7.9/10
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400 user 101 critic

Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Western | 3 March 1939 (USA)
Trailer
3:29 | Trailer
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.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Ernest Haycox (original story), Dudley Nichols (screen play)
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Popularity
4,768 ( 180)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claire Trevor ... Dallas
John Wayne ... Ringo Kid
Andy Devine ... Buck
John Carradine ... Hatfield
Thomas Mitchell ... Doc Josiah Boone
Louise Platt ... Mrs. Lucy Mallory
George Bancroft ... Marshal Curley Wilcox
Donald Meek ... Samuel Peacock
Berton Churchill ... Ellsworth Henry Gatewood
Tim Holt ... Lt. Blanchard
Tom Tyler ... Luke Plummer
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Storyline

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 drunken doctor, two women, a bank manager who has taken off with his client's money, and the famous Ringo Kid, among others. Written by Andrew Hyatt <dres@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A strange frontier incident of 1885. (Trade paper ad). See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On release, the film was dubbed "Grand Hotel (1932) on wheels". See more »

Goofs

In the film, the stagecoach travels from Tonto, Arizona Territory (central Arizona), to Lordsburg, New Mexico. This is a distance of about 180 miles due southeast. But at one point they cross the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry (about nine miles south of the Utah-Arizona border). This crossing is about 200 miles north of their starting point. Tonto is already east of the Colorado River so there would be no need to cross it and certainly no need to travel 200 miles out of their way to do it. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

Careless Love
(uncredited)
African-American spritual
Used in the score
See more »

User Reviews

A great western thanks to the characters
26 December 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A stagecoach sets out across the desert with a load of passengers, looking to catch up with a military unit and drop off the wife of the officer in charge. All the other passengers have their own reasons for getting to the destination, including a vengeful outlaw, a prostitute, a drunken doctor and a cad. However the journey is made incredibly hazardous by the fact that Geronimo is on the warpath in the area they must pass through.

Although I miss seeing the desert landscape in full yellows and blues, this film is one of my favourite westerns and only suffers a little by being in black & while and not really enjoying the visual sweep that later Ford westerns had. The plot is quite simple on one hand - a group battle Indians on their way to a town while some of the characters confront their own battles. However this succeeds because it is more than just a B-movie shoot'em up, it has characters and sub plot.

The characters may be quite broad and the film may well use them like a disaster movie (set them up just enough to care about and then see who gets knocked down) but it does have touches that improve it. Characters are shunned due to their social status, `good' people are revealed to be not so good as they think themselves while `bad' people reveal themselves to have good hearts and the potential for redemption in their lives. While it isn't earth shattering it is well crafted and well written in the context of the traditional western.

Wayne is good and this film allowed him to step up from B-movie westerns to the type of films that made his career. The rest of the cast are also good in their various roles, while the characters are broad they all play it well, especially Trevor, Devine, Mitchell and Carradine.

Overall this is a solid western that has good action (include a great stunt that was lifted directly into Raiders of the Lost Ark) but also has characters and interactions which make for a polished and enjoyable movie.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stagecoach See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$392,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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