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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: titoli on July 16, 2009, 06:22:21 AM



Title: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: titoli on July 16, 2009, 06:22:21 AM
Long time no see. Saw the italian dvd of a "restored" version (can't imagine what it was before restoration, as even now the image has little definition and it's full of dirt). Monument Valley is really monumental here, even more than in The Searchers. It has few fordisms (thank god no McLaglen, Ward Bond and the rest: Mitchell and Meek are kept within bounds) but still for a open air adventure it is shot too much in studio, with too many back projections. What doesn't persuade me though it is the insistence on the whore (and Claire Trevor at that) as a pariah. The Ost is is possibly the worst in a Ford's western, though toward the end it becomes interesting. The final gunfight it isn't shown but only heard: a pity? Wayne is great, Trevor too. 8\10


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Groggy on July 16, 2009, 06:31:03 AM
Surprises me that there wasn't already a thread on this film. This is my favorite Ford aside from Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, everything clicks perfectly.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 16, 2009, 12:21:02 PM
There's a topic of some sort: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=5952.msg83822#msg83822

Haven't seen Stagecoach in ages, but it's a good W from what I remember.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 16, 2009, 01:31:21 PM
I like the fact that, in spite of the title, they actually leave the coach behind for the final confrontation.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 13, 2010, 08:11:12 AM
The film gets the Criterion treatment, with the option to have it on Blu-ray:

Quote
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
* Audio commentary by noted western authority Jim Kitses
* Bucking Broadway (1917), a fifty-four-minute silent western by John Ford, with new music by Donald Sosin
* Extensive video interview with Ford from 1968
* New video interview with Dan Ford, biographer and grandson of the director, about Ford’s home movies
* New video interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
* New video essay by writer Tag Gallagher
* New video feature about Monument Valley
* New video interview with stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong about Stagecoach’s stuntman Yakima Canutt
* Radio dramatization of Stagecoach from 1949
* Theatrical trailer
* PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by David Cairns and the short story that inspired the film

Also available on Blu-ray.

I'm looking forward to the commentary by Kitses. Out in May.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Groggy on February 13, 2010, 09:48:13 AM
Neat-o, bandito.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Dust Devil on February 13, 2010, 10:39:01 AM
How much will it cost, 50 bucks? I'll rather travel back in time for that much money.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Groggy on February 13, 2010, 10:46:56 AM
I'm not a big special features maven so I wouldn't bother.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Dust Devil on February 13, 2010, 11:05:29 AM
I like going through special features, though they rarely opinion my view concerning the picture.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Groggy on February 13, 2010, 11:53:34 AM
I like them with certain films, particularly older ones that can be viewed with some hindsight/objectivity, but as a general rule I'm not crazy about making-of docs and the like. Too many of them are wanky "Everyone who worked on this film is AWESOME!" crap that I do without.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Dust Devil on February 14, 2010, 11:39:22 AM
Classic. Perhaps Ford, indulging the supporting cast, lets the story drift without real action for a bit too long, but the rest of the movie menages to override it. Wayne and Dallas are good (yet another W romance) but John Carradine and Louise Platt are way more interesting to follow, if you ask me.


8/10


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 04, 2010, 09:16:53 PM
Beaver on the Blu: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews22/stagecoach_dvd_review.htm


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 05, 2010, 03:23:30 PM
Blu-ray.com weighs in: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Stagecoach-Blu-ray/9842/


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Cusser on May 06, 2010, 07:48:59 AM
Honestly, I liked the ending of the 1966 Stagecoach a lot better.  And Ann-Margret was tons hotter than Claire Trevor.....also saw that film in theater in the 1960s, one good thing about being the right age to have seen all those films (including Leones) in theaters first time....


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: The Firecracker on December 10, 2010, 06:26:47 PM
I know most of you have seen these stunts performed in Ford's Stagecoach but check out the stuntwork in the Zorro movie at the end of this clip.
He adds on the gag from the aforementioned Ford movie and improves on it (even if he does it in two seperate shots).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRMfFzKt0oI


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on December 13, 2010, 05:41:08 PM
 O0


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on December 13, 2010, 10:46:18 PM
Wow!! That guy was nuts!!! :o


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 04, 2011, 07:30:14 AM
Stagecoach is the earliest great Western that I've seen O0

Jesse James was also released in 1939 (actually a couple of months before Stagecoach -- and in Technicolor!) and I really liked that movie too. I have not seen a good Western that was released before 1939. (I'm only counting sound movies; I haven't seen any silent movies, except The Great Train Robbery)


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 29, 2013, 07:10:28 AM
I just watched Stagecoach for like the 3rd time (TCM). It's still one of the greatest AW's of all time. (I rank  Rio Bravo, Red River, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1-4 in no particular order, and then Stagecoach, Fort Apache, and My Darling Clementine 5-7 in no particular order).

I'll just mention three problems I have with the movie, in descending order:

1) This movie is filmed almost entirely with a stationary camera, except for the famous stagecoach chase. There are a couple of moving shots in the scene where the coach has to cross the river (on top of the coach at beginning of the crossing and behind coach just after the crossing), but otherwise, this movie is filmed almost entirely with a stationary camera. I like a camera that moves....

2) There are a ton of rear projections, and that's a piss off.  I'm not talking about the scenes inside the coach; those I understand would be very difficult to shoot inside an actual moving stagecoach. I'm talking about the shots from outside the moving coach, like the closeups of the driver and the shotgun rider, the medium shots of the coach, etc. Those could have easily been filmed live, without rear projection, with probably just a little more expense/effort/desire. I HATE rear projections, especially when it's so obvious and could have easily been done without it.

3) Finally, I think it would have been better if the fact that the banker stole the cash hadn't been revealed to us until the very end, once he gets arrested in Lordsburg. They should have not shown him stealing the cash, but kept everything else exactly the same – ie. showing him hail the coach outside town, having the sheriff wonder how he could have received  a message with the telegraph wires down, showing him be so impatient about getting to Lordsburg immediately, etc. Then, when they get to Lordsburg and we find out that he stole the cash when he is arrested ªat the same time that the other passengers find it out), IMO that would have been better.
(And please don't tell me shit about suspense vs. surprise. I wouldn't exactly say anyone was dying of suspense knowing that the cash was in the banker's bag throughout the trip.)


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 29, 2013, 12:05:47 PM
I'll just mention three problems I have with the movie, in descending order:

1) This movie is filmed almost entirely with a stationary camera, except for the famous stagecoach chase. There are a couple of moving shots in the scene where the coach has to cross the river (on top of the coach at beginning of the crossing and behind coach just after the crossing), but otherwise, this movie is filmed almost entirely with a stationary camera. I like a camera that moves....
Then stay away from 1939. I'll bet you'd also prefer a Western shot in color and widescreen.

Quote
2) There are a ton of rear projections, and that's a piss off.  I'm not talking about the scenes inside the coach; those I understand would be very difficult to shoot inside an actual moving stagecoach. I'm talking about the shots from outside the moving coach, like the closeups of the driver and the shotgun rider, the medium shots of the coach, etc. Those could have easily been filmed live, without rear projection, with probably just a little more expense/effort/desire. I HATE rear projections, especially when it's so obvious and could have easily been done without it.
Then stay away from 1939. I'll bet you'd also prefer a 7.1 sound design with kick-ass music and effects tracks.

Quote
3) Finally, I think it would have been better if the fact that the banker stole the cash hadn't been revealed to us until the very end, once he gets arrested in Lordsburg. They should have not shown him stealing the cash, but kept everything else exactly the same – ie. showing him hail the coach outside town, having the sheriff wonder how he could have received  a message with the telegraph wires down, showing him be so impatient about getting to Lordsburg immediately, etc. Then, when they get to Lordsburg and we find out that he stole the cash when he is arrested ªat the same time that the other passengers find it out), IMO that would have been better.
(And please don't tell me shit about suspense vs. surprise. I wouldn't exactly say anyone was dying of suspense knowing that the cash was in the banker's bag throughout the trip.)
OK, I'll give you this one.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: stanton on December 29, 2013, 12:42:46 PM
Actually it is for Stagecoach not very important if I know what it is in the bag or not. So it doesn't make a difference for the film's story or its meaning.

But when revealed at the end that this already dislikable guy is also a thief is then only a cheap "surprise", which is of course not a surprise at all, as everybody would have already guessed that it is not his grandmothers unwashed underwear he hides in the bag. Much better for me as it is.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 29, 2013, 07:29:48 PM
Actually it is for Stagecoach not very important if I know what it is in the bag or not. So it doesn't make a difference for the film's story or its meaning.

But when revealed at the end that this already dislikable guy is also a thief is then only a cheap "surprise", which is of course not a surprise at all, as everybody would have already guessed that it is not his grandmothers unwashed underwear he hides in the bag. Much better for me as it is.

well if the movie hadn't told us he stole the money in the beginning, as I'd have preferred, then it wouldn't have made a big deal about that bag. We'd just see the banker getting on the stagecoach (with a bag just like all other passengers have bags) and that's all. There would be no emphasis on showing the bag, just showing how eager he is to push on and get to Lordsburg quickly.
As it is, I just don't think his character adds anything to the movie. He just spends every scene screaming that they have to push on and get to Lordsburg quickly. That's his entire function. If we would wonder why, and not realize till the end that it's cuz he had stolen the money, IMO that would be a nice moment at the end when we find out what his motivation had been all along.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 29, 2013, 09:47:01 PM
when Claire Trevor begs John Wayne to escape rather than go on to Lordsburg to seek revenge, Wayne says, "There are some things a man just can't run away from."
Sounds an awful lot like a famous line later used twice in Boetticher-Scott Westerns scripted by Burt Kennedy: In The Tall T, Randolph Scott says, "Some things a man can't ride around," and then in Ride Lonesome, Pernell Roberts says, "There are some things a man just can't ride around."


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: stanton on December 30, 2013, 02:15:06 AM
Well, Leone was obviously not the first stealing/borrowing from other westerns. ;)


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: stanton on December 30, 2013, 02:24:38 AM
well if the movie hadn't told us he stole the money in the beginning, as I'd have preferred, then it wouldn't have made a big deal about that bag. We'd just see the banker getting on the stagecoach (with a bag just like all other passengers have bags) and that's all. There would be no emphasis on showing the bag, just showing how eager he is to push on and get to Lordsburg quickly.
As it is, I just don't think his character adds anything to the movie. He just spends every scene screaming that they have to push on and get to Lordsburg quickly. That's his entire function. If we would wonder why, and not realize till the end that it's cuz he had stolen the money, IMO that would be a nice moment at the end when we find out what his motivation had been all along.
Of course, but I would still sense it as a cheap surprise.

A surprise twist at the end in whatever form must always have a founded justification to be presented at the end, otherwise it is mostly a disappointment for me. Most important a surprise at the end should be a real surprise and not a Iknewitfromthefirstsecond one.

Generally it is more demanding to create suspense or tension with the knowledge of an audience. But of course there are no rules. It depends from film to film.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 30, 2013, 04:53:06 AM
The banker's role adds nothing whatsoever to the movie. He is a completely useless character. It's almost as if they already wrote the other parts that are actually important, like the whore and the lady and the drunk doctor, and then they said, wait a minute, we need to fill up the coach, let's throw in a banker who stole money and is trying to get away.

If the audience is unaware of his motivations, and then finds out the truth when he is arrested - just like all the other passengers do – it's not just some cheap "surprise," cuz we could have been wondering all along, along with the sheriff, about the banker's motivations. And the movie could have done it in a way that the audience was truly not expecting it until it is revealed, calling no special attention to the bag with the money, and the audience we'd be in the same position as the passengers. As it is, they could have easily not written the banker into the movie and everything would have been fine. If our understanding of his intentions had been the same as the rest of the passengers, I think it would have been better.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 30, 2013, 01:09:32 PM
A surprise twist at the end in whatever form must always have a founded justification to be presented at the end, otherwise it is mostly a disappointment for me. Most important a surprise at the end should be a real surprise and not a Iknewitfromthefirstsecond one.
If that's what the whole film is built around, sure. But if we're just talking about a surprise concerning a minor character then it doesn't matter. I think Drink's idea is a sound one, one that would not have lessened the film and may have, in fact, made things more interesting.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: stanton on December 30, 2013, 01:35:24 PM
Maybe


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Cusser on December 30, 2013, 04:59:01 PM
Gimme Ann-Margret !!!


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Moorman on February 25, 2017, 09:24:09 PM
Its a ok movie. Hit and miss with me.

Cinematography. It was ok. I saw this on Turner Classics. I have to see a Blu Ray copy.  I had no problem with any of the camera angles. The set pieces were pretty good. The stagecoach scenes were pretty good.

Script.  It was ok. I thought the build up to the action was pretty long though.

Acting.  Pretty good. Nobody stood out in particular.

Musical Score.  Pretty solid and fit the mood of the film.

Overall.  A pretty good movie.  Not as good as i expected, but not bad either. I rank it a 6 out of 10...


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 26, 2017, 12:19:00 AM
Watch it again sometime. This movie is a classic. And one that so many other Westerns were based on.

(stanton will kick and scream everytime I say this, but) Stagecoach is generally considered the first great sound Western. The movie is great. Certainly not perfect - I do not like the stationary camera (Ford rarely moved his camera),  and I do not like rear projections.

But this is a great, great movie.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Moorman on February 26, 2017, 02:34:34 AM
Watch it again sometime. This movie is a classic. And one that so many other Westerns were based on.

( stanton will kick and scream everytime I say this)  this is generally considered the first great sound Western. The movie is great. Certainly not perfect - I do not like the stationary camera (Ford rarely moved his camera),  and I do not like rear projections.

But this is a great, great movie.

Its not a bad movie.  The problem is i'm basing it on movies that came after it.   For its time, yes, its a great movie.  If you compare it to the classics that came after it, then it drops off a great bit.  I'm basing my comments on my very limited knowledge of Westerns.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 26, 2017, 02:37:37 AM
IMO it is a great movie, no matter when you watch it  and whether or not you consider what cane before or after it. It is great on its own  :)


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on February 26, 2017, 02:52:10 AM
Its a ok movie. Hit and miss with me.

Cinematography. It was ok. I saw this on Turner Classics. I have to see a Blu Ray copy.  I had no problem with any of the camera angles. The set pieces were pretty good. The stagecoach scenes were pretty good.

Script.  It was ok. I thought the build up to the action was pretty long though.

Acting.  Pretty good. Nobody stood out in particular.

Musical Score.  Pretty solid and fit the mood of the film.

Overall.  A pretty good movie.  Not as good as i expected, but not bad either. I rank it a 6 out of 10...

Watch the '66 version an see what you think.  ;)


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Moorman on February 26, 2017, 05:30:49 AM
Watch the '66 version an see what you think.  ;)

I will do that. 


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Moorman on February 27, 2017, 08:51:53 PM
After giving this movie some more thought, i will increase my rating to a 7 out of 10.  It was a pretty good movie.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: titoli on April 19, 2017, 03:11:26 AM
Just read the Haycox story: a masterpiece. Sure, there's the problem of the Indians attacking the coach without shooting at the horses, but apart from that the story, purified from melodrama (no dishonest banker character, no sermon on the prostitute, no puritan cavalry official bride), is much more  perfect than the movie. The Meek character hasn't got to put up with the Mitchell one and dies (by some kind of stroke) midway. The final shooting is not shown, as in the movie.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 19, 2017, 04:00:05 AM
Just read the Haycox story: a masterpiece. Sure, there's the problem of the Indians attacking the coach without shooting at the horses, but apart from that the story, purified from melodrama (no dishonest banker character, no sermon on the prostitute, no puritan cavalry official bride), is much more  perfect than the movie. The Meek character hasn't got to put up with the Mitchell one and dies (by some kind of stroke) midway. The final shooting is not shown, as in the movie.

For some reason, with STAGECOACH,  everyone points out that "the Indians should've shot at the horses rather than at the people." It's a good point, but you can make the same argument in every chase in any western – not only with stagecoaches, but even with just a man fleeing on horseback. In any such chase, the shooter is always best off shooting at the horse, which is a much bigger target then the rider, and then he can shoot the rider after the horse is shot and stops running.

Btw, In movies  where is someone wants to shoot at a person fleeing in a CAR, sometimes the shooter does shoot at the car's tires rather than at the person. But in westerns, so far as I can remember, he always shoots at the person and never at the horse.

But for some reason, it is always with regard STAGECOACH that people point out this flaw - maybe because STAGECOACH has the first famous Western chase. And btw, you can argue that the Indians would have preferred to not kill the horses, so that they can take the horses for themselves after they have killed off the people.



Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on April 19, 2017, 04:44:06 AM
For some reason, with STAGECOACH,  everyone points out that "the Indians should've shot at the horses rather than at the people." It's a good point, but you can make the same argument in every chase in any western – not only with stagecoaches, but even with just a man fleeing on horseback. In any such chase, the shooter is always best off shooting at the horse, which is a much bigger target then the rider, and then he can shoot the rider after the horse is shot and stops running.

Btw, In movies  where is someone wants to shoot at a person fleeing in a CAR, sometimes the shooter does shoot at the car's tires rather than at the person. But in westerns, so far as I can remember, he always shoots at the person and never at the horse.

But for some reason, it is always with regard STAGECOACH that people point out this flaw - maybe because STAGECOACH has the first famous Western chase. And btw, you can argue that the Indians would have preferred to not kill the horses, so that they can take the horses for themselves after they have killed off the people.


All they have to do is shoot one of the horses. Dropping one would pretty much stop the others, it would be like dropping an anchor. I know the horse was valuable. It would depend on what the Indians desired more. It's almost evolved into some type of chivalry code of honor not to shoot the horse like you say in any chase (actually maybe we should remember to show a horse going down would require a trip wire which would be dangerous to both horse and stunt man). You'd have to do some research into the historic details of every chase scenario you could find from, newspapers, journals, letters, etc.

The other factor to consider is the logistics. A typical stage line was set up to have stage stations roughly every 15 miles. So any chase that makes sense would be for the vulnerable stage to get to a station that's a mile or two at most away. The worst case scenario would be if the Natives attacked in the middle of a route and you had to a full seven miles at a flat out gallop, it's not going to happen the horses would give out quick. I'm sure the standard defensive maneuver was for the driver to try to get to a more defensive position quickly, i.e., a gully, a crop of rocks, a stand of trees, within a few minutes and make a stand there.



Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: titoli on April 19, 2017, 05:51:38 AM

All they have to do is shoot one of the horses. Dropping one would pretty much stop the others, it would be like dropping an anchor. I know the horse was valuable. It would depend on what the Indians desired more. It's almost evolved into some type of chivalry code of honor not to shoot the horse like you say in any chase (actually maybe we should remember to show a horse going down would require a trip wire which would be dangerous to both horse and stunt man). You'd have to do some research into the historic details of every chase scenario you could find from, newspapers, journals, letters, etc.

The other factor to consider is the logistics. A typical stage line was set up to have stage stations roughly every 15 miles. So any chase that makes sense would be for the vulnerable stage to get to a station that's a mile or two at most away. The worst case scenario would be if the Natives attacked in the middle of a route and you had to a full seven miles at a flat out gallop, it's not going to happen the horses would give out quick. I'm sure the standard defensive maneuver was for the driver to try to get to a more defensive position quickly, i.e., a gully, a crop of rocks, a stand of trees, within a few minutes and make a stand there.

A point I forgot to mention is that in the story, after the stop at the station, the drivers are told that if they manage to make it to the following station, they're safe.  But when they get there they find two post-holders naked and tortured to death: I don't seem to remember that circumstance being kept in the movie.
To prove what you say, the stagecoach is attacked while traversing what is called the "wash". And I'll add that the killed horse would have made good meat for the tribe, can't see they're having so many problems doing that.   
About shooting a car tyre instead of going for the interior, I think that depends on whether one goes for the kill or not. Same for the horse, assuming a bullet can stop a running horse.


Title: Re: Stagecoach (1939)
Post by: Cusser on April 19, 2017, 08:03:45 AM
But in westerns, so far as I can remember, he always shoots at the person and never at the horse.

In The Magnificent Seven, after killing a bandit riding away from long distance, after Horst Bucholz says that was the best shot he'd ever seen, James Coburn says it was the worst shot - that he was actually aiming at the bandit's horse.  So Coburn was smart enough to aim for the horse.