Watching Ann-Margret in a remake of a classic western made me think of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as played by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in Ryan Murphy's FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN. Not that Ann-Margret was an older Hollywood actress fighting to stay employed in it. Hardly. In Hollywood history, folks are still stunned at the number of truly classic films that were released in 1939. There must have been something special in the 1938 Hollywood studio water that enabled writers and actors to do such remarkable film work that came out the following year. One of those films of 1939 was STAGECOACH. It made a star of its young, new actor -- John Wayne. Assorted characters travel via stagecoach in the wild west. Not everyone is what they appear to be or what society would have us think they are. Claire Trevor is terrific in the original STAGECOACH as the frontier tart with a heart o' gold. Wayne's character will be the first man to treat her like a lady.
This remake is sort of "4 Degrees of Judy Garland." Van Heflin was Judy's leading man in PRESENTING LILY MARS (1943). Bing Crosby sang with Judy in radio appearances in the 1940s end early 50s. Keenan Wynn appears as a villain. He worked with Judy Garland at MGM in FOR ME AND MY GAL and Vincente Minnelli's THE CLOCK.
Handsome, macho Alex Cord landed the top role originated by John Wayne. He played Ringo.
The Norman Rockwell portrait of Alex Cord as Ringo is more animated than Alex Cord's performance. Bless his heart. He was no John Wayne here. That's one big reason why this remake can't touch the original.
Speaking of John Wayne, Ann-Margret would be his leading lady in his big 1973 western, THE TRAIN ROBBERS. You read that correctly...1973.
FEUD starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon racked up a record total of 18 Emmy nominations. Both women are in the category for Best Actress in a Limited Series.