Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay, written by Dudley Nichols, is an adaptation of "The Stage to Lordsburg", a 1937 short story by Ernest Haycox. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory.
Stagecoach was the first of many Westerns that Ford shot using Monument Valley, in the American south-west on the Arizona–Utah border, as a location, many of which also starred John Wayne. Scenes from Stagecoach, including a famous sequence introducing John Wayne's character the Ringo Kid, blended shots of Monument Valley with shots filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California, and other locations.
In 1995, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. Stagecoach has been lauded as one of the most influential films ever made. Orson Welles argued that it was a perfect textbook of film-making and claimed to have watched it more than 40 times in preparation for the making of Citizen Kane.