There had been westerns that succeeded as both art and entertainment before Stagecoach, but none had been so seamless in their melding of art and western thrills. John Ford’s first talkie was more expansive, more brilliantly structured and more entertaining than any seen before. John Wayne became a major star with his bold and confident portrayal of Johnny Ringo, one of the first outlaw anti-heroes of the genre. Stagecoach was the first western to stress character, commentary and moral complexity over the black and white themes of its predecessors. Also, the supporting cast is particularly amazing, with John Carradine and the always stellar Thomas Mitchell giving especially fine performances.