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Stagecoach
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Stagecoach (1939) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 54 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Stagecoach -- 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...
Stagecoach -- US Theatrical Trailer from Warner Bros.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   26,344 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Ernest Haycox (original story)
Dudley Nichols (screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Stagecoach on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 March 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A great western which enables multiple interpretations See more (285 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claire Trevor ... Dallas

John Wayne ... Ringo Kid

Andy Devine ... Buck

John Carradine ... Hatfield

Thomas Mitchell ... Doc Boone
Louise Platt ... Lucy Mallory
George Bancroft ... Curley

Donald Meek ... Peacock
Berton Churchill ... Gatewood

Tim Holt ... Lieutenant
Tom Tyler ... Luke Plummer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dorothy Appleby ... Girl in Saloon (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... (uncredited)

Chief John Big Tree ... Indian Scout (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Wiggie Blowne ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Lordsburg Saloon Owner (uncredited)
Fritzi Brunette ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Yakima Canutt ... Cavalry Scout (uncredited)
Nora Cecil ... Boone's Landlady (uncredited)
Steve Clemente ... Bit (uncredited)
Bill Cody ... Rancher (uncredited)
Jack Curtis ... Bartender (uncredited)
Marga Ann Deighton ... Mrs. Pickett (uncredited)
Patricia Doyle ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Tex Driscoll ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Johnny Eckert ... Small Role (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Deputy Frank (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Billy Pickett (uncredited)
Brenda Fowler ... Mrs. Gatewood (uncredited)
Helen Gibson ... Girl in Saloon (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Ed - Editor (uncredited)

William Hopper ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Si Jenks ... Bartender (uncredited)
Cornelius Keefe ... Capt. Whitney (uncredited)
Florence Lake ... Nancy Whitney (uncredited)
Al Lee ... Small Role (uncredited)
Duke R. Lee ... Lordsburg Sheriff (uncredited)
Theodore Lorch ... Lordsburg Express Agent (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin ... Chris (uncredited)
Jim Mason ... Jim - Tonto Express Agent (uncredited)
Louis Mason ... Tonto Sheriff (uncredited)
Merrill McCormick ... Ogler (uncredited)
J.P. McGowan ... (uncredited)

Walter McGrail ... Capt. Sickel (uncredited)
Paul McVey ... Pony Express Agent (uncredited)
Jack Mohr ... Small Role (uncredited)
Kent Odell ... Billy Pickett Jr (uncredited)
Artie Ortego ... Lordsburg Bar Patron (uncredited)
Vester Pegg ... Hank Plummer (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Bartender in Tonto (uncredited)
Chris Phillips ... Small Role (uncredited)
Joe Rickson ... Ike Plummer (uncredited)
Buddy Roosevelt ... Rancher (uncredited)
Elvira Ríos ... Yakima (uncredited)
Mickey Simpson ... (uncredited)
Margaret Smith ... Small Role (uncredited)

Woody Strode ... Man in Saloon (uncredited)
Chuck Stubbs ... (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Telegraph Operator (uncredited)
Leonard Trainor ... Small Role (uncredited)
Mary Kathleen Walker ... Lucy's Infant (uncredited)

Bryant Washburn ... Capt. Simmons (uncredited)
Whitehorse ... Indian Chief (uncredited)

Hank Worden ... Cavalryman Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford 
 
Writing credits
Ernest Haycox (original story)

Dudley Nichols (screen play)

Ben Hecht  uncredited

Produced by
John Ford .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Gerard Carbonara (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Otho Lovering (film editor)
Dorothy Spencer (film editor)
Walter Reynolds (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Alexander Toluboff 
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Daniel Keefe .... production manager (uncredited)
Jack Kirston .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Yakima Canutt .... second unit director (uncredited)
Lowell J. Farrell .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Wiard Ihnen .... associate art director (as Wiard B. Ihnen)
 
Sound Department
Frank Maher .... sound
Robert Parrish .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Ray Binger .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Yakima Canutt .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Iron Eyes Cody .... stunts (uncredited)
Ken Cooper .... stunts (uncredited)
Johnny Eckert .... stunts (uncredited)
W. Frank Long .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Mohr .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
Henry Wills .... stunts (uncredited)
Billy Yellow .... stunt rigger (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James V. King .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ned Scott .... still photographer (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Lee Bradley .... extras casting (uncredited)
Harry Goulding .... extras casting (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Otho Lovering .... supervising editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis Gruenberg .... musical score adaptation: based on American folk songs
Richard Hageman .... musical score adaptation: based on American folk songs
W. Franke Harling .... musical score adaptation: based on American folk songs (as Franke Harling)
John Leipold .... musical score adaptation: based on American folk songs
Boris Morros .... musical director
Leo Shuken .... musical score adaptation: based on American folk songs
Danny Borzage .... musician: accordion (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Walter Wanger .... presenter
Danny Keith .... location manager (uncredited)
W. Frank Long .... horse handler/wrangler (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Finland:K-7 (2014) (TV rating) | Finland:S (1951) | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Iceland:L | Norway:16 (1939) | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #5029) | West Germany:12 (nf)

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:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Rosa LeeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
94 out of 112 people found the following review useful.
A great western which enables multiple interpretations, 30 April 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

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.

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