MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 350 this week

Stagecoach (1939)

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 25,179 users  
Reviews: 272 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.

Director:

Writers:

(original story), (screen play), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 14 Oct 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 21 Nov 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 31 Mar 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 30 Jun 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Stagecoach" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Stagecoach (1939)

Stagecoach (1939) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Stagecoach.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Rio Bravo (1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson
Wagon Master (1950)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr.
Hondo (1953)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Army despatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches, and he becomes their protector.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A reformed outlaw becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers and is forced to rejoin his old outlaw band.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Julie London, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker
Tombstone (1993)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre
Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott
Open Range (2003)
Action | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner
Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna
Broken Arrow (1950)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget
The Westerner (1940)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinergaroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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
Hombre (1967)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

John Russell, disdained by his "respectable" fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Indians, becomes their only hope for survival when they are set upon by outlaws.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La diligencia  »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David O. Selznick was interested in making the film, but only if he could have Gary Cooper as the Ringo Kid and Marlene Dietrich as Dallas. See more »

Goofs

At Apache Wells where Chris rushes in to wake the Marshal to say his wife has run off, the Marshal and Ringo Kid are chained together at the ankle. The Marshal delivers his line but moves his chained leg too far, jerking the chains around Ringo's ankle. Ringo yelps and grabs his ankle. As the Marshal turns toward Ringo to undo the chains, the Marshal is clearly struggling not to break up laughing as Ringo glares at him. 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 A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Careless Love
(uncredited)
African-American spritual
Used in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great western which enables multiple interpretations
30 April 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

John Wayne is "The Ringo Kid" in this John Ford-directed parable of outcasts traveling towards various kinds of figurative and literal redemption/salvation. On a surface level, the basic plot is disarmingly simple--a motley crew of eight takes a stagecoach from Tonto to Lordsburg, trying to avoid Geronimo and his Apaches on the way. They are having their own problems with the U.S. government and are thus likely to attack. The stagecoach bounces from outpost to outpost while the relationships of its passengers evolve, helping each other to "find themselves" and (usually) providing hope of some kind of new life.

The Ringo Kid has been wrongly accused of a crime and is on his way to Lordsburg to avenge both the false accusations and more importantly, the murder of his father and brother. Dallas (Claire Trevor) is implied to be a prostitute, and so is ostracized from Tonto (which means "stupid", "foolish" or "daft" in Spanish) by a self-stylized matronly moral majority. Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell) is far more concerned with getting drunk than being a doctor, and is partially ostracizing himself from Tonto. Hatfield (John Carradine) is a "gambler gentleman" with a shady reputation and a false identity. Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt) is trying to get to her husband, who is in the military; she's in a surprisingly "secret" physical state. Samuel Peacock, whom everyone keeps mistaking for a reverend, is in the alcohol business and just wants to get back east to get back to his business. Henry Gatewood is a crooked banker trying to flee before his questionable dealings are discovered. And the stagecoach drivers consist of a lovable buffoon, Buck (Andy Devine) and the most forthright, straight arrow of the bunch, Marshal Curly Wilcox (George Bancroft).

Even though Stagecoach remains tightly focused on its wilderness road trip, that might seem like a large stable of characters to shape into a taut plot. Ford, working from script by Dudley Nichols and Ben Hecht, based on a short story, "Stage to Lordsburg", by Ernest Haycox (which itself bears a relation to Guy de Maupassant's "Boule de Suif", 1880), keeps the proceedings in check by only giving us the information we need to explore the evolving relationships, and only focusing on each character when they're important to the plot. This results in a few of the characters being functionally absent for extended lengths of time, but Ford can so easily establish a "deep" character with a minimum of screen time that the absences are not a detriment.

The principal focus, of course, is between Ringo and Dallas, as on a significant level, Stagecoach becomes a romance. They're initially brought together via their mutual ostracization, even among the ostracized, which gives them an immediate bond beyond their physical attraction towards one another. Wayne and Trevor are both fantastic in their roles, avoiding the occasional overacting by some other performers. But this is a film where it's difficult to count the slight overacting as a flaw, as it was more of a stylistic tendency of the genre during this period and it provides a nice counterbalance to Wayne and Trevor.

Stagecoach is also famous for its setting. Much of the film was shot in Utah's Monument Valley, along authentic stagecoach "roads". The (beautiful) starkness of the desert is often taken as a symbolic trip through a kind of purgatory for the characters, where they're left alone with their souls, their only connection being their small group, to contemplate their pasts and futures. Whether we choose to read something along those lines into the film or not, Monument Valley is at least a captivating presence in the film, although for me, the cinematography could have been better technically, especially considering that Stagecoach was made at the same time as The Wizard of Oz (1939). Ford's famous tendency to do only one take results in a couple minor gaffes, such as the initial shot of John Wayne--a zoom into a close-up--that is out of focus for most of the zoom.

As one could guess, eventually our passengers run into a band of Apaches, who are often interpreted as representing more of a "natural force" that our heroes must surmount. The climax features a fabulous extended chase/fight sequence with a number of amazing stunts by both humans and animals. The most impressive human stunts are performed by the legendary Yakima Canutt, including one that involved being dragged through the dirt by the horse-pulled stagecoach, which was moving along at about 40 miles per hour and supposedly missed running over Canutt by only 12 inches (30.5 cm). This scene was an inspiration for a similar stunt in Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Although it's not a "perfect" film to me, and it's not even my favorite western (I'm more partial to the classic spaghetti westerns, for example), Stagecoach is a very good film and was very influential, despite being made at a time when Ford was told that he was committing professional suicide by even contemplating a western. As the plethora of critical literature attests, it works on many levels, including as an allegorical microcosm of U.S. Depression-era society, and should be seen at least once by anyone serious about film literacy.


91 of 110 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Re: Ringo Kid and the Plummer Brothers, I just don't get it helica9
The Amazing Claire Trevor csu16387
NOT IN THE IMDB 250??? ANDREWEHUNT
Significance of Hatfield's death? duncmacdonald
why did they all shun Dallas? courtjes
What Year is This Movie Set In? jfritter
Discuss Stagecoach (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?