John Ford’s Stagecoach: Writers, Here’s How To Introduce Your Hero (#2 Of A Bunch)…

(thanks, ThePiemmebi!)

What can I say about John Ford that hasn’t been better said by a load of other (and far better) writers? Not much, other than even if you hate westerns, his 1939 classic, Stagecoach was and still is a quite phenomenal film from a year where there were dozens of them popping into theaters throughout the year. That famous first shot of John Wayne as Ringo is brilliant and thrilling because it immediately introduces a character that adds to the story in many ways. Without seeing the rest of the film, this clip sets up Ringo as someone who’s liked and hated, a friend, yet a stranger and some sort of outlaw. He’s not giving up his Winchester at all, and yes, that stubbornness comes in very handy soon enough as things get dangerous and his skills are required.

I haven’t seen this one in a while, but if it’s on soon (TCM, of course! I missed the John Wayne flicks they ran last month) and I’m up, I’ll be watching and cheering those great stunts and oohing at that stunning Monument Valley setting once again…

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