical, culutral, and aesthetic significances, and ignore the film's influence and legacy, it's really not all that special or interesting.
Don't get me wrong, it's good, but it really hasn't held up that well. Perhaps I'd feel a lot differently had this been the first western I ever saw, but since it is so old, and things have changed so much since then, I can't help but kinda take this for granted by default.
The plot follows nine travelers thrust together on the titular vehicle as they make their way across the west through the dangerous Apache Territory, and how they must all band together if they want to survive. Okay, so fine, the plot's not much, but the performances do slightly make up for it, and yeah, it looks decent, and the music is really good, and the stunts and action are okay, but I can't let myself get swept up in everything and give this one a high rating by default. I'll admit that I've done that sort of thing in the past, and maybe I need to be more honest and make some reconsiderations, but for now, with this one, I'm standing my ground and saying that yes, while this is a landmark film, it's not a masterpiece when taken solely on its own terms.
A motley group of people travel through dangerous "Indian country" (isn't it all supposed to be Indian country?).
As I watched this film, I found myself wondering the characters were cliches in 1939 because then I might have found something fresh and original about John Ford's film. But in 2011, I found everything predictable with the exception of the doctor's eventual heroism.
Overall, I don't feel qualified to give an educated opinion on this film; I'm trying to like Westerns, but this film feels like a racist (Natives are, of course, depicted as wild, savage, malevolent forces) cliche. I can't be the only one who thinks that, but judging from the critics' and Super Reviewers' raves, I must be.
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