I'm racing around like mad today, so I'll make this quick.
The character introduced in such a legendary, star-making way? John Wayne's "Ringo Kid."
The film doing the introducing? John Ford's seminal Stagecoach.
It's streaming for free on HULU (with ads) and on SHOUTFACTORY (with ads), though I think that might just be a Hulu embed. And it's also available on FANDOR (if you've got that), on HULU+ (without ads, but not free), and rentable from many of the USUAL PLACES($).
This is where it all started. John Ford’s smash hit and enduring masterpiece Stagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list and establishing the genre as we know it today. The quintessential tale of a group of strangers thrown together into extraordinary circumstances,Stagecoach features outstanding performances from Hollywood stalwarts Claire Trevor, John Carradine, and Thomas Mitchell, and, of course, John Wayne, in his first starring role for Ford, as the daredevil outlaw the Ringo Kid. Superbly shot and tightly edited, Stagecoach (Ford’s first trip to Monument Valley) is Hollywood storytelling at its finest.
Dismiss from your mind, momentarily at least, the John Ford we know, who could define himself with the three words “I make westerns.” Before Stagecoach (1939), Ford’s talking pictures played out in submarines, penitentiaries, and Scottish castles, in Mesopotamia, colonial India, and the Caribbean. Although manly adventure and small-town sentiment had their place, and although Ford would later in his career continue to dabble in subjects outside his soon-to-be signature genre, this was a more scattershot, eclectic filmmaker, who had not yet chosen a particular avenue to explore