A Star is Born in Monument Valley: John Wayne in John Ford’s STAGECOACH (United Artists 1939)


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If you think the characters and Western tropes in STAGECOACH are familiar, you’re right. But let’s be clear… STAGECOACH introduced many of these now-clichéd devices to film, and is one of the enduring classics of the American West. Director John Ford was well versed in Westerns, having cut his professional teeth on them during the silent era. This was his first sound Western and Ford was determined to reinvent the genre, with much more adult themes than the usual Saturday matinée kiddie fare. He succeeded with a daring story featuring an outlaw and a prostitute as his heroes, and exceeded his goal by creating a brand new Hollywood star in the process: John Wayne.

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Wayne had been a football player for the USC Trojans when an injury caused him to lose his scholarship. Through some university connections, he was able to gain employment in the film industry as a prop…

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2 responses to “A Star is Born in Monument Valley: John Wayne in John Ford’s STAGECOACH (United Artists 1939)

  1. Pingback: Cleaning Out The DVR: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (dir by Sam Wood) | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Never Nominated: 16 Actors Who Have Never Been Nominated For An Oscar | Through the Shattered Lens

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