I'd forgotten how good this movie was!
I remember watching it as a kid the first time with my grandfather, tucked up on the sofa with him on a rainy Sunday afternoon. He loved the old Westerns and kindled my life-long interest in them!
Last Sunday I was browsing through a car boot sale when I came across a DVD of Stagecoach so I gave the guy a couple of quid for it and last night settled down to watch it. It was as good as I remembered!
A quick search on Wikipedia provides lots of interesting back story to the movie; for example, John Wayne had starred in nearly 80 'B' movies before he got his big break, and Gary Cooper was the star the studios wanted in the lead role but John Ford held out for John Wayne and the rest, as they say, is Hollywood history.
I also think that watching these movies is a boost when writing BHW's. It reminds me to keep the action going, to develop strong, believable characters, to give the story a cinematic quality. I know everything that came out of Hollywood wasn't historically accurate but they knew how to entertain, which is what BHW is all about!
So I'm glad I watched Stagecoach again. For just sheer enjoyment of a movie that heralded the golden age of Hollywood westerns, I don't think it can be beaten.