Released in 1939, this Western classic launched the career of a certain John Wayne. It won two Academy Awards and was nominated for seven. On a recent afternoon Bossy watched this entire movie from the
beginning beginning-ish, and she offers the following film synopsis:
In a spit-dust intersection of a Western town, a stagecoach prepares to leave for somewhere. A few townsfolk want to go to this somewhere—and a couple of others don’t want to go but they’re being chased out of town anyway. And so a preacher, an alcoholic doctor, a fancy lady, a gentleman, and a prostitute all climb aboard the stagecoach pulled by a team of horses:
The fancy lady hates the prostitute, and the gentleman is in love with the fancy lady who is traveling to find her missing army husband. The preacher is a preacher, and the alcoholic doctor drinks booze and then kderozzzzz. Soon they meet up with John Wayne, who is a prisoner:
At least Bossy thinks he’s a prisoner but anyway, the stagecoach agrees to transport him to his prison. Or his something. And off they go until a cavalry warns them about the Apache Indians ahead. The stagecoach pulls into a town where everyone eats dinner and votes on whether they should turn back or continue on their journey without an army escort:
So the next day the stagecoach moves uneventfully forward until their pit stop that evening, when suddenly the fancy lady collapses in a heap around the ankles of the others:
Everyone turns to the alcoholic doctor. He must save her!
The preacher and the gentleman pour black coffee down the alcoholic doctor’s throat so he’ll be sober enough to rid the fancy lady of her ailment. And this was the fancy lady’s ailment:
The alcoholic doctor develops a new confidence. Meanwhile the prostitute is very nurturing and now the fancy lady begins to sort of like her. So the fancy lady lets the prostitute hold her baby and take care of it while she recovers. And when John Wayne sees the prostitute tenderly holding the baby he falls
in love with her:
And the prostitute is in love with John Wayne, but there’s no time to worry about that now. Because now everyone has to make another decision and here it is: Do they want to stay put while the fancy lady recovers even though the Apaches will find them, or do they want to continue ahead even though the Apaches will find them?
They choose to move forward, except now they are all working together. And lucky thing because soon they encounter a swollen river and they have to tie logs to the side of the stagecoach so it will float like a raft:
After crossing the river everything is fine. That is, until in the distance they see the approaching Apaches:
Then suddenly, the preacher is shot!
Thankfully, just in time the cavalry catches up to the stagecoach and now the Apache Indians are dying right left and center:
And so the stagecoach people totally win. Also? There may have been more townsfolk traveling in the stagecoach. But Bossy only has so many
character actors Barbies. No matter—they arrive at their final destination, where John Wayne and the prostitute declare their love for each other in a saloon:
Or maybe they didn’t declare their love for each other, but there was definitely a Player Piano. And just when it looked like a happy ending, someone challenges John Wayne to a duel, and that someone is John Wayne’s mortal enemy. Or maybe it was some other person. Anyway. As John Wayne prepares for the showdown, the prostitute bids her teary goodbye. Is John Wayne killed? Or will he survive to make thirty-seven years of Westerns?