10 Great 'Hang Out" Movies

9. Stagecoach

Stagecoach John Ford's 1939 western Stagecoach united him for the first time with actor John Wayne, at the time, the star of some 70 odd B pictures. Stagecoach made Wayne a star and established one of the great actor/director partnerships in the history of cinema. But make no mistake, Stagecoach is not just a star vehicle for Wayne, it's also one of the great ensemble pictures of the classic Hollywood era. The film chronicles the story of nine passengers on a stagecoach, all of them from different backgrounds, and a few of them social outcasts kicked out of town. The two outcasts are the prostitute Dallas (Claire Trevor) and Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell), an alcoholic doctor. The other passengers are Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt), a cavalry officer's wife, Mr. Peacock (Donald Meek), a whiskey salesman, Hatfield (John Carradine), a Southern gentleman and gambler, Henry Gatewood (Berton Churchill), a banker, the Ringo Kid (Wayne) who just broke out of jail, and swears revenge on Luke Plummer for killing Ringo's father and brother- and is taken in to custody by Marshall Curly Wilcox ( George Bancroft), and the stage driver Buck (Andy Devine). It's "The Breakfast Club" of westerns as tempers flare and we begin to see many these people are more than what they appear on the outside. Romance also blossoms between Ringo and Dallas. Ultimately, these strangers will have to put aside their differences to fight for survival against Geronimo and his apaches. Mitchell, who starred in other notable 1939 films like Gone With the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Only Angels Have Wings, won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Doc Boone. Mitchell gives one of the most endearing performances of the film. Boone is written off as just an alcoholic doctor but he ultimately redeems himself when he delivers Lucy's baby. And Lucy, who originally did not like being around a prostitute, sees that Dallas is a good person once Dallas begins to look out for her and the baby. The film ends with Boone and Curly letting Ringo and Dallas ride away to Ringo's ranch to live their life. I once had a film professor who always expected either Boone or Curly to say "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," the famous closing line from Casablanca. Part of the joy of hang out movies isn't just spending time with the characters but seeing great friendships emerge between the characters. This is what makes the ending of Stagecoach so charming and why we love these characters so much.
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I'm Canadian! I'm a recent graduate of the Journalism Program at the University of King's College in Halifax. I'm an aspiring actor and film critic, and lover of all things film and Shakespeare. My favourite movie is "Casablanca" and my favourite play of Shakespeare is "Othello."