Movie Review: Stagecoach(1939)


This is it the film that transformed the Western genre film from the B-list to the A-list.  John Ford directed this classic tale of strangers thrown together as they travel through danger filled country. This was shot in Monument Valley it was the first time Ford had shot there, it wouldn’t be his last.  Many of Ford’s westerns would be filmed there but this is the first time and he makes excellent use of the scenery.

Stagecoach is one the first films that makes use of cast of characters from different walks of life thrown together and forced to rely upon one another to survive the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in.  You can see this same scenario being played out in later westerns like Silverado, Bite the Bullet, and Open Range.   But John Ford is the master of this and ably directs the actors into giving the best performance possible.  Stagecoach is also the first time John Wayne worked with John Ford and Ford cast him perfectly as the outlaw Ringo Kid  who is more than what he first appears to be.

Stagecoach has some violence and some scenes maybe a little too intense for very young viewers not only that but there will be smoking portrayed as well as alcohol use.  Parents also might have to explain why the “soiled dove” is being drummed out of town.

I give this movie 5 stars out of 5.