Stagecoach Movie Review
Stagecoach (1939) is a classic Western film from the film auteur John Ford. Starring in
the film were actors Claire Trevor and John Wayne. The screenplay, written by Dudley
Nichols and Ben Hecht, is an adaptation of “the stage to Lordsburg”, a 1937 short story
by Ernest Haycox. In the following paragraph’s, I will discuss several things about the
film, including; the film’s historical accuracy, and the evident bias of the film.
This particular film, which was set in a beautiful landscape of horizon that stretched as
far as the eye could see, is a wonderful broad portrait of pioneer life in the untamed great
southwest. The film is also a splendid in depth character study of eight very different and
interesting people, who represent many of the ways people lived at that particular time.
From the opening scene it quite obvious that everyone is very anxious from what is going
on around them, and because of the journey they are about to embark on.
There are a total of eight people leaving on the stagecoach when they leave Tonto. The
passengers include the town banker and his wife, a whiskey salesman, a conniving drunk
Dr. who has long been excommunicated from the medical profession, and two women,
one “proper” and one “not”. On the top of the wagon, are the driver Buck Rickbaugh,
who is a garrulous type, who doesn’t like Indians; mostly because he’s afraid of them,
and sitting “shotgun” to Buck is the roughneck sheriff of Tonto New Mexico; who is
coming along to search for a cowboy that recently escaped from the state penitentiary.
Shortly after the stagecoach leaves the town of Tonto, it runs into the “Ringo kid” on the
trail. The sheriff then orders the kid into the wagon because he is the escaped prisoner he
is looking for. The Ringo kid “goes down without a fight and gets into the wagon. I found
this to be a little questionable at first, since the...