On This Date: The Highwaymen Starred In The 1986 “Stagecoach” Movie Remake


Is there anything that The Highwaymen couldn’t do?

The “super team” of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson were highly acclaimed for their musical work as a group, but did you know that they had a pretty successful film career together as well?

The Highwaymen, consisting of the four country music superstars named previously, formed in 1985 and stayed together until 1995. During their ten year tenure, they produced three studio albums as a group (Highwayman, Highwayman 2, The Road Goes On Forever), and one movie: Stagecoach in 1986.

The movie, which was a made-for-television old fashioned Western movie full of drama and action, was a remake of the 1939 John Wayne led film Stagecoach. Ted Post directed the film, and the cast was filled out with a number of recognizable country music figures.

Ringo Kid is portrayed by Kris Kristofferson, Doc Holiday, the famous gunslinger and dentist, was played by Willie Nelson, the role of Marshal Curly Wilcox belonged to Johnny Cash, and the gambler, Hatfield, is portrayed by Waylon Jennings.

The supporting cast was highlighted with June Carter Cash, Johnny’ wife, and featured Elizabeth Ashley, Anthony Newley, Mary Crosby, Jessi Colter and Tony Franciosa among others.

The plot of the movie revolves around a group of strangers that board a stagecoach heading east towards New Mexico. All of the mysterious figures are “running from their past” for various reasons, and their secrets are slowly revealed throughout the film.

Though it is a touch different from your run-of-the-mill “cookie cutter Western,” it could be best described as a typical cowboy shoot-em-up movie.

Especially since the TV movie culminated with a standoff scene, where we see multiple members of the Highwaymen working together to bring down the “villain” of the film.

If you get around to watch the full version, make sure you don’t knock it, because it actually took home the 1987 Western Heritage Award known as the “Bronze Wrangler for Fictional Television Drama.”

Sounds to me like it might as well have won an Oscar.

And before we get to a clip of the “Standoff” scene in the movie, seeing this Highwaymen film bringing together some of country music’s best to try out acting begs the question: what would be the modern day equivalent of this?

Would it be as if Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, and Zach Bryan starred in a made-for-Netflix Western?

I’d love to know what four country music artists Whiskey Riff fans would like to see in a modern day straight to streaming movie, but for now, sit back and take in this clip from the 1986 masterpiece known as Stagecoach:

If you are wondering, yes, you can go through and just watch all 11 of those clips and get a pretty good gist of the what the movie starring the Highwaymen is all about.

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