Western Posters

FIL2400 - History of the American Cinema line

Week 5 - The Western


The Western is an American myth that has been translated by other cultures and reinterpreted time and again, but never dies. With clips and critical commentary on films from John Ford's seminal Stagecoach through the work of Arthur Penn, Sam Peckingpah, Clint Eastwood, and other important directors, this segment traces the artistic evolution of the Western as well as the sociological importance of the genre.


Reading Assignments
Study Guide - Unit 4: The Western
American Cinema - Chapter 10: The Making of the West

Additional Readings
Gary Johnson, "The Western, An Overview", Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture, Issue 6

Mary Halnon, "Silent Western: Early Movie Myths of the American West"

Television Assignment
Sunday Night/Monday morning - October 5
Midnight - 1:00 AM
Program 4 - The Western

Additional Screenings
*Stagecoach - Edison Library PN 1995.9 .W4 S73
*The Wild Bunch
The Searchers
- Edison Library
Blazing Saddles
Seven Samurai
The Magnificent Seven

Learning Objectives
A. Trace the historical and artistic development of the film Western
B. Grasp the concept of myth as it pertains to the Western
C. Define what a genre is and describe the major generic conventions of the Western
D. Discuss the connection between the closing of the frontier and the rising popularity of Western fiction
E. Define Manifest Destiny and describe how the idea is reflected in Westerns
F. Describe the key conflicts of the Western, culture vs. nature, East vs. West, old vs. new, order vs. anarchic freedom
G. Understand the role of landscape in the Western
H. Understand how changes in the Western both reflect and influence changes in society


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