Posts Tagged by Western films
|February 6, 2012||Posted by berns under Western Literature, Westernfilms||
Many old western movies are favorites of many film buffs and even ordinary moviegoers. This type of movie genre has withstood the many decades of the entertainment industry will most likely continue to do so for decades more. Although, many of these types of films were usually filmed on an enclosed set, they were also films or movies that utilize some of the most beautiful locations while telling a story about the western way of life.
Nearly all of these kinds of movies involve a gunfighter and a saloon considering that these were considered to be a way of life in the wild west. There are many movies that have taken on this concept and they are now considered to be classic films. This article describes some of the old western movies and the details that made them so interesting.
The Development of Western Movies
The earliest kinds of western movies depicted Indians as the bad guys and therefore, created the typical cowboys and Indians battles. However, as time progressed, this changed into the gunfighter type of movie and would then depict a bad gunfighter against a good gunfighter while making it very appealing to the viewers. Then there were the films that would completely depict the bad cowboys taking over a town. This seemed to be the most well known storyline and it has still been used even at present.
Some Great Examples of Western Movies
One of the best is “The Magnificent Seven” as one of those kinds of films. This depicts a group of gunfighters as the good guys that are protecting the people of the town from the bad guys. It is also considered to be one of the best western type of movies made of this type. It was made in 1960 and had Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen as some of the actors.
Another is the “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, a great example of western movies. This one had Clint Eastwood and was made in 1960 as well by an Italian film director. It was to become the start of Clint Eastwood’s highly acclaimed career as actor. He also continued to work with this director and went on to film other classics like “For a Few Dollars More” as well as “A Fist Full of Dollars.”
These are all very well known western movies that lots of people consider classics of that genre. This western rage has continued into the last few years with films like “Appaloosa,” which would utilize the best of today’s crop of actors, and also the “Unforgiven” film, which told the story of an aging old gunfighter that only wanted to earn a living and had to avenge the death of his friend. Both of these movies went on to become enormous successes.
Truly, western movies are here to stay as the quality of stories and the actors playing them get better and better.
|November 23, 2011||Posted by berns under Westernfilms||
Described below are some of the best Western films that we know you’ll enjoy watching at least once, or all over again. Each aspect of these films is what makes them unique and enjoyable even today.
Best Western Films in No Particular Order
The first is called “High Plains Drifter”, which was directed and also starred by highly respected actor-director Clint Eastwood who leaves his permanent mark all throughout this western film. While fitting the precise definition of a classic western; the stranger, a town in the middle of the plains, the usual bad guys that would scare anybody, viewers will have their eyes on the screen thinking what’s going to happen next and still wondering what really happened even after the credits, just like any of the best western films.
Next is “Little Big Man” made by Arthur Penn in 1970, is the captivating story of Jack Crabb, a 121-year-old white man-portrayed by Dustin Hoffman who is adopted into the Cheyenne tribe when he is just 10 years of age. But when a person lives for that length of time, a lot more things are likely to happen and the western film’s story is the character itself and his very interesting experiences that make audiences laugh, cry and smile all throughout the film. An example is when he was the assistant to a native American medicine man in the battle of the Little Bighorn in June of 1876, a historical moment in American history.
One of the most well-known western films is “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” made by acclaimed Italian director Sergio Leone and played by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach as the main characters. This is an epic spaghetti western produced in 1966. The movie begins in a desolate ghost town where Tuco, known as the Ugly, escapes from three bounty hunters and runs into the desert. While doing this, in a totally different location, Angel Eyes, or The Bad, played by Lee Van Cleef questions an ex –soldier and kills him in cold blood. Meanwhile, Tuco runs into another group of bounty hunters who prepared to capture him when they are joined by Blondie, Clint Eastwood as The Good. The whole storyline is about the three people trying to find some lost treasure buried in some lost cemetery somewhere.
The Modern As Well As the Classic Western Films
Another is “Dances with Wolves” directed and also played by Kevin Costner, is one of those western films that will stay in the annals. This is the story of Lieutenant John Dunbar in a remote outpost in the wild Dakota during the American Civil War. He finds himself to have to make a decision, which will not only affect his life forever but also the lives of the local Sioux tribe that has become kind of like his family.
“Rio Grande” is one of western films directed by John Ford in 1950, is set after the Civil War when the Union was trying to solve the Apache problem. Union officer Kirby Yorke, played by John Wayne, trains new recruits and one of them, his son he has not seen in many years. Yorke gives him a hard time to accommodate his duties and his feelings which become even worse when his wife, actress Maureen O’Hara shows up to convince her son to leave the army and go with her back home.
Everybody has heard of “The Magnificent Seven” played Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach and directed by John Sturges in 1960, features seven gunmen that hired to protect a Mexican village from bandits. It is inspired from the well-known Japanese film The Seven Samurai. This one of those classic western films that you’ll enjoy watching repeatedly.
Last but not least is the Wild Bunch directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1969. This is one of those western films that tells the story of a not so young gang of riders who decide to rob a Texas bank, only to find out that their plan was already known by the bank before they even began. They are forced to run to Mexico but feels the need to steal something to make up for the failed bank heist. Nevertheless, their pursuer is not willing to let them rest and so the story goes on until the final and climactic end.
|November 22, 2011||Posted by berns under Western Serials, Westernfilms||
Western films have always been an enjoyable kind of movie or television show for millions of viewers. The appeal of the wild west with its scenic landscapes and its historic characters that includes the lawless gunfighters that seem to have an attraction that cannot be classified.
These have been a standard offering of the entertainment industry since both movie and television’s development with great success. This article will take a look at a few of both the movies and television shows that have given so much enjoyment to people and explore some of the characters that have been depicted.
The Spread of Western Films
Let’s start with the western films most well known since they were around long before the television and the shows that were developed for that media format.
The location called Monument Valley, which is at the four corners site of the U.S. that includes the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico and has always been a preferred shooting site for many films. One in particular was called Stagecoach. The capacity to show the beautiful scenery in a wide screen medium that was the primary contribution to this film. This helped to set the norms that other western films would copy.
Next, was the film “The Magnificent Seven” that portrayed the usual scenario of the good guys protecting the townsfolk and was to become a Hollywood standard that never fully stopped to this day. Then there were the Italian made western films that helped to develop the loner type of character portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the movies known as “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More”, as well as in “A Fist Full of Dollars.” These became hugely successful and many western movie enthusiasts are very familiar with these Sergio Leone directed westerns.
Modern Western Films
Just a few years ago, Billy the Kid and his gang were portrayed by the young blood of tinseltown in the movie “Young Guns.” This western film made so much money it was quickly followed by another. Even the highly respected actor/director Clint Eastwood continued his western movie genre with the movie “Unforgiven” which went on to win an Academy Award. Finally, if western movies are being discussed, it is very hard to list them down and not include legendary actor John Wayne into the mix. He became the icon of the western movie for decades.
There were also television shows that took part in this genre like “The Lone Ranger” and “Bonanza,” and especially “Gunsmoke.” These would depict various styles of living in the Wild West and follow the characters and their lives from range life to lawless towns where the most important place in town would be the saloon. But Western films were still the most popular form of entertainment in this kind since they could easily exported to other countries.
Despite the often atypical qualities of western films like the gunfighter, the horse, and the saloon, many people still find them quite enjoyable. This is certainly why they have appealed to generations of moviegoers and they will continue to do so for generations more.
|November 21, 2011||Posted by berns under Westernfilms||
Western films make us imagine Cowboys and Indians in their glory days on the frontier. However, the classic western movies are much more than that and there are many actors as well as actresses that have taken part in this wonderful and sometimes historic representation of the early American history and way of living.
Usually, these kinds of movies would show towns covered in dust that would be inhabited by people who are scared of the gunfighters that would try to scare them. There would almost always be a scene that would be shot in the town’s saloon and there was always at least one gunfight and usually more than that. It is a time of cattle and horseback riding and mountains and other elements that defined the west during that time.
Popular Locations for Western Films
Quite a few of these western films were done in actual locations or at least the actual areas that would enable the ability to have the typical western background. Places like Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado were especially used for their western atmosphere, and Eastern California was popular for the desert types of filming needed in certain stories. Entire face board, buildings which would just depict the facade, towns would be built out in the middle of nowhere for many of these movies and then be torn down when finished, this was the standard practice of many film makers.
A particular on-site location was the main backdrop for the movie “Stagecoach” and this was at the four corners region that included Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico and is called Monument Valley. Similarly, the “Cheyenne Autumn” western film was also done in that same location.
Some History on Western Films
Experts agree that the first western film that was made is titled “The Great Train Robbery” and it was all silent but is still considered to be a classic considering that it put the word western in the Hollywood dictionary.
Then there are those western movies that were done by the Italian director Sergio Leone and would feature relative newcomer Clint Eastwood. These were films such as “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Outlaw Josie Wales, and A Fist Few of Dollars.” These are now considered to be the new classics of this interesting genre.
The best western film actor is known to be John Wayne and he was one of the most prolific actors of his generation. Roles such as “Rooster Cogburn” and films like “The Alamo” are simply a couple of the many westerns he had made in his lifetime and he won for playing the protagonist in “True Grit.”
Lastly, those are just two of the outstanding actors that have starred or took part in the western film genre. There are many more that have had their start in these wonderful types of films as well and we will continue to enjoy their work for many years to come.
|November 18, 2011||Posted by berns under Westernfilms||
Western films, or what are more commonly called westerns define the film industry of America. These classic films are seen usually as a kind of ode to the yesteryears when the American frontier was still a stretch of wild land. These films are part of the kind that is known to be so typically American in their genesis, thus making them among the oldest and most enduring among all film genres of all time.
Although the popularity of the western films has hit its highs and lows over the decades with the thirties to the sixties being the most productive periods and a revival happening in the nineties, we can say that westerns would really last until the end of time.
The Popularity of Western Films
Western films are considered as a native art form in America, they are mostly concentrated on the western frontier of North America. Over the years, the films may show that the usual settings of these classics are on the American frontier during the last few years of the 19th century, immediately after the Civil War of America.
Most common locations of these films are of the western geography of rugged terrains or large expanse of frontier landscapes. However, there are also classic Westerns that are set during the colonial period of America or during the middle part of the 20th century and could even be set as far as Mexico. Numerous Western films have also used the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, the Civil War or the Mexican Revolution in 1910 as their main themes.
The most classic of Western films usually show the wilderness being overcome for the chance at civilization. Usually, these films also show territorial freedoms that are taken from their original settlers at the frontier. As such, the specific locations for westerns include ranch houses, abandoned or out-of-the-way forts, jails, livery stables, saloons, main streets of small towns, remote homesteads or small towns at the frontier that are showing some signs of civilization. Many Native American locations may often be seen and used in these films as well.
Other Things to Take Note Of In Western Films
Some additional aspects that one can see in Western films that are now considered as symbolic like riding spurs and the many styles of western hats, cattle drives, hanging trees, lassos, buckskins and bandanas, stagecoaches, canteens, gamblers and prostitutes and many others. Quite frequently, the cowboys portrayed in these films have always had their favorite horses that are shown to be faithful to their riders.
Through the years of western movie evolution, most of them had been redefined, reinvented and are still keeping the interest of the people going. This is probably due to the fact that this era it depicts glorifies a lot of its fading values and aspirations that were common during those bygone days in the West.
|November 18, 2011||Posted by berns under Westernfilms||
When one talk about western movies, what usually comes to mind are cowboys and Indians – “The Lone Ranger” , “Shane”, the great wild west films and so much more. Western movies are pretty much associated with cowboy hats, boots, horses and gun fighting. It depicts the old American ways – untamed America, which is a borderline between the wilderness and civilization. It also comes by the term – the horse opera and the oater. Several terms are coined but it just boils down to the cowboys and the wild ways of American civilization. Some are myths or based on legends and some are based on Western heroes and heroines.
Western has been the defining genre of the US film industry.
The Western Movie Plots
Usually, the usual plot of western films is classic, with a very simple goal that maintains the law and order in the frontier. It is action-based with more guns, fights, saloons, beers and dancing cancan girls.
Elements of Western Movies
The most typical elements in western movies involve guns, gun fights, horses, indians/savages, boots and denims, bank robbers and stage coaches.
For every country there are always their term for different fighters in the old era or in this instance, what is called, the samurai of Japan is the equivalent of cowboys in America during the Old West; or is also the equivalent of a knight in England during the medieval times.
The first western movie ever played has no audio and is called the silent western movie. A few great silent western movies that we can name is the Cripple Creek Bar Room Scene (1899) – which depicts the bar scene.
Trivia: Did you know who the first western actor in the silent western movie is?
The actor’s name is William S. Hart. He served as both actor and director after he moved to Hollywood. Movies that he released are the following:
- The Disciple (1915)
- The Taking of Jim McLane (1915)
- Devil’s Double (1916)
- Hell’s Hinges (1916)
- The Return of Draw Egan (1916)
- Truthful Tulliver (1916)
- The Narrow Trail (1917)
- Branding Broadway (1918)
- Riddle Gawne (1918)
- Breed of Men (1919)
- The Money Corral (1919)
- Sand (1920)
- The Testing Block (1920)
- The Toll Gate (1920)
- The Three Word Brand (1921)
- White Oak (1921)
- Travelin’ On (1922)
- Wild Bill Hickok (1923)
- Singer Jim McKee (1924)
- Tumbleweeds (1925
The number one classic western movie in cinema is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They used to run all the marquees. You can find the whole movie plot of the movie through Wikipedia or their official site.
From the Movies to the Western TV Series
When television came about, Gun Smoke is western film which is the longest-running tv series depicting the western era. Another one is Raw Hide. Both tv series captivated a large audience.
Overall, western movies used to have a large following of movie-goers but now, you very rarely seen western movies made. Most are reruns and some are enhanced, but still yet, they don’t have a lot of followers.