Ride the Frontier

Exploring the Myth of the American West on Screen

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About the Book

With fresh appraisals of popular Westerns, this book examines the history of the genre with a focus on definitional aspects of canon, adaptation and hybridity.

The author covers a range of largely unexplored topics, including the role of “heroines” in a (supposedly) male-oriented system of film production, the function of the celluloid Indians, the transcultural and transnational history of the first spaghetti Western, the construction of femininity and masculinity in the hybrid Westerns of the 1950s, and the new paths of the Western in the 21st century.

About the Author(s)

Flavia Brizio-Skov is a professor in the department of modern foreign languages and literatures at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has written several books and articles on contemporary writers, popular culture and cinema.

Bibliographic Details

Flavia Brizio-Skov
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, notes, bibliography
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8306-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4191-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Why the Western? 1

1. Transnational Adaptation, Transculturation and Indigenization: Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest, Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars 13

Prologue  13

The National  16

The Origins: Local and Translocal  22

The Transnational  26

Conclusion  42

2. Celluloid Indians, 1950s Westerns and the Termination Act: Broken Arrow, White Feather, The Battle of Apache Pass, Devil’s Doorway, The Last Wagon and The Last Hunt 45

Prologue  45

Broken Arrow (1950)  52

White Feather (1955) and The Battle of Apache Pass (1952)  57

Devil’s Doorway (1950)  59

The Last Wagon (1956)  67

The Last Hunt (1956)  74

Conclusion  79

3. Heroines in Western Films? Mikhail Bakhtin’s “Dialogic Imagination” in Shane, High Noon and Westward the Women 84

Monoglossia: The Submissive Woman and Shane (1953)  89

Heteroglossia: The Transgressive Woman and High Noon (1952)  93

­X-glossia: Transformational Women and Westward the Women (1951)  100

4. Hybridity and (De)Construction of Femininity and Masculinity in Rancho Notorious, Johnny Guitar and Duel in the Sun 109

Rancho Notorious: The Filmic Text (1952)  111

Johnny Guitar: Paratext  121

Johnny Guitar: Peritext and the Novel (1953)  123

Johnny Guitar: The Filmic Text (1954)  127

Duel in the Sun (1946): Paratext  136

Duel in the Sun: The Novel (1944)  139

Duel in the Sun: The Filmic Text (1946)  141

Patriarchy and Failed Masculinities  143

Patriarchy and Failed Femininities  146

Capitalism and Patriotism  149

5. New Paths of the Western in the Third Millennium: The Lone Ranger, Yesterday and Today 152

The Western Genre Today  152

Enter The Lone Ranger: Prologue  155

The Lone Ranger Yesterday or How the West Was Conquered  156

The Lone Ranger (2013): Paratext  161

The Lone Ranger Today or How the West Was Lost  164

Chapter Notes 177

Bibliography 225

Index 233

Book Reviews & Awards

“The topic, the theoretical framework, the analytical approach, the breadth of the sources consulted, the range of films discussed, and the critical angles applied in this monograph make it a valuable contribution to scholarship in western film studies.”—Flavia Laviosa, Wellesley College