Stagecoach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stagecoach Reviews

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½ March 21, 2017
The prostitute, the outlaw, the alcoholic doctor, the slow-witted driver, the gambler, the marshal, the whiskey drummer, the egotistical banker and the pregnant lady, these are the characters that make up 'Stagecoach', the film that spawned the western talkies that made John Ford the auteur he is regarded as today.

The plot, whilst simple, creates an intriguing situation that unfolds between the film's central characters, and it is from there that the complex character development ensues. Each character is briefly introduced and given a backstory, and their stories are further expanded upon whilst confined within the stagecoach. It is this alone that makes 'Stagecoach' the classic it is, so simple, yet so well-executed, and it proved a benchmark for the films to follow.

Minor statements and prop-related reveals also add to the complex development the story has to offer, some of which I missed first time round watching, thus giving us new material with each new viewing. From the "just got a telegram" that Gatewood utters (unleashing a flurry of distrust among the group) to the foreshadowing of death in the form of the dead man's hand in a poker game.

However what really boasts this film as the technical marvel it is, is the films craft, sure the sound mix might be a little blown-out, but it's dated, so is an area you can forgive, but with stunning cinematography, beautiful vistas of Monument Valley (that Ford's films would later utilise time and time again), a score of epic proportions and stunt-work that is unbelievable for when it was done, one particular scene that I was in awe at was the jumping from horse to horse scene during the case along the salt flats. Finally we have the actors, who all provide high calibre performances, Thomas Mitchell in particular who provides the film with its comic element, but also delivers some more heartfelt and caring drama at times of soberness, and of course, John Wayne's introductory zoom shot.

So why didn't I give it 5 stars you may ask, it's solely due the limited emotional attachment I had to it, and that there are other westerns out there that provide for more integral entertainment, but don't get me wrong, 'Stagecoach' is a prototype western like no other, and the thought that went into executing it make it one of the finest films of the 1930's.
½ January 25, 2017
An intelligent indictment of contemporary society and a surprisingly adept action picture, Stagecoach is a great example of classic cinema that holds up to a modern lens.
½ January 23, 2017
An odd assortment of characters on a stagecoach try to stay ahead of Geronimo and his Apache warriors. John Wayne announces himself a star from the moment he flags down the stage with a rifle. The movie might be from the 1930s and endlessly imitated, but no effort is needed to become captivated.
½ January 10, 2017
A very old Western with John Wayne that has become unwatchable. Despite a couple of iconic shots this is beyond dull. (First and only viewing - 7/15/2010)
½ January 3, 2017
John Wayne never looked young, but here he looks youngish. A classic, stereotypical Cowboys v. Indians flick, set in a stagecoach (obviously) with an outlaw, a drunk, a salesman, an Army wife, and a prostitute.
½ November 9, 2016
Good to watch, but not as brilliant today as it perhaps once was.
½ September 6, 2016
Stagecoach is a remarkable film with clearly defined characters, an intense yet simple plot, and engaging, practical effects.
August 20, 2016
John Wayne and John Ford. What more could you want?
July 14, 2016
Time capsule worthy for the visuals alone. Ford's genius was seeing the potential in an actual stagecoach setting, forcing a rich variety of characters together and playing with cultural stereotypes in a way that is remarkably timeless. And John Wayne's introduction here is one of the greatest establishing shots ever put on film
July 11, 2016
A true American film classic. John Wayne was little more than a B-western film star at the time and the studio didn't want him on this picture, but director John Ford insisted, which led to a collaboration between the two that would last for decades to come and would produce some of the best pictures in film history ("The Searchers," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" "The Quiet Man" etc.). The story involves a disparate group of characters on a stagecoach trip across dangerous "indian territory." What did film did better than most westerns of the time, beside simple production values, is that it took time to develop characters and also offered some brilliant film direction from director Ford. Orson Welles credited this film with greatly helping him prepare for the making of "Citizen Kane." He's reported to have privately watched this film about 40 times while he was making Kane. The western was pretty much a disreputable genre when this film was made, but Ford wanted to elevate it with this picture and he succeeds on all account. This film still ranks among the greatest films ever made whenever there is an international poll of film critics, and it absolutely deserves to be there.
April 25, 2016
Couldn't get through it. The characters are mad annoying, excerpt for the drunk, and even he ain't that great. It's like being stuck with a bunch of lame people. Some of the shots are nice but that's about it.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2016
Movie worked much better for me on a second viewing. At the very least, it is absolutely worth seeing to see just how much it influenced not only the western genre, but also cinema in general.
March 19, 2016
Revolutionary for its time and definitely a movie worth seeing.
½ March 16, 2016
Stagecoach is a simple film about a group of people trying to travel through potentially dangerous Native American territory on a stagecoach. The cast of characters on board are from all different walks of life and have lots of disputes. Naturally, by the end they must learn to set aside their differences and work together to make it through alive. I have to admit, I was never interested in this story. There are a number of story points that I know were explained, but I couldn't possibly tell you what happened because I was bored and distracted almost from the beginning of the film. There are brief moments that grabbed my attention, but it was never held for long. John Wayne was the big star, and I was interested to finally watch a movie starring him, but I didn't particularly like anything he did in this film. His love interest had a more intriguing story, and her relationship with the other riders was the most extreme. But my favorite character on the Stagecoach was the comic relief provided by Thomas Mitchell as the doctor. His constant imbibing was played well for laughs, and yet he was able to straighten up for a more serious scene too. The movie probably could have held my interest more if they met more obstacles along the way. Most of the film, though, was traveling in surprising safety until they had to stop. Then they hear about all the military protection that had left that location. Then they decide to move on again with a renewed dread. There was no mounting to the tension for me as a viewer because the threat of Geronimo seems just as imminent at the beginning as it was in the end. Plus the big confrontation doesn't take place until the very end, and by then I was completely checked out. Stagecoach is definitely not a film for me.
March 14, 2016
This is a classic movie - sought it out on Youtube after first seeing it many years ago. John Wayne and Claire Trevor are at their finest, with strong support from Thomas Mitchell, Donald Meek and John Carradine. Director John Ford oversees a simple but riveting tale with plenty of action, emotion and humour.
March 5, 2016
If Western Genre has a standard, here is the film that defined it.
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2016
How riveting it is to be immersed in this classic influential Western that is not only entertaining and exciting but is above all a sincere story that always rings true with its unforgettable gallery of three-dimensional characters who grow on us and make us care so much about them.
½ January 15, 2016

I like the diversity onboard the stagecoach passengers in that we have an alcoholic Doctor Boone, wife of a military Calvary soldier, peacock who is the paster, Hatfield who is a former Confederate soldier who is now a gambler, and John Wayne as Ringo.
It is good mixture of diversity in characters to provide a sense of randomness that seems real. There is a Calvary army. A mixture of gray personalities that are not all good or bad. We have a robber of money from safe of the fist town and is caught in final town

They stop at coach way stop station to change horses and give horses and passengers something to drink.

John Wayne is for some reason thought to have done bad things and others are planning to arrest him once he enters his destination. His horse died that's why John Wayne joins the stagecoach.

The scenery looks nice.

The confederate solder pours some water from stagecoach drivers canteen into a silver cup with a crest to her told she recognizes the crest on silver crest where he told her that he won in wager.

In this film we encounter Mexicans and Native Americans.

Doctor takes Black coffee to silver up after drinking alcohol the entire stagecoach trip.

We have apache women at on stagecoach stop where the passengers complain.

One of the woman passengers had a baby girl in between stagecoach stops.

There is enough mystery but some more information is given as story goes on.

Apache woman takes horse which Mexican complains about to wake up stage coach passengers.

Prostitute by the name of Dallas is in love with John Wayne character Ringo but is in conflicted because she knows he will be imprisoned once enter Lawsburg.

John Wayne Rengo says he was in penitentiary going on 17. We know he owns a Ranch.

We see Apache smoke signals so leave.

There is realism that looks amazing by the stunts in the final apache stagecoach chase. The most Amazing is the apache stunt men jumping between the stagecoach horses and then going under the horses almost like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Each sallon in this film has its own personality and you can tell the size of area or town they are in by the saloons look and population.

Newspaper is already make predictions before of Ringo's death before anything happens.

Final town is much darker, larger, and grayer in personalities compared to everywhere else the film goes to before hand.

After seeing it a second time I do have a better appreciation for the film.
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