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Old March 1 2013, 10:36 PM   #33
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Re: Western genre feature film resurgence 2010-2015

I didn't want to waste much time on your views a second time. But fortunately, following the link didn't take much time to find when you started misrepresenting my views as well as simple facts about the movies. I lost any respect for your ability to interpret posts or movies here:

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
Turning a Quantrill's raider into a Western Robin Hood is a political statement in itself. The insistence that the South was all about small government or such drivel is the same kind of thing. Demanding that people have to forthrightly state they are racist seems so excessive as to border on the disingenuous.
Even so, that's a long way from supporting the earlier contentions that Westerns were doomed by their outmoded racial views.

The subtext of Jesse James is there. Nobody from New York or Massachusetts or even Ohio gets to be the Western Robin Hood and that's no accident.
A "Western Robin Hood" story accounts for only a small percentage of Western movies. The James gang has just as often been depicted as genuine "bad guys," often very charismatic, but clearly on the wrong side. Far more influential for Western movies were the examples of lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Pat Garrett, who promoted their stories tirelessly in their lifetimes, even in Hollywood in Earp's case. Usually the stories, even if based on real characters, were so fictionalized the the average moviegoer would have little or no idea of the politics originally involved.

Here are the top 15 most commercially successful Westerns according to George Lucas's Blockbusting, Alex B. Block, ed.

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
2. Duel in the Sun (1947)
3. How the West Was Won (1963)
4. Dances with Wolves (1990)
5. Shane (1953)
6. The Outlaw (1943)
7. Unforgiven (1992)
8. Maverick (1994)
9. The Alamo (1960)
10. Jesse James (1939)
11. True Grit (1969)
12. The Covered Wagon (1923)
13. Red River (1948)
14. Little Big Man (1970)
15. Vera Cruz (1954)

I can find little "racist" content in that list. Numbers 3 and 12 have stereotypical Indian fighting, but even the silent Covered Wagon has scenes showing the Indians are fighting for their way of life. Numbers 4 and 14 are emphatically pro-Native American, and 7 and 8 have strongly positive black and Native American characters, respectively. The rest, race plays little or no part. As for Robin Hood stories, the 1939 Jesse James is indeed one example, but it is fictionalized and leaves James brothers' Civil War origins out completely. In the movie they are pushed into crime by corrupt land-grabbers.

The reason that TV Westerns outlasted movie Westerns is simple: It was the same thing continued elsewhere. The B-picture Western, which could be produced on an industrial scale by Hollywood, shifted to television just as viewers switched from going to the pictures and seeing serials, newsreels, B- and A-features to getting most of their entertainment at home and only going to the movies for big features. The well-established system for mass-producing Westerns was a natural fit for TV and played a big part in shifting the center of the television industry from New York to California. There were still feature film Westerns made in Hollywood, but the genre was not nearly as dominant as on TV. And the reason they died out on TV was also simple: There were too many and people tired of them, and the new field of demographic research showed that younger viewers preferred sitcoms and detective shows.


The bold face is added. I skipped over the misrepresentation of my contentions about race. Nor did I remark about how your supposed explanation is not even an explanation. It took decades and decades for soap operas and detective shows to more or less vanish from the TV network schedules. Why did it take so much longer for there to be too much of those shows? They suffered from overkill too. (Yes, I know that detective shows are overexposed still.)

However, the notion that there was little or no concern with race, when Duel in the Sun is about, well, I quote from imdb: "Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad." Race plays little or no part?

But in your version, this becomes:

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
^^^Still saw enough of them to know you frequently misreport, distort and generally screw up simple descriptions.

And this from the guy who posted such off-base stuff as:
  • Henry Fonda was the hero in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
  • There are rarely Union Civil War veterans as heroes in Westerns
  • Major Dundee wasn't the hero in Major Dundee
  • Wild Bill Hickock's wartime service was never dealt with in a move
  • Vera Cruz was racist because the Gary Cooper character was a former Confederate
  • Duel in the Sun was racist in its treatment of the Pearl character
I think informed readers can make up their minds about who knows what they are talking about.

stj wrote: View Post
But don't be bashful, limiting yourself to a random drive-by potshot. Be brave, explain to us how Justified and Hatfields & McCoys and Django Unchained are Westerns. If it makes you bolder, I won't respond to your post either.
No thanks.
You just make shit up.
The people of this country need regime change here, not abroad.
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