Stagecoach [1939]

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell
Genre: Adventure, Western
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 96 minutes

This landmark 1939 Western began the legendary relationship between John Ford and John Wayne, and became the standard for all subsequent Westerns. It solidified Ford as a major director and established Wayne as a charismatic screen presence. Seen today, Stagecoach still impresses as the first mature instance of a Western that is both mythic and poetic. The story about a cross-section of troubled passengers unraveling under the strain of Indian attack contains all of Ford's incomparable storytelling trademarks--particularly swift action and social introspection--underscored by the painterly landscape of Monument Valley. And what an ensemble of actors: Thomas Mitchell (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as the drunken doctor), Claire Trevor, Donald Meek, Andy Devine, and the magical John Carradine. Due to the film's striking use of chiaroscuro lighting and low ceilings, Orson Welles watched Stagecoach over and over while preparing for Citizen Kane. --Bill Desowitz

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"Stagecoach Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2014. <http://www.quotes.net/movies/Stagecoach>.

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