Ringo (1939)

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German title Ringo
Original title Stagecoach
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1939
length 97 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director John Ford
script Dudley Nichols
Ben Hecht
production Walter Wanger
John Ford
music Orig.mus .: Gérard Carbonara
Mus.dir: Boris Morros
Mus.adapt .: Richard Hageman
William Franke Harling
John Leipold
Leo Shuken
Louis Gruenberg
camera Bert Glennon
cut Otho Lovering
Dorothy Spencer
Walter Reynolds

Ringo , in the original Stagecoach ( stagecoach ), is a western by John Ford . The film tells the story of a stagecoach trip taken by nine people from Tonto (Arizona) to Lordsburg (New Mexico). The action takes place in the early 1880s.

The script was set up in April 1937 in Collier's Magazine published narrative Stage to Lordsburg (dt. Stagecoach to Lordsburg ) by Ernest Haycox basis. This story was in turn an adaptation of the novella Fettklößchen ( Boule de Suif ) by Guy de Maupassant , published in 1880 , the action of which takes place in Normandy at the time of the Franco-Prussian War .

The version of the film that was first distributed in Germany was given the title Höllenfahrt nach Santa Fe (the "Höllenfahrt" went to Lordsburg). The original version, released in 1963, was given the title Ringo , named after one of the main characters.


A short opening credits bring the plot of the film into a historical background, which is brought to a common denominator with the mention of the name Geronimo . The Apache leader was on the warpath with a small number of followers and spread fear and terror in the border area of Arizona and New Mexico .

Then the depiction turns to the main street of the city of Tonto, Arizona. A Wells Fargo & Company stagecoach is arriving there . In addition to passengers, it also brings freight, specifically fifty thousand dollars in wages that are handed over to the local bank. A new, very heterogeneous tour company is now forming in Tonto to continue to Lordsburg in New Mexico. In addition to the good-natured but not very assertive coachman Buck, the sheriff ( marshal ) Curly Wilcox takes a seat on the driver's seat. He pursues the runaway convict Ringo, whom he suspects in Lordsburg. The pregnant officer's wife Mrs. Mallory, who thinks her husband is at the next stop, travels in the carriage in Apache Wells. Like them, the anxious liquor representative Peacock was one of the previous passengers. Peacock is sometimes addressed as a clergyman because of his appearance and looks so inconspicuous that the fellow travelers constantly forget his name. Spontaneously, almost at the last second, the elegant Hatfield decides to travel with him. He offers himself as another protector for Mrs. Mallory. In Tonto, however, he had less of a reputation as a gentleman than as a notorious gambler.

Two more passengers board the carriage, rather involuntarily. First the prostitute Alice, who is driven out of town by a department of women of the local League of Virtue and Morals , supported by a law enforcement officer. “Our men will be grateful to us,” claims one of the chaperones. When the threat from the Apaches becomes known, the ladies try to prevent the officer's wife, Mrs. Mallory, from making the dangerous journey. Compared to the easy girl, however, the decent ladies remain untouched by such caring virtue. This is safely violated in the danger. As a second outcast, the doctor Dr. Josiah Boone the prostitute. The rough healer, who is notorious as a bad drunkard, is put in front of the door by his landlady because of rent arrears. The landlady promptly joins the chaperones, whose spokeswoman is the wife of the banker Gatewood. Her husband has meanwhile embezzled the wages paid and secretly climbs into the carriage on the outskirts with his booty as the only piece of luggage. Allegedly he received a telegram message from Lordsburg that he was expected there; but this cannot be because the telegraph line is interrupted.

Outside the city, when the stagecoach is already in the steppe, the outlaw Ringo joins the group as the ninth traveler. He has lost his horse, is greeted with a shotgun by the happily surprised sheriff and taken into custody. Fellow travelers and spectators now learn that he escaped from prison in order to pursue the Plummer brothers who murdered his father and brother and who first brought him to prison by making false statements .

Crammed together in the narrow carriage, prejudices and social tensions between the travelers erupt in heated verbal battles. According to their own assessment, the “decent” distance themselves from the “ anti-social ”. This is illustrated in the form of the first stopover at Apache Wells, where the decent can move away from those whom they despise. As the spokesman for the establishment, the fraudulent banker Gatewood in particular tries to distinguish himself. He shines with entrepreneurial sayings that are counteracted by his own behavior and revealed in their hollowness. The pregnant woman from Virginia also shows a strong need for distance, supported by the Southern Hatfield, who hardly leaves her side.

Meanwhile, events in the external environment have increased the risk potential. The military escort that had been accompanying them until then was called up for other tasks; the replacement suspected in Apache Wells had already moved on. The stagecoach now has to continue its journey on its own. At the next intermediate station, Dry Fork, there is a gloomy, threatening atmosphere. Station owner Chris greets the group with the bad news that the military patrol was wiped out in a skirmish with Apaches and that Mrs. Mallory's husband was badly wounded. Shaken by this news, the heavily pregnant woman breaks down and gives birth to a daughter in this place. The prostitute Alice and the doctor Dr. Boone, after "the drunk pig" (Hatfield via Boone) was forcibly sobered up. On the same evening, Ringo proposes marriage to Alice, but she is initially reluctant because she is unsure whether he would accept her "past".

Birth, infants and weakened mothers keep the group in place longer than desired. New conflicts with now changed constellations break out. Alice tries to persuade Ringo to flee, but the latter breaks off the attempt to escape when he notices clouds of smoke that herald the activities of the Apaches on the intended route.

After continuing their journey, the travelers find the third stopover, Lee's Ferry (ferry station), as a heap of burned rubble. The residents have been killed. After a dangerous river crossing one tries to avoid the Apaches by a detour. When the journey is believed to have been almost successfully completed, the Apache attacks the stagecoach dramatically and with it the greatest test. Ringo and Hatfield in particular stand out for their commitment to the group. The latter pays for it with his life. When (almost) all cartridges are fired and the sure end seems to have come, an unexpected cavalry operation brings rescue at the last second.

Once at the destination Lordsburg, the paths of the main characters seem to diverge in the originally intended paths. Alice is drawn to the red light district . Ringo pursues his thirst for revenge against the supposed superiority of three dangerous opponents after the sheriff has "given him leave". The actual showdown is only partially shown in the picture. After the leader of the Plummer brothers briefly appeared victorious, but then collapsed dead, the sheriff and Dr. Boone the now united couple, Ringo and Alice, quasi leaving the city through the back exit. - Boone's final comment: “ Well, they're saved from the blessings of civilization ” (they are saved from the blessings of civilization) is not included in the German version and was accompanied by the nonsensical statement “Why don't you tell him that Luke has the Murder confessed? ”(Luke Plummer had collapsed dead in the saloon after the shooting with Ringo without a word).


Stagecoach premiered on March 2, 1939 at Radio City Music Hall in New York . Audiences and film critics agreed that it was a masterpiece. The film was only released in German cinemas in 1950 in a shortened version. It was not until 1963 that a full version could also be seen in Germany.


  • "The story [of the film] tells of the peculiar, half allegorical, half mythical characters that the West has produced, of gamblers, drunkards and whores who are honorable, and of business people and bourgeois women who are not." (Seeßlen /Because)
  • Before the final fight with Ringo, Luke Plummer is shown playing poker. He is holding two black aces and two black eights, the “dead man 's hand ”. Wild Bill Hickok is said to have had this sheet in his hands when he was shot.
  • John Ford and Wayne's friend Ward Bond was supposed to play the role of the coachman Buck . When it turned out that Bond was overwhelmed with driving the six-horse carriage, but there was no time for "driving lessons", Andy Devine got the role.

German versions

The first German dubbing was created in 1950 in the studios of Mars Film Synchron GmbH, Berlin . Hans F. Wilhelm was responsible for the dialogue script and dubbing . Franz Nicklisch spoke for John Wayne and Ethel Reschke for Claire Trevor. In the American original, a girl is born, in the German dubbing it is proclaimed: “It's a boy.” A complete dubbed version was then created in 1963 by Berliner Synchron GmbH . The dialogue book was written by Gerda von Ruexleben , while Dietmar Behnke directed the dubbing . However, the original film music could not be used for this version either, so that a new background music served as a compromise solution.

role actor Voice actor (1963)
Ringo Kid John Wayne Gert Günther Hoffmann
Alice Claire Trevor Ingeborg Wellmann
Dr. Josiah Boone Thomas Mitchell Fritz Tillmann
Hatfield John Carradine Gerd Vespermann
Buck Andy Devine Gerd Duwner
Sheriff Curly Wilcox George Bancroft Curt Ackermann
Lucy Mallory Louise Platt Marianne Lutz
Henry Gatewood Berton Churchill Siegfried Schürenberg
Luke Plummer Tom Tyler Rainer Brandt
Chris Chris-Pin Martin Toni Herbert
Frank Franklyn Farnum Manfred Meurer
Bartender Jerry Jack Pennick Hans Walter Clasen


  • One of the most beautiful westerns ever ... Here social and psychological problems are placed in a certain situation and outshone by the myth of the western. (Reclam's film guide)
  • With Stagecoach, John Ford succeeded in creating the world's first literary and poetic western. His concern was no longer to show the American West as authentically as possible or to relocate it to the fantasy world of the operetta - he was interested in the mystical aspects, the psychological meaning of the protagonists, he made legend into reality and folklore into reality. Stagecoach and other masterpieces like My Darling Clementine play in a West that unfortunately never existed, in the same landscape with always the same actors. In a mysterious world of light and shadow, seen through a soulful camera that translated the pioneering spirit of young America into pictures. (Jeier)
  • The fame of this film is based on the admirable balance in which the simple story, the impressive landscape of Monument Valley, the character structure (with the appropriate actors) and the narrative rhythm are kept. (Hans Helmut Prinzler, in: Classic films)
  • Stagecoach is the ideal example of the maturity of the style that has become classicism ... Stagecoach evokes the idea of ​​a bike that is so perfect that it moves in calm equilibrium, whatever position you put it in. ( André Bazin , quoted here from Hembus)
  • About the music in the German dubbed version: Stagecoach ran in 1963 (and since then only in this version) without Richard Hageman, but with a ridiculous coffeehouse clink. ( Thomas Bräutigam : Stars and their German voices. Lexicon of voice actors . Schüren, Marburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-89472-627-0 , p. 39)
  • John Ford's film also became a classic within the genre due to its excellent, almost breathtaking form […] And of course John Ford and his cameraman Bert Glennon create the scenes of the Apache attack on the carriage to a furious climax, a masterpiece of Art of staging and assembly. The stagecoach chases through the dusty Monument Valley, around it a group of riding and screaming Indians ... Ford skillfully changes the settings, from the inside of the coach to the outside, on the driver's seat, a glance at the wheels, at the riders speeding along, back at them Passengers sometimes staring in fear, but sometimes also defending themselves ... If there were to be an anthology of the really big sequences from the history of Western films, this sequence of scenes would have to be inserted in the foreground ... This film was an important contribution to the further development of language of the film. As with almost all Ford westerns, the inclusion of the landscape as an essential element in the film is also extremely impressive. Again and again Ford shows the landscape as an element that shapes people. Man is understood as a small part of this landscape ... So with John Ford the Indians were just a faceless mass, the anonymous embodiment of danger. Not a second is left to reflect on the motives of the Indians. These Indians here are violent and dangerous. To protect yourself from them you have to kill them. That seemed to be the simple logic of this story. (Hanisch)
  • The Indian was good for the background conflict. Had this conflict been brought to the fore, it would have been necessary to show credible characters. As long as they remained in the background, however, they served nothing but a threat than conflict. That was also the case in "Hell Descent to Santa Fe", where the Indians were not personified anywhere. There was no personal conflict there. The Indians had nothing to do but attack. Consequently, everyone in the carriage was in danger, in a nebulous menace. (David Humphreys Miller, quoted here from Hanisch)
  • High formal and ethical qualities. An exemplary western. ( 6000 films. Critical notes from the cinema years 1945 to 1958. Handbook V of Catholic film criticism, 3rd edition, Verlag Haus Altenberg, Düsseldorf 1963, p. 198)
  • This cinema classic contains all the topoi of the genre […]. The masterpiece by John Ford is more than a Western, the journey of the "Stagecoach" is a metaphor of a journey through life, it brings birth and death. "(Top rating: 4 stars = outstanding) ( Adolf Heinzlmeier and Berndt Schulz in Lexicon" Films on TV " (Extended new edition. Rasch and Röhring, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-89136-392-3 , p. 373)


  • I read somewhere that other people build altars for memorable moments in their lives. My most memorable moment is when John Wayne kills three men with a carbine while throwing himself on the dusty road. That's in stagecoach. ( Walker Percy , quoted here from Hembus)
Horsemen at John Ford's Point in Monument Valley , a popular
western filming location
  • Stagecoach was the first of a total of nine films that John Ford made in Monument Valley , which western fans respectfully dubbed John Ford Country . Contrary to statements to the contrary, John Ford was not the first western director to shoot in this landscape. The silent film The Vanishing American (The Last Indian) was believed to be the first western in 1925 to use the panorama of this landscape. Ford made the landscape a "star" first.
  • In addition to Monument Valley, the film made John Wayne a star. After the moderate success of his first major leading role in 1930, Wayne's star seemed to be fading again. Here he made his breakthrough. However, even after Stagecoach, another eight years passed before John Wayne finally achieved superstar status with Red River . Interestingly, Gary Cooper was an involuntary stirrup holder for Wayne at both stages of his career . At Red River , Cooper had turned down the offered lead role because the main character seemed too negative to him. For Stagecoach, the producers originally wanted to see Cooper and Marlene Dietrich in the lead roles. Their high fees were not compatible with the relatively modest budget of this film. Wayne only got a supporting actor's fee. Claire Trevor was by then the biggest star among those involved and by far the highest paid actress in the film.
  • The third person to gain stardom from the film was Yakima Canutt . The decisive factor for this was not the small supporting role in which he can be seen at the beginning of the film, but rather his work as a stuntman . As in many later films, Canutt doubled his friend John Wayne here. He also supervised and coordinated an entire team of stuntmen and performed even the most dangerous stunts. The legendary scenes of the Apache attack on the stagecoach are essentially his work.
  • Because of the long-lasting popularity of the movie also were radio - radio plays produced as a 1946 CBS version with Randolph Scott in the role of Ringo Kid , 1949 then another, this time from NBC with John Wayne.
  • In 1966, director Gordon Douglas released a remake that starred Ann-Margret , Van Heflin and Bing Crosby, among others. This film, which was shown in German cinemas under the title San Fernando , largely failed in terms of criticism and film history. The film historian Michael Hanisch wrote about San Fernando : “ ... nothing more than a spectacular flop ... This film lacked everything that made John Ford's film a great masterpiece [...] This remake of a classic is nothing more than an informative document about the decline of a genre. It goes without saying that the new film almost completely eliminated the socio-critical aspects of the old one with such a production. "

Prizes and awards

Oscar : Thomas Mitchell (best supporting role), Hageman / Harling / Leipold / Shuken (best music adaptation) Five more Oscar nominations, 1939 New York Film Critique Award for John Ford (best director), 1995 inclusion in the National Film Registry . Named one of the ten best English-language films by the National Film Review 1939. In the 1998 list of the 100 best films of all time compiled by the prestigious American Film Institute , Ringo landed 63rd. In 2008 the American Film Institute published a list of the 10 Best Westerns of All Time. There the film landed in 9th place. However, film connoisseurs consider a statement by Orson Welles , who is known to have seen Stagecoach more than forty times in preparation for the script of Citizen Kane, as the biggest award . (Welles is said to have answered the question about the three greatest film directors with "Ford, Ford, Ford." Or "The old masters: John Ford, John Ford and John Ford.")


One of the most popular of the many anecdotes associated with the film Stagecoach is the one after which director John Ford, when asked why the Apaches did not just shoot the stagecoach horses during the chase, gave the succinct answer: “Because then the film would have ended ! ”In truth, it was more likely that the attackers wanted the horses to be the object of their desire.

This scene was filmed in the Santa Clarita Mountains in Beal's Cut .

DVD release

  • John Ford's stagecoach . John Wayne Classic Collection. Hamburg Media House (HMH) 2008

Soundtrack releases

The Oscar-winning film music is primarily based on popular folk tunes such as Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie or Dream of Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair , which is generally typical of John Ford's westerns and which he himself wanted.


  • Richard J. Anobile : John Ford's Stagecoach. The Film Classics Library. Flare Books / Avon / Hearst, New York 1975, ISBN 0-380-00291-4 .
  • Michael: Hanisch: Western: The development of a film genre. Henschelverlag / Art and Society, Berlin 1984
  • Ernest Haycox : stagecoach to Lordsburg. Original title: Stage to Lordsburg . In: Herbert Frenzel (Ed.): Mail coach to Lordsburg. Stories from the Wild West. Book guild Gutenberg, Frankfurt am Main, Olten and Vienna 1985, ISBN 3-7632-2990-6 .
  • Joe Hembus : Western Lexicon. Paperback edition. Heyne, Munich 1978 (Heyne book 7048), ISBN 3-453-00767-0 .
  • Thomas Jeier : The western film. Heyne, Munich 1987 (Heyne-Filmbibliothek 32/102), ISBN 3-453-86104-3 .
  • Thomas Koebner : Ringo / Hell trip to Santa Fé. In: Thomas Koebner (Ed.): Film genres - Westerns. Reclam junior, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-018402-9 . Pp. 86-92
  • Dirk C. Loew: Attempt on John Ford. The Western Films 1939–1964. BoD, Norderstedt 2005, ISBN 3-8334-2124-X , pp. 81-104
  • JA Place: The Westerns of John Ford. Original title: The Western Films of John Ford. Citadel film books at Goldmann. Goldmann, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-442-10221-9 , pp. 33-47
  • Hans Helmut Prinzler: Hell trip to Santa Fé / Ringo. In: Thomas Koebner (Ed.): Classic films - descriptions and comments. Volume 1: 1913-1945. 5th edition. Reclam junior, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-15-030033-6 . Pp. 431-437
  • Mark Ricci, Boris Zmijewsky, Steve Zmijewsky: John Wayne and his films. Original title: The Films of John Wayne. Citadel film books at Goldmann. Goldmann, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-442-10202-2 .
  • Georg Seeßlen , Claudius Weil: Western cinema: history and mythology of Western films. Basics of popular film, 1. Rororo non-fiction book, 7290. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, ISBN 3-499-17290-9 .

Web links

Commons : Ringo  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hell trip to Santa Fe in Arne Kaul's synchronous database ; Retrieved October 3, 2008
  2. Ringo in Arne Kaul's synchronous database ; Retrieved October 3, 2008
  3. cf. plus the German and English soundtrack on the DVD John Ford's Stagecoach . (John Wayne Classic Collection). Hamburg Media House (HMH) 2008
  4. Dieter Krusche: Reclam's film guide / collaborators: Jürgen Labenski and Josef Nagel. - 13., rework. Edition - Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-010676-1 , p. 673f
  5. Michael Hanisch: Western: The development of a film genre. Henschelverlag / Art and Society, Berlin 1984, pp. 364–367
  6. http://cdn4.libsyn.com/huell/hhpcg9002.mp4?nvb=20100226110104&nva=20100227111104&t=00b089d8b923fca55c319  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. California's Gold - Roads Go Thru@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / cdn4.libsyn.com