Stagecoach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stagecoach Reviews

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½ October 16, 2017
Adapted from a short story by Ernest Haycox with a stagecoach just arriving to Tonto, Arizona Territory picking up 3 additional passengers of Doc Josiah Boone (Thomas Mitchell), and Dallas
Claire Trevor, banker, Gatewood (Berton Churchill) heading toward Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory while along the way picking up Ringo Kid (John Wayne) who must drive through the violent Geromino territory.
Winner of 2 Oscars out of 7 nominations including "Best Supporting actor" for Thomas Mitchell and best musical score.
October 9, 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 August 5, 2017
Classic for a reason. Also includes one of the craziest stunts I've ever seen,
June 26, 2017
Stagecoach is the western that started all westerns and it's with no doubt that I can say that I can see why. This movie was phenomenal beyond belief. I love going into a movie and not knowing anything about it and then being completely and utterly surprised by how great it was. This is exactly what happened with Stagecoach.

This is not only a western, but also a glimpse into the human psyche and society. This movie has soul and personality at the center of it. Not to mention all the action at the end and all the stupendous choreographed stunts. This movie has it all!

I honestly have to say that I went into this movie not thinking much about it and ended up leaving the movie completely and utterly entertained and enthralled.

Will definitely definitely be watching it again!
½ April 14, 2017
An exceptional western - lost a half a star to some awkward editing in places.
April 1, 2017
The American West, late-1800s. A stagecoach sets off across the untamed wilderness carrying a mixed assortment of characters: an infamous outlaw, a drunk doctor, a prostitute, a whiskey salesman, the wife of an Army officer, a gambler, a bank manager, the local Marshall and the driver. Animosities and petty differences, and unexpected friendships, surface. Their fortunes take a turn for the worse when they learn that an Apache raiding party, lead by Geronimo, is in their vicinity.

A masterpiece that is the most important Western ever made. Great plot, well directed by the legendary John Ford. Not just a conventional cowboys-vs-Indians / gunfight sort of Western (though there a large element of that) but a character drama too. There is great character depth and development on display and this is used well in developing the story.

Some great themes running through the movie too, especially one of anti-prejudice.

Good performances all round. John Wayne is great as the Ringo Kid and shows a softer side that wasn't always apparent in his later films. Thomas Mitchell deservedly won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Doctor Boone.

More than just a brilliant movie, a movie that created the blueprint for Westerns, and pretty much defined the genre.

It also made John Wayne a star. He had acted in plenty of movies before this without much impact but Stagecoach is what truly launched his career as we know it.

John Ford had already won a directing Oscar before directing Stagecoach, so this movie wasn't as career-enhancing to him as it was to John Wayne. However, it did set him up as the foremost director of Westerns. Moreover, it was to be the first of many collaborations with John Wayne, a series of collaborations that would see them make movies like The Searchers, Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, They Were Expendable, Fort Apache and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

A brilliant and historic movie.
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.
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