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Author Topic: Stagecoach (1939)  (Read 7806 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2010, 05:41:08 PM »

 Afro

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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2010, 10:46:18 PM »

Wow!! That guy was nuts!!! Shocked

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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2011, 07:30:14 AM »

Stagecoach is the earliest great Western that I've seen Afro

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)

« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 07:41:19 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #18 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.)

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« Reply #19 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.

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« Reply #20 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.

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« Reply #21 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.

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« Reply #22 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."

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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2013, 02:15:06 AM »

Well, Leone was obviously not the first stealing/borrowing from other westerns. Wink

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« Reply #24 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.

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« Reply #25 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.

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« Reply #26 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.

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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2013, 01:35:24 PM »

Maybe

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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2013, 04:59:01 PM »

Gimme Ann-Margret !!!

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« Reply #29 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...

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