Christian America in the 19th century needed to be more Christian—an implication, this, in John Ford‘s Stagecoach (1939). A prostitute (Claire Trevor) and a drunken doctor, Boone (Thomas Mitchell), are legally kicked out of a nicely developing town by its prim ladies. They take their places in the stagecoach headed for Geronimo’s land! It’s a good thing John Wayne‘s Ringo, also on the stagecoach, is a crack shot.

In an earlier review, I opined that this movie is a fairy tale—a palatable Old West fairy tale. And although it says little, really, about society, it does focus on personal change and the proving of oneself through a crucible.

Ford’s direction is wonderfully workmanlike. The bloody fate of Luke Plummer, a murderer, is excellently done. Except for the almost mechanical Wayne, among the principal actors the work ranges from decent (Louise Platt) to superlative (Mitchell).