Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stagecoach


Stagecoach (The Criterion Collection)

Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay, written by Dudley Nichols and Ben Hecht, is an adaptation of "The Stage to Lordsburg", a 1937 short story by Ernest Haycox. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory.

Although Ford had made many Westerns in the silent film era, he had never previously directed a sound Western. Between 1929 and 1939, he directed films in almost every other genre, including Wee Willie Winkie (1937), starring Shirley Temple. Stagecoach was the first of many Westerns that Ford shot using Monument Valley, in the American Southwest on the Arizona-Utah border, as a location, many of which also starred John Wayne. In Stagecoach the director skillfully blended shots of Monument Valley with shots filmed at Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California, and other locations.

* Claire Trevor as Dallas
* John Wayne as The Ringo Kid
* Andy Devine as Buck
* John Carradine as Hatfield
* Thomas Mitchell as Doc Boone
* Louise Platt as Lucy Mallory
* George Bancroft as Marshal Curly Wilcox
* Donald Meek as Samuel Peacock
* Berton Churchill as Henry Gatewood
* Tim Holt as Lieutenant Blanchard
* Tom Tyler as Luke Plummer
* Yakima Canutt as Cavalry scout, uncredited stunt coordinator and second unit director
* Chris-Pin Martin as Chris
* Chief White Horse as Geronimo

Stagecoach has been lauded as one of the most influential films ever made. Orson Welles argued that it was a perfect textbook of film making and claimed to have watched it more than 40 times during the making of Citizen Kane

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