Analysis Of Classic Hollywood Cinema: Stagecoach

1034 words - 5 pages

The characteristics, features and conventions of Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939) allow this film to fit directly under the title of Classical Hollywood cinema. The film uses a few main characters that the audience members get to know well and create their own feelings for. In Stagecoach, there are nine main characters that the audience gets to know well, Dallas, Ringo Kid, Buck, Hatfield, Doc Boone, Lucy Mallory, Curley, Gatewood and the lieutenant. These characters are consistent throughout the story and the audience members begin to understand them as the story develops.
The story’s development consists of a single goal, the characters’ goal to make it to Lawrenceburg. The characters ...view middle of the document...

No shot, cut or camera movement is used that will make the user realize that they are in a theater watching a movie, instead shots, cuts and camera movements are made very logical and realistic so the audience can feel as if they are in the film and part of the scene.
The features of Classical Hollywood cinema and the uses of those features in Stagecoach, along with the use of mise-en-scène and cinematography creates a unique Classical Hollywood western with a social commentary. When Mallory arrives at Tonto, she meets Hatfield, the town’s gambler. Hatfield’s social position is made clear by the use of mise-en-scène and cinematography. As Mallory enters the room, Hatfield leaves the room but he is seen outside through the window. The camera is placed in such a way that he is framed in the shot by the window frame, the window pane and he is in between the Mallory and the second upper class woman that she is with. The film shows a long shot, so the audience sees the room, the window and Hatfield inside the window, so the audience knows they are inside the room with Mallory and the other woman and it is angled slightly downward so it seems the audience members are looking down at Hatfield. Hatfield is also lit by the sun while the audience and the women are inside where it is darker. The audience members, along with the two women are looking at Hatfield through the glass. This scene suggests that Hatfield is a lower class citizen. Hatfield is framed by society because he is a lower class citizen the others cast judgment upon him without knowing him as a person. The camera angle and distance suggest that society looks down upon him and judge him from far distances. The lighting shows that Hatfield is in the spotlight and always judged. The audience joins in the social prejudice and judgment of the lower class because of the placement of the camera and because of...

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