A brief movie review of Stage Coach -- an analysis of acting, screenplay, directing, acting, lighting, etc.

Essay by vrglxiiiUniversity, Bachelor's April 2004

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Stage Coach is a film from 1939, in the western genre. John Ford was the director, and I noticed in the beginning credits his name was in huge bold letters, bigger than anyone else's. I enjoyed the film because it was fast, and had a lot of action throughout the movie.

As being apart on the western genre, it had all of the typical aspects most westerns do. It had a drunk character, the good guy sheriff who is out to catch the bad guy, and the normal western music and setting. Other parts and characters included gambling, bar scenes, where no one paid for a drink, and the bartender would serve a bottle of whiskey, some sort of Spanish character, and a big shoot out at the end. The shoot out was between Ringo, who was the bad guy, against three brothers who had killed Ringo's brother. Through out the film, Ringo was portrayed as the bad guy.

However, going into the final shoot out, I found myself hoping that he came out on top, as he did. He then found the girl, and rode off together at the sheriff's will.

John Ford's directing was excellent. He used mostly natural lighting, filming a large portion of the scenes outdoors in a desert. This made the film seem more realistic, but at times seem as if it were in a studio. The land was so flat, that it seemed like it was a studio. One shot that caught my eye was during the chase between the Indians, and the stage coach. It was a very low shot and you could see the horse's legs running. It looked like an extremely hard shot to pull off, especially with the technology back then. There were also close up shots from inside...