A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
In a small Arizona town, the sheriff, a sickly pregnant woman, a nervous preacher, an embezzling banker, a drunken doctor, a beautiful whore, a notorious gambler, and the gregarious driver board a stagecoach to catch a ride to a nearby settlement, despite warnings that Geronimo has been encouraging Apache attacks. On their way they pick up a strapping young outlaw named The Ringo Kid and ward off Indian attacks while they get to know each other. Blending humor, drama, romance, and adventure, director John Ford took the Grand Hotel formula, applied it to the Western, and set the bar for what would be one of the most sturdy genres for the next thirty years. Stagecoach is also the film that made John Wayne a star, and his entrance as The Ringo Kid with the quick cut and then closeup is one of the most famous entrances in motion picture history. From top to bottom, Stagecoach is a downright entertaining film replete with laughs and exciting action sequences. The extended Apache attack sequence is a wonder for its time (any time for that matter), and as The Duke climbs on the roof of the coach to pick off charging Indians, shoots one of them off the carriage's horses, then jumps onto them to take the reins, we sit back and regard in amazement. Stagecoach launched the career of John Wayne as well as the Western, the two of which may be one in the same. On top of being important and influential, it is simply a rousing all encompassing entertainment.