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The Invention of the Western Film


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Table of Contents

Part I. 'My Friend, the Indian': Landscape and the Extermination of the Native American in the Silent Western: 1. Indians to the rescue; 2. The eastern Western; 3. Our friends, the Indians; 4. The death of the Western, 1911; 5. The far-Western; 6. Wars on the plains; 7. The politics of landscape; 8. Pocahontas meets Custer: The Invaders; 9. 'No Indians wanted'; 10. The west of the Mohicans; 11. Desert places; Part II. 'It's Time for Your History Lesson, Dear': John Wayne and the Problem of History in the Hollywood Western of the 1930s: 12. The Big Trail and the weight of history; 13. What's the big idea?; 14. Manifestations of destiny; 15. Rambling into Surrealism: the B-Western; 16. 'Don't cry, Pat, it's only a Western': A note on acting; 17. Time, space, and the Western; Part III. 'That Sleep of Death': John Ford and the Darkness of the Classic Western in the 1940s: 18. My Darling Clementine and the fight with Film Noir; 19. Out of the past; 20. 'Shakespeare? In Tombstone?'; 21. 'Get outa town and stay out'; 22. 'A lot of nice people around here'; 23. 'Who do we shoot?'; 24. The revenge of Film Noir; 25. The return of the Earps; 26. Ford, Fonda, and the death of the classic Western.

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An in-depth exploration of the early Western, from short kinetoscopes of the 1890s through the 'classic' features of the 1940s.


"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

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