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What is a Western?

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  • What is a Western?

    Lester Siegel the fictional veteran movie producer in Argo makes the comment It's got horses in it, it's a Western.
    But what makes a Western? Is it location, period or story?. Is Outlander where Sean Connery reprises Gary Cooper in High Noon but as a marshal in a future frontier town on a mining moon orbiting a gas giant a Western? Was a Lewis gun wielding Lee Marvin in Mexico (The Professionals) in a Western? Or a southern? Is William Bonny a typical Western character whilst the equally repulsive Ned Kelly is not? Do Westerns start with the cap and ball revolver or are flint locks allowed?
    Please come to the debate but leave your gun belts at the saloon door (along with Bowie knives). in deference to reality the bar will be serving rum rather than Bourbon.
    Attached Files
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

  • #2
    A Western IMO would be a movie set in the American West or where it involves Americans, in Northern Mexico(eg., West of the Mississippi) between about 1865 and 1920.

    So, movies about the Mexican Revolution like the aforementioned The Professionals would count as would The Magnificent Seven or The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

    Movies set prior to 1865 would count more in the "Mountain Man" genre than as Westerns. Jeremiah Johnson for example. This is set pre-Civil War so it isn't a true Western.

    Space opera like Outlander are not Westerns even if they sometimes share similar plot lines.

    A quasi-Western would be something like Quigley Down Under. It has the look and feel of a Western but isn't set in the Western US.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
      A Western IMO would be a movie set in the American West or where it involves Americans, in Northern Mexico(eg., West of the Mississippi) between about 1865 and 1920.

      So, movies about the Mexican Revolution like the aforementioned The Professionals would count as would The Magnificent Seven or The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

      Movies set prior to 1865 would count more in the "Mountain Man" genre than as Westerns. Jeremiah Johnson for example. This is set pre-Civil War so it isn't a true Western.

      Space opera like Outlander are not Westerns even if they sometimes share similar plot lines.

      A quasi-Western would be something like Quigley Down Under. It has the look and feel of a Western but isn't set in the Western US.
      So under your definition Texas Across the River
      a 1966 western film comedy/satire with Dean Martin, Alain Delon, Rosemary Forsyth and Joey Bishop. The film was directed by Michael Gordon.
      set in 1845
      is not a western - Nah. I've seen it - its a Western (and quite funny)
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MarkV View Post
        So under your definition Texas Across the River set in 1845
        is not a western - Nah. I've seen it - its a Western (and quite funny)
        About...

        The Good The Bad and the Ugly is set about 1863 or 4 during the Civil War. So, there's some leeway in the dates I gave. But, those dates do represent the bulk of Western movies and are good points for reference.

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        • #5
          http://www.imdb.com/list/ls000487182/

          Randy Rides Alone, Must be one of the greatest, just for the title.
          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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          • #6
            Netflix did a miniseries last year called Godless that was one of the best westerners I've ever seen

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            • #7
              Could The Alamo (1960, John Wayne etc )be regarded as a Western ?
              "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
              Samuel Johnson.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bowl View Post
                Netflix did a miniseries last year called Godless that was one of the best westerners I've ever seen
                Welcome Bowl.
                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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