This week, our resident movie reviewer, Jeremy Morrison, is back with a fresh review of one of Olive Films most exciting new releases, “Stagecoach,” starring Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash.
First, a quick synopsis: Paying homage to the 1939 classic and the 1966 version of the tale, Stagecoach tells the story of a group of passengers, a cross-cultural mix that includes Doc Holliday (Willie Nelson, The Electric Horseman), the Ringo Kid (Kris Kristofferson, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with The Sea), Marshal Curly Wilcox (Johnny Cash, Five Minutes to Live) and Hatfield (Waylon Jennings, Nashville Rebel) aboard the outward bound Overland Express stagecoach.
The cast also includes John Schneider (TV’s The Dukes of Hazzard), Elizabeth Ashley (The Carpetbaggers), Anthony Franciosa (The Long, Hot Summer), Anthony Newley (Doctor Dolittle), Merritt Butrick (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Mary Crosby (The Legend of Zorro), June Carter Cash (The Apostle), Jessi Colter (Outlaw Trail) and David Allan Coe (Beer for My Horses).
Actors: Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Ashley, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Schneider, Anthony Newley, Anthony Franciosa
THE REVIEW: John Ford’s 1939 “Stagecoach” starring John Wayne is a cinematic treasure. This is not that movie. But, hear me out, that’s not a bad thing. 1986’s made-for-tv Ted Post effort is a heck of a movie. And thankfully you can enjoy a wonderful transfer via the fine folks at Olive Films. For the uninitiated, Ted Post spent the majority of his career directing television such as “Rawhide” and “Gunsmoke”, but is also responsible for two of Clint Eastwood’s early hits, “Hang ‘Em High” and “Magnum Force”.
Another wonderful thing about Stagecoach is the casting. Some would call it a gimmick, but that is such an ugly word. Sure you have a bunch of Country and Western artists stepping into some mighty big shoes, but they’re more than capable of the task at hand. These (Highway)men and women are born entertainers that speak the language of storytelling. Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash are powerhouses as Doc Holliday (a pleasant change from the 1939 film) and Marshall Curly Wilcox. Waylon Jennings plays Hatfield this time out and I found him exceptional in the film. The biggest boots to fill, those of John Wayne’s Ringo Kid, were placed upon the capable feet of Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson is a bad ass, folks. Always has been, always will be.
The disc is without bonus content, and as it was a TV movie, the aspect ratio is your then standard 1.33:1 with a pretty good stereo soundtrack.
THE VERDICT: Dig those Highwaymen, they real got chops!
Jeremy Morrison – Staff Writer
Co-creator/host of the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, film reviewer, screenwriter, Jeremy has more than eight years experience in television and film production. His childhood fascination with the naked breasts featured in the “Friday the 13th” franchise prepared him for absolutely nothing in life. J-Mo lives by one motto: #wecantallbezacksnyder