An enduring film genre with worldwide popularity whose classic setting is the period of the winning and settling of the US western frontier between around 1865 and 1890. Mixing history and archetype, stories are typically told from the standpoint of the settlers, with key themes including cattle drives and cowboys, the building of railroads, farmsteading, Indian wars, and the rule of the settlers’ law. The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter, US, 1903) is widely, though not without dispute, credited as the earliest western. By the 1910s the cowboy picture was recognized by both exhibitors and audiences as a distinctive type of film, and in the US hundreds of ‘horse operas’ (among them Cecil B. DeMille’s The Squaw Man (1913)) were made during the silent cinema years. ...
To find westerns in the Library's collections, you can click on one of the subject headings below:
Articles and other writings about westerns can be found in many publications. We don't have journals that look exclusively at westerns. However, you can use Film & Television Literature Index to find relevant articles.
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