Friday, January 14, 2011

Stagecoach (1939)

A bunch of people are sharing a stagecoach ride from Tonto, Arizona (not kidding) to Lordsburg, New Mexico. Each has their own back story. The principle problem is that Geronimo is on the warpath, which means he is active in his attacks on the heathen invaders (that'd be us whities). The Calvary has offered an escort for part of the way.

Along the way, they meet up with escaped murderer, the Ringo Kid (John Wayne). Seems Ringo busted out to git the man who shot his paw. And his brother. The man that shot them both. As luck would have it, that man is in Lordsburg. That place is totally hopping.

Ringo hitches a ride, principally because the Sheriff was riding shotgun (youngsters take note: that's what that means!) and will take Ringo into custody once they reach their destination. So, the outlaw joins the group of the wife looking for her soldier husband, the drunken doctor, the banker, the gambler, the hot chick of ill repute, the liquor salesman, the eskimo, the indian chief, the space pilot, the ... ok, I fibbed about a couple of those.

Anyhow, at every stop their prospects look worse and worse. The Calvary can't protect them, evidence of injun attacks is everywhere, and lady-looking-for-husband is getting sick. Whatever shall become of them?

This here is a character study. Most of the people don't know each other and they all have their own secret. As the story progresses and the challenges become more intense, their character is revealed.

Excellent movie. Chuck full of western stereytypes and character actors, this granddaddy of the the modern western is the movie that made John Wayne a star. Before Chuck Norris was Chuck Norris, there was John Wayne. Wayne never gave nobody a karate chop, but at least he could act. Sure, Chuck was a great martial artist, but his acting was absolutely craptacular. Back in the day, nobody was tougher than the Duke. Nobody. AMRU 4.

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