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Although there were Westerns before it, Stagecoach quickly became a template for all movie Westerns to come. Director John Ford combined action, drama, humor, and a set of well-drawn characters in the story of a stagecoach set to leave Tonto, New Mexico for a distant settlement in Lordsburg, with a diverse set of passengers on board. Dallas (Claire Trevor) is a woman with a scandalous past who has been driven out of town by the high-minded ladies of the community. Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt) is the wife of a cavalry officer stationed in Lordsburg, and she's determined to be with him.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Its virtues remain intact."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Impossible to overstate the influence of Ford's magnificent film, generally considered to be the first modern Western."
‑ , Time Out
"With this, Ford transformed the western from fading B-movie filler into genuine adult fare."
‑ Simon Braund, Empire Magazine
"Classic John Wayne Western masterpiece promotes tolerance."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
"John Ford's classic western is a landmark of the genre for so many reasons: mature, classically constructed and superbly directed, it made a star of John Wayne..."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"Directorially, production is John Ford in peak form, sustaining interest and suspense throughout, and presenting exceptional characterizations. Picture is a display of photographic grandeur."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"John Ford has swept aside ten years of artifice and talkie compromise and has made a motion picture that sings a song of camera."
‑ Frank S. Nugent, New York Times
"[VIDEO] Orson Welles famously said he watched "Stagecoach" 40 times before he made "Citizen Kane." It's easy to see why."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Stagecoach is not just one of the greatest and most influential Westerns ever made; it's also a template for the ensemble film."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Criterion Collection's two-disc set... [is] a small film-school education, through the copious supplementary materials, on how the film broke new ground, why it remains so important today..."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Seen today, Stagecoach may not seem very original. That's because it influenced countless later movies in which a mixed bag of characters are thrown together by chance and forced to survive an ordeal."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Modern movies began here."
‑ , Film4
"One of the best early westerns ever made."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"...a thoughtful ensemble examination of grace (and lack of grace) under stress."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"A particularly special entry in Ford's already lengthy career... his first absolutely perfect movie."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
More reviews for Stagecoach on Rotten Tomatoes