The Landscape of Hollywood Westerns: Ecocriticism in an American Film Genre
Deborah A. Carmichael
University of Utah Press, 2006 - Performing Arts - 248 pages
Films located in the American West and the Western as a cinematic genre have endured throughout the history of moviemaking. Today, this tradition of battles between good versus evil, populists versus profiteers, and man versus nature may have been largely assimilated and transformed into action adventures with car chases replacing mounted posses, yet the genre remains popular with audiences. In studies of the Hollywood Western, the importance of landscape itself, the idyllic or treacherous environment portrayed in these films, often receives supporting-role status. Without the land, however, American national mythmaking would not exist.
The essays in this volume scrutinize the special place of nature and landscape in films--including silent, documentary, and feature length film--that are specifically American and Western. The films discussed here go beyond the stereotypical sagebrush setting. Although many of the films closely fit the standard conventions of the Western, others demonstrate the fluidity of the genre. The wildness of the western environment as a central fact of the American mythos encompasses far more than a brief period of national history or a specific geographical location.
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Ameri American West Anglo Annick Smith Apache Atomic Cafe Barret bike bikers Billy and Wyatt California camp Casy character Chavez Cherokee cinematic civilization Clint Eastwood Color counterculture cowboy culture depicted Dust Bowl Eastwood Easy Rider ecological Elinore environment environmental Ferris film film's filmmakers Fonda Ford's frontier genre gold Grapes of Wrath Heartland heroes Hollywood homestead horses hydraulic mining Indian Joads John Ford killed LaHood land landscape Letty Lige Lordsburg Lorentz ment Mexican Americans Mexico Montana Monument Valley movie myth narrative Native Americans natural world Northwest Passage novel Nuclear Oklahoma Pale Rider Pantex Plains Plow portrayal Preacher Press produced racism ranch rancher Rangers relationship ride Ringo river Robert Roddy Rogers role scene Screenplay script settlement shots small miners social Sourdough Stagecoach Steinbeck's stereotypes Stewart story symbolic Tanner tells Texas tion town Tulsa University Valdez viewers visual Walter Wanger Western Wilderness Women wind York