The Western, from Silents to Cinerama

The Western, from Silents to Cinerama

The Western, from Silents to Cinerama

The Western, from Silents to Cinerama

Excerpt

For many years the Western film has been strangely and unfairly neglected. Although many articles and essays have appeared in general and specialized periodicals all over the world, substantially organic books dealing exclusively with the Western are very rare indeed. And of all this material, the majority has been disguised publicity, or at best essays which refused to take the Western seriously, the work of writers who knew little or nothing of Westerns, writers who glibly referred to the cliché of the hero always kissing his horse instead of the girl, leaving it at that.

There have been innumerable histories of the cinema, more specialized histories dealing with the cinema in various countries, and books devoted to individual directors, producers, executives, and stars. But if the general history of the movies has been told, only three books of any stature have been devoted specifically to the Western, all of foreign origin: Il Film Western, by Italian criticAntonio Chiattone; Il Western Maggiorenne, a symposium of essays by various Italian critics, edited by Tullio Kezich; and Le Western, by French criticJean-Louis Rieupeyrout . Of these, the first is a serious but necessarily incomplete and at times rather arbitrary study of the aesthetics of the Western; the second is most useful as a ground-breaking instrument for a systematic treatise, although it is necessarily fragmentary as a symposium; and the third is a less than thorough attempt to both narrate . . .

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