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John Ford's "Stagecoach" featured at BYU film series Sept. 26

The 1939 classic John Ford western "Stagecoach," starring John Wayne and Claire Trevor, will be shown on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium at Brigham Young University.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Children ages 8 and older are welcome. No food or drink is permitted in the auditorium. James V. D’Arc, curator of the BYU Motion Picture Archive, will introduce the film and provide behind-the-scenes information on the making of "Stagecoach."

"By the late 1930s, the movie western had become a staple of juvenile Saturday afternoon matinees," said D’Arc. "‘Stagecoach' changed all of that by providing a mature, more adult story of a diverse group of travelers who are attacked by Apaches on a trip to Lordsburg, New Mexico."

John Wayne, who had been busy in scores of B-movie westerns in Hollywood, got his big break as the Ringo Kid. The supporting cast includes Andy Devine, Donald Meek, Tim Holt and Tom Tyler.

"The film was so different from other westerns produced at that time," added D’Arc, "that it was rejected by the major studios, including David O. Selznick, producer of 'Gone With the Wind' and business partner of director Ford and producer Merian C. Cooper. It was ultimately made under Ford’s direction by independent producer Walter Wanger."

Variety hailed "Stagecoach" as "John Ford in peak form, sustaining interest and suspense throughout, and presenting exceptional characterizations. They also praised the film’s "display of photographic grandeur," which was partially filmed in Utah’s Monument Valley.

"Stagecoach" is part of the ongoing BYU Motion Picture Archive Film Series, now in its 10th year. All films shown in the series come from the permanent feature film collection of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library.

A complete season schedule may be accessed online at:

Writer: Brady Toone

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