Thursday, March 21, 2013

Criterion on Hulu: Stagecoach (1939)

Stagecoach movie poster
Stagecoach (1939) – Directed by John Ford; Written by Dudley Nichols; Cinematography by Bert Glennon; Starring Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, Louise Platt, George Bancroft, Donald Meek, Berton Churchill, Tim Holt and Tom Tyler.

By Kenny Howell

This movie is a simple story of a group of people heading east on a stagecoach from Arizona to New Mexico. But in the hands of Ford (The Grapes of Wrath), it became a masterpiece and caught the eye of a young Orson Welles, who was about to make what many people consider the best film of all time, Citizen Kane. Welles said he watched Stagecoach 40 times before he made his film, and used many of the techniques that Ford used to tell the story.

Watching it, you can see why it amazed Welles. The film is beautifully shot, and Wayne’s entrance into the film is considered one of the best entrances in the history of cinema.

Stagecoach is available on Hulu through the Criterion Collection.

Rating: ****

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