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The Invention of the Western Film : A Cultural History of the Genre's First Half Century - Scott Simmon

The Invention of the Western Film

A Cultural History of the Genre's First Half Century

Paperback Published: 27th November 2003
ISBN: 9780521555814
Number Of Pages: 412

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The Invention of the Western Film ranges across literature, visual arts, social history, ideology, and legend to provide, for the first time, an in-depth exploration of the early Western, from short kinetoscopes of the 1890s through "classic" features of the 1940s. By examining the American Indian's rise and demise during the silent era, B- Westerns of the 1930s, and film noir-influenced Westerns of the 1940s, Scott Simmon's pioneering study silhouettes the genre's evolution against a myriad of cultural forces. This lively, encyclopedic book revitalizes familiar Western icons John Wayne and John Ford, and recovers forgotten masterworks from the Western film's formative years.

Industry Reviews

"Clearly written, The Invention of the Western Film is also well illustrated, sometimes with production stills but more often (and more usefully) with frame enlargements that support the visual analysis. Godd historians of film are often less confident as visual analysts, and vice versa. Yet one of Simmon's strengths is his ability to do perceptive close visual readings of movies while also making skillful and sometimes exciting connections between the film under study and other films, other works of literary or visual art, and the history of the West." Film Quarterly "One of the many strengths of this book is Simmon's narrow focus and his attention to the lesser-known nooks and crannies of the Western. His writing is never less than engaging and accessible, his insights often beautifully stated and eminently quotable" - Journal of Film and Video Stephanie Harrison

'My Friend, the Indian': Landscape and the Extermination of the Native American in the Silent Western
Indians to the rescue
The eastern Western
Our friends, the Indians
The death of the Western, 1911
The far-Western
Wars on the plains
The politics of landscape
Pocahontas meets Custer: The Invaders
'No Indians wanted'
The west of the Mohicans
Desert places
'It's Time for Your History Lesson, Dear': John Wayne and the Problem of History in the Hollywood Western of the 1930s
The Big Trail and the weight of history
What's the big idea?
Manifestations of destiny
Rambling into Surrealism: the B-Western
'Don't cry, Pat, it's only a Western': A note on acting
Time, space, and the Western
'That Sleep of Death': John Ford and the Darkness of the Classic Western in the 1940s
My Darling Clementine and the fight with Film Noir
Out of the past
'Shakespeare? In Tombstone?'
'Get outa town and stay out'
'A lot of nice people around here'
'Who do we shoot?'
The revenge of Film Noir
The return of the Earps
Ford, Fonda, and the death of the classic Western
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521555814
ISBN-10: 0521555817
Series: Genres in American Cinema S
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 412
Published: 27th November 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.56

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