What a brilliant western movie this one, Stagecoach (1939) directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Louise Platt, John Carradine, George Bancroft, Thomas Mitchell among others.
A rich star cast, superb direction, awesome camera work, beautiful cinematography, awesome story and screenplay make this a cult classic. A fine western movie as has been made any time – one of the all time great westerns.
Dallas (Claire Trevor) is a prostitute driven out of town by a Law and Order League of women of that town. Mrs. Mallory (Louise Platt) is pregnant and going to meet her husband who is a soldier in the army. They are all going in a stagecoach with Marshal Curley (George Bancroft) and Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell) a sozzled doctor. Hatfield (John Carradine) a gambler tags along.
There is danger on the way from Apaches. Banker Henry Gatewood comes along after having embezzled from the bank and he is running away. Along the way Ringo Kid (John Wayne) joins in. He has broken from jail and on the lookout for Luke Plummer and his brother and father who were responsible for the murder of his brother and father. He has vowed revenge.
All this makes for a heady cocktail. There is romance brewing between Ringo and Dallas, there is the much pregnant Mrs. Mallory, the drunken doc, danger from apaches, hard country, hard riding all going into a tumultuous end. The horse riding scene with the apaches chasing them is quite spectacular. Would have been great to watch this scene on the big screen.
The movie is in black and white, still the cinematography is quite breathtaking by Bert Glennon. It would have been great to have this movie digitally converted into colour.
All the characters have acted quite superbly – from John Wayne, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell as the drunken doc got the best supporting actor at the Oscars and George Bancroft whom we saw act quite brilliantly in Underground, is again very good here. All in all, a great western movie to watch.