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Stagecoach (1939)

Director:
John Ford
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Western
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Stagecoach
RUNNING TIME
96 minutes
Producer:
Walter Wanger
Screenwriter:
Dudley Nichols
Based on the novella "Stage to Lordsburg" by:
Ernest Haycox


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Dallas Claire Trevor
The Ringo Kid John Wayne
Hatfield John Carradine
Dr. Josiah Boone Thomas Mitchell
Buck Rickabaugh Andy Devine
Mr. Samuel Peacock Donald Meek
Lucy Mallory Louise Platt
Sheriff Curly Wilcox George Bancroft

 

Review

John Ford's western classic (his first of many trips to Monument Valley) is one of the best examples of magnificent studio filmmaking. It contains every element, and puts it to best possible effect as Ford displays his immaculate ability to let every image and every segment propel his narrative forward with impressive vigor. Stagecoach sets off with perhaps the best ever opening sequence in classic narrative filmmaking as we are introduced to the film's many distinctive characters. These are not all necessarily multi-dimensional, but they are so brilliantly conveyed and interlaced that they all keep their essentiality to the story up until the very end. John Wayne defined the western/loner role and Ford took the western genre to the next level. Arguably the first ever road movie, this is a calculated, energetic and incredibly amiable piece of film history.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 23.1.2005 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 30
.8.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
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