The Quick, the Dead and the Revived

The Many Lives of the Western Film

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About the Book

For well more than a century, Western films have embodied the United States’ most fundamental doctrine—expansionism—and depicted, in a uniquely American way, the archetypal battle between good and evil. Westerns also depict a country defined and re-defined by complex crises. World War II transformed the genre as well as the nation’s identity. Since then, Hollywood filmmakers have been fighting America’s ideological wars onscreen by translating modern-day politics into the timeless mythology of the Old West. This book surveys the most iconic and influential Westerns, examines Hollywood stars and their political stripes and reveals the familiar Western tropes—which became elements in popular action, science fiction and horror films. This then sets the stage for the Western revival of the 1990s and a period of reinvention in the 21st century.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Joseph Maddrey is a television producer and freelance writer. He lives in Studio City, California.

Bibliographic Details

Joseph Maddrey
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6551-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2549-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction: Oaters 4

I. Year of the Gun (1939) 9

II. Westerners at War (1940–1946) 21

III. Blood on the Moon (1947–1949) 32

IV. High Noon (1950–1956) 44

V. The Masculine Mystique (1950–1959) 57

VI. The Lost Cowboys (1955–1959) 71

VII. The New Frontier (1960–1965) 82

VIII. Blood Money (1964–1968) 95

IX. Mud and Rags (1967–1973) 107

X. Death Wish (1971–1980) 121

XI. Back to the Future (1977–1988) 133

XII. Young Guns (1988–2001) 144

XIII. Fever Dream (2002–2010) 155

Afterword: Destiny or Dust? 167

Appendix: Filming Locations 169

Chapter Notes 185

Bibliography 188

Index 195

Book Reviews & Awards

“a captivating work filled with keen observation and significant explanations. It’s the western movie genre presented in a most interesting light, and it’s Madrey’s intelligent writing that does the shining”—VideoScope.