The Landscapes of Western Movies

A History of Filming on Location, 1900–1970


In stock

About the Book

Western films have often been tributes to place and setting, with the magnificent backdrops mirroring the wildness of the narratives. As the splendid outdoor scenery of Westerns could not be found on a studio back lot or on a Hollywood sound stage, the movies have been filmed in the wide open spaces of the American West and beyond. This book chronicles the history of filming Westerns on location, from shooting on the East Coast in the early 1900s; through the use of locations in Utah, Arizona, and California in the 1940s and 1950s; and filming Westerns in Mexico, Spain, and other parts of the world in the 1960s. Also studied is the relationship between the filming location timeline and the evolving motion picture industry of the twentieth century, and how these factors shaped audience perceptions of the “Real West.”

About the Author(s)

Jeremy Agnew, a biomedical electronics consultant, holds a Ph.D. in engineering and has been involved in the design and manufacture of medical devices for more than 30 years. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has written several books on the Old West.

Bibliographic Details

Jeremy Agnew

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 230
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7951-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4223-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Milestones in Filming Western Motion Pictures on Location 1
Preface 3
One. Pre–1900: Romanticizing the Landscape 7
Two. The Early 1900s: Shaky Beginnings 26
Three. The 1910s: Growth of the Silent Film Industry 50
Four. The 1920s: Consolidation on the Coast 69
Five. The 1930s: The Rise of the B-Westerns 86
Six. The 1940s: Solidly in the Outdoors 109
Seven. The 1950s: Realistic Locations 138
Eight. The 1950s: Locations That Moved 165
Nine. The 1960s and Beyond: The Shift in Power 180
Postscript 203
Chapter Notes 209
Bibliography 216
Index 219