John Ford's 1939 movie, Stagecoach, starring John Wayne as the Ringo Kid is a landmark film. So many movies were made that followed this basic thematic structure, with everyday people who are thrust into an incredible situation and become heroes. The photography is remarkable (Bert Glennon was nominated for an Oscar in Cinematography) and it lost Best Picture honors to David O. Selznik's Gone with the Wind. Thomas Mitchell as Doc Boone won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.
Directed by - John Ford
(1939) - B&W - 96 min
Intro -B&W Title screens, etc. Andy Devine is Buck - who drives the stagecoach in the wild, wild west. On this day, the Women's Law and Order League are driving out a few dregs from the town - Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell), a drunk and Dallas (Claire Trevor), a saloon gal with a bad reputation. Well it seems the Apaches, led by Geronimo are on the warpath... so the stagecoach gets an escort from the Union Army.
starring John Wayne as The Ringo Kid
starring Claire Trevor as Dallas, a saloon girl with a sullied reputation
Sheriff Curly rides up front with Buck. In the coach with Doc Boone and Dallas is Sam Peacock (Donald Meek), a whiskey drummer, Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt) , an officer's wife and one of the Law and Order ladies, Gatewood (Berton Churchill), a banker and Hatfield (John Carradine), the gentleman gambler. On the way to Lawrenceville, they meet up with a notorious gunslinger, The Ringo Kid (John Wayne, a.k.a. The Duke). The stagecoach was supposed to meet up with some other soldiers at the next stop - but they are nowhere to be found.
starring John Carradine as Hatfield, the slick gentleman gambler. He's also grasshopper's dad, David Carradine from Kung Fu, and also Keith Carradine dad... best known for his role in Nashville (and the song -I'm Easy... but I digress).
The stagecoach moves onward, without the benefit of the Union Army escort. More character development - as they bad guys seem pretty nice, and the nice folks are a little too civilized. We also learn that Lucy is carrying an extra passenger when Doc Boone delivers her baby. Buck wants to charge her an additional fee.
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John Ford used real Indians, not the usual Hollywood varieties.
The travelers stay a little longer at the Reservation, letting Lucy recuperate from childbirth. (This is pre HMO days, so she was allowed to rest). We also learn that The Ringo Kid lost his father and his brother to the evil Luke Plummer (Tom Tyler) - who now resides in Lawrenceville. Then.. up in the sky... look it's a bird, no it's a plane... nope - it's smoke from the Apaches and it looks like war signals.
Thomas Mitchell won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the drunken Doc Boone.
On the final leg of the journey to Lawrenceville ... and it looks like the danger is over. NOT! Here we go - one of the greatest scenes in the history of film as Director John Ford pulls out all the stops and shows you why he is considered a master of the medium. Whew! Saved by the Calvery. But now The Ringo Kid is in town, ready to face those nasty Plummer Brothers.
starring Donald Meek as Peacock and Berton Churchill as Gatewood. The arrow was flown in via an Apache server ...hahaha!)
You will have to watch the conclusion to see how it goes down... but here it is, perhaps the first movie where our heros ride off into the sunset. What a terrific movie!
starring Louise Platt as Lucy Mallory
Dallas and The Ringo Kid have some great lines. Dallas says.... well you gotta live no matter what happens. Yep, good advice.
Andy Devine as Buck, the driver and George Bancroft as Sheriff Curly Wilcox.