365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 95
Release Year: 1939
Best Supporting Actor
Best Original Score
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography (Black & White)
THE PLOT THUS FAR
A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Even though Stagecoach remains tightly focused on its wilderness road trip, that might seem like a large stable of characters to shape into a taut plot. Ford, working from script by Dudley Nichols and Ben Hecht, based on a short story, “Stage to Lordsburg”, by Ernest Haycox, keeps the proceedings in check by only giving us the information we need to explore the evolving relationships, and only focusing on each character when they’re important to the plot. This results in a few of the characters being functionally absent for extended lengths of time, but Ford can so easily establish a “deep” character with a minimum of screen time that the absences are not a detriment.
The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary, featurettes, video interviews and original 1949 radio production. The A/V Quality is supported by a robust 1080p transfer and original mono audio track. The booklet boasts a rather strong essay, but the whole package is just an embarrassment of riches. Check out the archival audio interviews with Ford to get a sense of the man in his element. Also, check out the bonus Bucking Broadway to get a sense of where the story was heading. Silent Westerns are hard to come by anymore, especially in HD. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!