The Old West in Fact and Film

History Versus Hollywood

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About the Book

For many years, movie audiences have carried on a love affair with the American West, believing Westerns are escapist entertainment of the best kind, harkening back to the days of the frontier. This work compares the reality of the Old West to its portrayal in movies, taking an historical approach to its consideration of the cowboys, Indians, gunmen, lawmen and others who populated the Old West in real life and on the silver screen. Starting with the Westerns of the early 1900s, it follows the evolution in look, style, and content as the films matured from short vignettes of good-versus-bad into modern plots.

About the Author(s)

Jeremy Agnew, a biomedical electronics consultant, holds a PhD 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: 266
Bibliographic Info: 61 photos, appendices, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6888-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9311-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Chronology      5

1. Setting the Stage      9

2. Cowboys and Their Cows      27

3. The Magic Begins      46

4. Flickering Images; or, How Did They Do That?      66

5. Location, Location, Location      83

6. Our “Cowboy” Heroes      105

7. “I see by your outfit…”      122

8. Firepower      141

9. Itchy Trigger Fingers      159

10. Enforcers of the Law      177

11. From Lacy to Racy—Wine, Wimmen and Song      193

12. The Boys in Blue      209

Postscript      229

Appendix A: Who Does What? A Brief Tour Behind the Camera      231

Appendix B: Cowboy Action Shooting      235

Filmography      237

Chapter Notes      244

Bibliography      251

Index      255