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Stagecoach (1939)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Western | 2 March 1939 (USA)
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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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Writers:

(original story), (screen play)
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4,703 ( 819)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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 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:

The West as it really was! (Trade paper ad). 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:

Höllenfahrt nach Santa Fé  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$392,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hosteen Tso, a local shaman, promised John Ford the exact kind of cloud formations he wanted. They duly appeared. See more »

Goofs

When Plummer's poker hand (aces and eights, the dead man's hand) is shown in close-up, the ace of spades shows that the deck is a Bee brand deck of cards, first produced in 1892 by the U.S. Playing Card Co. (Hence the "92" on the ace.) The movie takes place in approximately 1880, so these cards would not yet be available. 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

Featured in RKO 281 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Careless Love
(uncredited)
African-American spritual
Used in the score
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User Reviews

 
Great ensemble western
6 May 2004 | by (Prague, Kalamazoo) – See all my reviews

I grew up watching the old, crotchety, gruff John Wayne, the iconic hero of the right wing, and even though I'd seen some of his early films on television, I'd forgotten what a sexy and compelling presence he had when a young man. It's easy to see while watching his performance how this film made him a star. As great as Wayne is in this film, he doesn't overshadow any of his fellow performers. Thomas Mitchell plays the drunken doctor thrown out of town, a performance that earned him an Academy Award. Andy Devine is hilarious as the complaining, squeaky voiced stagecoach driver. John Carradine is sleek and snake-like as the gambler. Claire Trevor gives a heartbreaking turn as the good-hearted whore thrown out of town by pious hypocrites. Donald Meek plays his name, a meek whiskey salesman befriended by the whiskey-loving Doc. Each actor quickly and deftly sketches his character so vividly that every performance is memorable.

But the real star of the show is John Ford, the director. To introduce and define nine characters in the context of a fast-paced western is no easy task, and he accomplishes it in masterly fashion. Much of the action takes place in the limited confines of a stagecoach, but Ford takes advantage of the limits by staging brilliant and subtle bits between characters; John Wayne casts sultry glances at Clare Trevor, who blossoms under his glance, the young calvary wife's eyes glaze over as the banker pontificates, and Doc sneaks sips of whiskey from the samples case while he solicitously keeps the wind from chilling the whiskey salesman. When the action moves outside, he films the action in dynamic angles and stunts that were the most daring of its time.

If you enjoy westerns and haven't seen this, you have a great night of film-watching ahead of you. And if the last time you saw Stagecoach was some midnight years ago when you wandered home for a bit of the late show before bedtime, watch it again and rediscover what a great western it is


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