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Old May 12 2012, 03:25 AM   #128
J.T.B.'s Avatar
Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

stj wrote: View Post
Wild Bill Hickock's Civil War experience was never part of his screen persona, unlike Jesse James.
It was in The Plainsman.

Some of the rest of the list I'm not familiar with, but thinking Dances with Wolves was a classic Western is imperceptive, to put it kindly.
The claim was "in a Western," not "classic Western."

Ditto thinking that the Unionist in Major Dundee was a hero (the Confederate played by Richard Harris is the martyred hero.)
So Heston is what, the heavy? Come on.

The view that the power-mad Henry Fonda in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Dundee are natural fits for Union officers appears to come from sort of notion that the Union side was a bunch of crazed zealots on an unholy crusade against sane people.
You obviously don't know the material you're talking about as Fonda is in Fort Apache, not She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, he was not positioned as the hero and he was not "crazed." At any rate, they were Union.

Given that John Wayne in The Undefeated unites with the unreconstructed rebel Rock Hudson, The Undefeated is definitely not a Western that challenges the racial underpinnings of the classic Western.
What of it? He was a Union hero in a Western. But if you want to pin everything on "classic Western," you should define that term.

Just as before, the supposed examples in refutation don't refute. Quibble about "rare" but Unionists are rarely heroes by comparison with Confederates, and when they are they are usually happy compadres with Confederates with whom they have no differences in principle. Or still on active service in the national army. How could you expect a serving officer in the postwar army to be a Confederate veteran?
I didn't say anything about the proportion of Confederate heroes, there are obviously plenty of them. But it's a big leap to go from siding with former rebels in exigent circumstances to having no difference in principles. And no, there wouldn't be ex-Confederate officers in the post-war regular army, but they did serve in the enlisted ranks.

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