|Key Cast||John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell|
|MPAA Rating||Not Rated|
|Film Type||Black and White|
The western that Made John Wayne a Movie Star.
Director John Ford’s classic western film “Stagecoach” features John Wayne in one of his most memorable roles as the Ringo Kid. This western made John Wayne a major movie star and is credited with elevating western movies from “B” movie status to “A” level.
The Ringo Kid (John Wayne) is an escaped outlaw being hunted down by marshals throughout the region. After his horse goes lame, Ringo flags down the Overland stagecoach only to find a Marshal Curly (George Bancroft) on board who knows him and knows that he is wanted by the law. In order to get a ride with them, Ringo agrees to give up his gun and turn himself in when the Stagecoach reaches Lordsburg.
Aboard the stagecoach is a diverse group of passengers, all of them with a story. There’s a woman with a scarlet reputation (Claire Trevor) who has just been forced out of the previous town, a drunken doctor (Thomas Mitchell) who doesn’t seem to know what sobriety means, and a genteel pregnant woman who is planning to visit to her soldier husband. Also riding in the Stagecoach are a well-mannered gambler, timid liquor salesman and crooked banker, making for an intriguing group of passengers.
After the Stagecoach arrives at a rest stop, the passengers are given the alarming news that Geronimo is on the warpath and that their lives are in danger. They are now caught between two frontier towns without an escort. Their simple journey has now turned into a fight for their lives.
Nominated for multiple Academy Awards, “Stagecoach” was added to the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1995.
“Stagecoach” is a breakthrough western that is a must-see classic for western fans!
• “Stagecoach” is the first western movie where director John Ford used Monument Valley, Utah as a shooting location. John Ford loved Monument Valley and continued to use this location for making many of his films. In total, Ford shot nine western movies in Monument Valley, many of them legendary, like “The Searchers”, “My Darling Clementine”, “Fort Apache” and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.” There is no other location so closely associated with director John Ford and western movies as Monument Valley, making this Utah destination a western movie icon. When asked about his shooting locations, John Ford famously once said “the real star of my westerns has always been the land” and indeed he forever made Monument Valley into a western star.
• Another “first” for director John Ford in making “Stagecoach” is that this is the first sound movie that John Ford ever made. Prior to this time, Ford had only directed silent films. With the making of “Stagecoach” he moved into the sound era of filmmaking.
• “Stagecoach” was also the first teaming of actor John Wayne and actress Claire Trevor. The next movie that they starred in together was the action adventure film “Allegheny Uprising” followed by the western “Dark Command” in 1940. In 1954 they starred in another action adventure movie together named “The High and the Mighty.”
• There was a remake of “Stagecoach” done in 1966 starring Alex Cord (as the John Wayne character “The Ringo Kid”) and directed by Gordon Douglas. The remake was done in color and was a box-office flop. Other big stars in the remake were Ann Margaret (in Claire Trevor’s role as Dallas) and Bing Crosby as Doc Boone.
• The western “Stagecoach” is based on the story Stage to Lordsburg by Ernest Haycox. This was the first Ernest Haycox novel made into a western movie. Haycox’s novel Trouble Shooter was the basis for the Cecil B. DeMille western “Union Pacific.” Haycox was a very successful western writer who had many of his works serialized in The Saturday Evening Post magazine in the 1930s.
• “Stagecoach” was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1940, winning two of them. Thomas Mitchell (who plays Doc Boone) won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Award and the composers won the Academy Award for Best Music Scoring.
• “Stagecoach” was chosen for the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry 1955. It is one of the few western movies to be bestowed this national honor.
Stagecoach Movie DVD
John Wayne became a movie star because of his starring role in “Stagecoach.”
This Criterion Collection DVD has a new, restored, high-definition transfer of the movie for exceptional viewing. This DVD also has lots of extra bonus material.
This Blu-ray Disc version of the classic western movie “Stagecoach” has the superior picture and audio quality of Blu-ray.
This Blu-ray disc is also loaded with lots of bonus material!
• Stagecoach audio commentary by western authority Jim Kitses
• Bucking Broadway, a 1917 silent feature by John Ford
• Journalist and television presenter Philip Jenkinson’s extensive 1968 video interview
• New video interview with Ford’s grandson, Dan Ford
• New video piece, featuring journalist Buzz Bissinger
• New video homage to legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt
• Video essay by writer Tag Gallagher analyzing Ford’s visual style
• Screen Director’s Playhouse 1949 radio dramatization of Stagecoach
• Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by David Cairns and Ernest Haycox’s Stage to Lordsburg, the short story that inspired the film
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