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Author Topic: Stagecoach (1939)  (Read 8110 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #30 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.

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« Reply #31 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.

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« Reply #32 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  Smiley

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« Reply #33 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.  Wink

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« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2017, 05:30:49 AM »

Watch the '66 version an see what you think.  Wink

I will do that. 

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« Reply #35 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.

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« Reply #36 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.

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« Reply #37 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.


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« Reply #38 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.


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« Reply #39 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.

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« Reply #40 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.

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