leaveit2me’s Film Festival – Stagecoach (1939)

Welcome to leaveit2me’s Film Festival, my cinephilic revue of various works from all ’round the world.  The idea to do this came from a recent excursion I took on the ol’ IMDB.  I came across a plethora of great films that I had yet to see but were considered classics.  My pretentious nature just couldn’t let that be and so I have created this segment on the site to push myself to watch more film.

The first on the list is a classic Western from 1939, John Ford’s Stagecoach.

Twentieth Century Fox, 1939

Stagecoach tells the story of a group of people who find themselves on the same stagecoach for different reasons and the journey that they take while trying to avoid an Apache horde led by Geronimo.  The movie features a great cast of very old people who, if you don’t watch Westerns or old movies in general, you probably won’t know.  Still, each and every one hits their character right on the mark.

Twentieth Century Fox, 1939

We follow the group as they get chased from one town to the next, fearing that the Apache will appear and kill them all or worse.  Each member has their own reason for getting to the final destination of the trip.  Some have dark pasts, some are looking to escape persecution, and some are just plain scared.  The interactions between the passengers, both the words that are and aren’t said, is what keeps you watching from one moment to the next.  It’s a portrait of human behaviour in desperate times.  Useless pride, good men turn into animals and ruined men find ways to redeem themselves.

Stagecoach is in many ways the definitive culmination of everything that the Western film genre has to offer.  John Wayne’s anti-heroic classic cowboy, the drunk yet dependable doctor, the shaky stagecoach driver.  The list goes on, but all of these are archetypes that appear again and again in the Western genre.  It’s safe to say that Stagecoach did a lot to make the framework that later Western films were built on.  It helps that it’s a great movie all on it’s own.

That’s it for now.  First post for this blog in a while, but I’m glad to be back.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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