The American West on Film chronicles 12 Hollywood motion pictures that are set in the post–Civil War American West, including The Ox-Bow Incident, Red River, High Noon, The Searchers, The Magnificent Seven, Little Big Man, and Tombstone. Each film overview summarizes the movie’s plot, details how the film came to be made, the critical and box-office reactions upon its release, and the history of the time period or actual event. This is followed by a comparison and contrast of the filmmakers’ version of history with the facts, as well as an analysis of the film’s significance, then and now.
Relying on contemporary accounts and historical analysis as well as perspectives from filmmakers, historians, and critics, the author describes what it took to get each movie made and how close to the historical truth the movie actually got. Readers will come away with a better understanding of how movies often reflect the time in which they were made, and how Westerns can offer provocative social commentary hidden beneath old-fashioned “shoot-em-ups.”
- Offers an insider's look at the making of popular and classic motion pictures about America's westward expansion
- Analyzes what Western movies often got wrong about the history of the American West and what it sometimes got right
- Shows how movies reflect the period in which they were made