MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,012 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 25,071 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 29 Sep 2010
 
a list of 22 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
 
USA
a list of 35 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 46 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 4 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
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
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
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:

Danger holds the reins as the devil cracks the whip ! Desperate men ! Frontier women ! Rising above their pasts in a West corrupted by violence and gun-fire ! 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

Near the end of the movie, Luke Plummer (Tom Tyler) has a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights. This is the notorious "dead man's hand" supposed to have been held by Wild Bill Hickok before he was killed. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning sequence when the stage is coming into town you can see that the buildings are stage facades as the camera shot is at an angle and it is clear there is no structure behind the false front. 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

Spoofed in Malèna (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Ten Thousand Cattle
(1888) (uncredited)
Written by Owen Wister
Used in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Over the rise, it's the Duke, Winchester in hand
5 September 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of my favorite movie shots of all time comes in Stagecoach when the coach rounds a bend and you see a figure in the distance and has the camera zooms in closer you recognize it as John Wayne, saddle in one hand and winchester rifle in the other.

Certainly the figure of John Wayne is familiar enough even to today's moviegoers as the man who put more people in theater seats than any other player. But back then in 1939 all he was known as was B picture cowboy who was a friend of John Ford, whom Ford happened to be giving a break to. He sure took advantage of it.

Wayne heads an ensemble group of players who are journeying from Tonto to Lordsburg by stagecoach. It is a dramatization of the western novel by Ernest Haycox and John Ford brilliantly cast his film.

Anyone of them could have been Oscar material, but one player did win an Oscar, Thomas Mitchell as the alcoholic Doc Boone. 1939 was maybe the highpoint of Mitchell's career. Imagine being in three films nominated for Oscars, Stagecoach, Gone With the Wind, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. He could have been nominated for any one of them.

On top of the coach is driver Andy Devine and riding shotgun is Marshal George Bancroft. Devine is a befuddled dunce and a lot of reviewers usually pass him over in talking about the film. To be sure he is, but there is a scene where the stagecoach has to cross a deep stream. A pontoon like device is rigged, but it's professional teamster Andy Devine who drives the stage across with his team swimming it. He may be a dunce, but he's a professional at his job. I think it was Andy's moment to shine.

Bancroft is a stern but kindly marshal. He and Mitchell are friends of Wayne who plays the Ringo Kid. Wayne's busted out the penitentiary to get the Plummer brothers who framed him. There's a reward for Wayne, but Marshal Bancroft ain't worried about the reward, he's concerned about Wayne getting killed, biting off more than he can chew.

However Mitchell spends most of the journey cultivating mild mannered Donald Meek who's a whiskey salesman. A useful friend to have you like to imbibe. If ever a character actor was aptly named it certainly had to be Donald Meek.

In 1939 you couldn't say that Claire Trevor was playing a prostitute named Dallas. But it's surely hinted at often enough. Claire Trevor was Hollywood's greatest portrayer of girls with easy virtue and a heart of gold which she has here. She got her Oscar in Key Largo again playing just such a role. The difference is she loves good guy John Wayne instead bad guy Edward G. Robinson in Key Largo.

And to add to the mix we have an embezzling banker on the journey played by Berton Churchill who played many a sanctimonious hypocrite in his career. He gets news that the telegraph is down because of the Apaches on the warpath and in an act of impulse fills a satchel full of the bank's money and grabs the stagecoach at the last minute. He's also trying to escape a hatchet faced harridan of a wife. Nevertheless he's the least sympathetic and most useless character on the journey.

A few months ago I saw and reviewed the film Carrie which was based on a Theodore Dreiser novel. The lead character in that, George Hurstwood is also an embezzler of his employer's money as he runs away to New York to get away from his harridan of a wife. But Hurstwood, same crime for the same reasons, is a sympathetic figure. Not our friend banker Gatewood as Churchill portrays him here. It some times depends on the writer's point of view.

The last two passengers are John Carradine a mysterious gambler of Southern origins and the pregnant wife of an Army Captain played by stage actress Louise Platt. He also boards the stage at the last minute as he's crushing out big time over her. He becomes her protector during the journey.

Of course Stagecoach is the first film that John Ford shot in Monument Valley and the long shots of the valley with the lonely stagecoach driving on to Lordsburg are breathtaking.

And there's the Indian attack. The question is often asked why didn't the Indians just shoot the horses. The real answer is you wouldn't want to cut short abruptly one of the most spectacular chase scenes in film history. And then of course maybe the Indians wanted the live horses.

Ford uses for the first time a spectacular gambit during the Indian attack. I won't say more, but think about the fact that he repeated the same shot in Fort Apache with the Indians chasing John Agar and the repair party there.

What I like most about Stagecoach altogether is that it sticks to the first rule of movies, it moves. Even in the scenes of dialog inside the coach you get the feeling of movement. Nothing static about it, and the story could never be adequately done on a stage.

It's what movie making is all about.


55 of 72 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:
?