These different films present moral choices in very different ways. For example, in the Stagecoach and The Player films, moral choices are at the centre stage in the development of their plots. However, the constituents of their significant plots and the moral choices are represented differently. This paper discusses the way these constituents and the moral choices are represented differently in these two films.
The Player (1992) is an American film that belongs to a satirical genre and directed by Altman Robert. The film is based on Michael Tolkin’s screen play based on his 1988 novel by the name The Player. The film recounts a chilling story of Hollywood studio executive who kills a screenwriter after suspecting that he could be the one sending him death threats. The film’s plot is strewn with a series of instances when characters are required to make moral choices. Stagecoach (1939) is adapted by John Ford from Ernest Haycox’s short story ‘the stage to Lordsburg.” The story recounts a journey of strangers riding on a Stagecoach that passes via a precarious apache territory in New Mexico. Among the strangers are a prostitute called Dallas who is being driven from the town by members of the law and order league, an alcoholic doctor alongside a pregnant woman traveling to see her cavalry officer husband and a whiskey salesman. In their dangerous escapade to Lordsburg, the travelers contend with situations where moral choice is inevitable. In the film The Player, Griffin Mill had to make a quick moral choice when his life was threatened. He searched the person who was putting his life at danger to kill him. While they were fighting, he lost the game and decided to kill David Kahane, and he succeeded and got away with it. In the start of the film Stagecoach, Lucy Mallory is boarding a Stagecoach alongside a prostitute Dallas and an alcoholic doctor Doc Boone. She is warned by her friends not to travel along the two evil people. She had to make a moral choice to sacrifice her love for her husband or to avoid being associated with ‘those creatures.’ Lucy was heavily pregnant to take such a risk and was advised by Curley not to take the trip in her status, but she insisted that if her husband is in danger, she wanted to be with him, and it was as she resolved. These two scenes are different in the way each presents moral choice concept (Dudley 51), but they function to kick start significant plots in the two films. In The Player, Griffin Mill, when he was threatened by a rattle snake realized that he was attracted to June, the girlfriend to David Kahane, whom he killed. He had to make a choice to take her and have David’s thoughts haunting him or go against his pleasure pressures and betray his passions. On the other hand, June was aware that Griffin Mill was a chief suspect for having killed her former boyfriend, David Kahane; but she was in love with him and had to make a moral choice to marry a suspect murderer to her boyfriend or stay without a boyfriend and a husband. In a similar plot scene in the film Stagecoach, Dallas was also in a situation to make a moral choice when Ringo proposed to marry her. She was to choose to risk marrying him, or refuse in fear of her checkered past as a prostitute. In the following morning, Ringo had to choice to give up his revenge for plummers and marry Dallas or lose Dallas and avenge by fighting plummers. Both scenes serve to develop a plot in which moral choices are at the centre of the characters, but in a very different way. Moreover, at one point, Bonnie in the film The