Saturday, Dec 2020
Director: John Ford
Screenwriters: Dudley Nichols from Ernest Haycox's "Stage to Lordsburg".
Length: 99 mins. B&W
Released: 1939

stagecoach posterStagecoach marks John Ford's return to the Western genre after a thirteen year hiatus and features John Wayne. The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 1939, considered a landmark year for American film. This is an almost flawless film. This first pairing of Wayne and Ford holds no less magic than any of the others. It is thrilling to see John Wayne's appearance in this picture as The Ringo Kid while knowing what he did for Westerns during the next 35 years. His promise as a cowboy star is unmistakable, and the rest of the cast, portraying a motley collection of all the staple Western characters, are excellent as well. The obstacles here the passengers' conflicting pasts and motives and the dreaded Geronimo who has "jumped the reservation" and is on the warpath. One heart-warming romance successfully forms to a passenger's poetic blessing: "Well, they're saved from the blessings of civilization..."

Based on the story by Ernest Haycox, "Stage to Lordsburg." Screenplay by Dudley Nichols. *With a musical score based on American folk songs adopted by Richard Hageman, Franke Harlins, John Leipold, and Leo Shukan.

An outstanding early Western. An undisputed Classic.

--Jed

Cast:

  • Claire Trevor --- Dallas
  • John Wayne --- The Ringo Kid
  • Andy Devine --- Buck
  • John Carradine --- Hatfield
  • Thomas Mitchell -- Dr. Josiah Boone
  • Louise Platt --- Lucy Mallory
  • George Bancroft --- Sheriff Curly Wilcox
  • Donald Meek --- Samuel Peacock
  • Berton Churchill -- Henry Gatewood
  • Tim Holt --- Lieutenant Blanchard
  • Tom Tyler --- Luke Plummer
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