Stagecoach (1939)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: Unrated (not rated)
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Ernest Haycox, Ben Hecht, Dudley Nichols
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 30, 1997
Warner Home Video


as The Ringo Kid

as Dr. Josiah Boone

as Dallas

as Hatfield

as Buck Rickabaugh

as Mr. Samuel Peacock

as Lucy Mallory

as Sheriff Curly Wilcox

as Henry Gatewood

as Lt. Blanchard

as Luke Plummer

as Billy Pickett

as Mrs. Pickett

as Capt. Whitney

as Billy Pickett Jr.

as Capt. Sickels

as Mrs. Gatewood

as Sheriff

as Mrs. Nancy Whitney

as Ike Plummer

as Hank Plummer

as Cavalry Scout

as Telegraph Operator

as Express Agent

as Jerry the Bartender

as Sergeant

as Capt. Simmons

as Dr. Boone's Housekee...

as Dancing Girl

as Dancing Girl

as Cowboy

as Sheriff of Lordsburg

as Indian Scout

as Saloon Keeper

as Editor in Lordsburg

as Expressman Jim

as Barfly

as Lordsburg Express Ag...

as Cavalryman

as Bartender

as Bar Patron in Lordsb...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Stagecoach

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Stagecoach

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (5)

Its virtues remain intact.

Full Review… | February 10, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Directorially, production is John Ford in peak form, sustaining interest and suspense throughout, and presenting exceptional characterizations. Picture is a display of photographic grandeur.

Full Review… | February 10, 2012
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 24, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Impossible to overstate the influence of Ford's magnificent film, generally considered to be the first modern Western.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

John Ford has swept aside ten years of artifice and talkie compromise and has made a motion picture that sings a song of camera.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Modern movies began here.

Full Review… | February 10, 2012

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 and make us really care about them.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


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.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Stagecoach Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Stagecoach on our Movie forum!