John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939) is a Western strictly for fun as well as a fairy tale, especially in the eventual showdown between John Wayne’s  Ringo and the three treacherous brothers.  But the fanciful stuff is everywhere; the Old West mythology here is VERY mythological.  Yes, there is even a prostitute with a heart of gold (mythology) and Ringo falls in love with her (fairy tale).  His gallantry is the complement to the refined gallantry of Hatfield to Mrs. Mallory.

The movie was Ford’s first sound Western in a flatly uneven body of work.  Here, he had good material to shoot, with his usual smarts.



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