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Stagecoach (1939)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 24,493 users  
Reviews: 268 user | 98 critic

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

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(original story), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Stagecoach (1939)

Stagecoach (1939) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. ... See full summary »

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Philip Dorn
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Louise Platt ...
George Bancroft ...
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Berton Churchill ...
Gatewood
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Tom Tyler ...
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Storyline

A simple stagecoach trip is complicated by the fact that Geronimo is on the warpath in the area. The passengers on the coach include a a drunken doctor, two women, a bank manager who has taken off with his client's money, and the famous Ringo Kid, among others. Written by Andrew Hyatt <dres@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrills! Thrills! Thrills! See - The Apache Attack! Charge of the Cavalry! Fight to the Death On the Last Frontier of Wickedness! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stagecoach  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$222,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A device known as a "Running W" was used on the Indians' horses during the sequence where they are chasing the stagecoach. Strong, thin wires are fixed to a metal post, then the other end of the wires are attached to an iron clamp that encircles the legs of a horse, and the post is anchored into the ground. The horse is then ridden at full gallop, and when the wire's maximum length is reached - just when the rider is "shot" - the animal's legs are jerked out from underneath it, causing it to tumble violently and throw the "shot" rider off. The trouble was that the rider knew when the horse was going to fall but the horse didn't, resulting in many horses either being killed outright or having to be destroyed because of broken limbs incurred during the falls. The use of the "Running W" was eventually discontinued after many complaints from both inside and outside the film industry. See more »

Goofs

In the begining of the film, when the stagecoach is going into Tonto street, we see its shadow to one side. In the next shot the shadow is on the other side. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cavalry scout: These hills here are full of Apaches. They've burnt every ranch building in sight.
[referring to Indian scout]
Cavalry scout: He had a brush with them last night. Says they're being stirred up by Geronimo.
Capt. Sickel: Geronimo? How do we know he isn't lying?
Cavalry scout: No, he's a Cheyenne. They hate Apaches worse than we do.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Panel Quiz Attack 25: Episode dated 15 July 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

She's More to Be Pitied than Censured
(uncredited)
American folk song
Used in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

A great western thanks to the characters
26 December 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A stagecoach sets out across the desert with a load of passengers, looking to catch up with a military unit and drop off the wife of the officer in charge. All the other passengers have their own reasons for getting to the destination, including a vengeful outlaw, a prostitute, a drunken doctor and a cad. However the journey is made incredibly hazardous by the fact that Geronimo is on the warpath in the area they must pass through.

Although I miss seeing the desert landscape in full yellows and blues, this film is one of my favourite westerns and only suffers a little by being in black & while and not really enjoying the visual sweep that later Ford westerns had. The plot is quite simple on one hand - a group battle Indians on their way to a town while some of the characters confront their own battles. However this succeeds because it is more than just a B-movie shoot'em up, it has characters and sub plot.

The characters may be quite broad and the film may well use them like a disaster movie (set them up just enough to care about and then see who gets knocked down) but it does have touches that improve it. Characters are shunned due to their social status, `good' people are revealed to be not so good as they think themselves while `bad' people reveal themselves to have good hearts and the potential for redemption in their lives. While it isn't earth shattering it is well crafted and well written in the context of the traditional western.

Wayne is good and this film allowed him to step up from B-movie westerns to the type of films that made his career. The rest of the cast are also good in their various roles, while the characters are broad they all play it well, especially Trevor, Devine, Mitchell and Carradine.

Overall this is a solid western that has good action (include a great stunt that was lifted directly into Raiders of the Lost Ark) but also has characters and interactions which make for a polished and enjoyable movie.


24 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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