13. Genre and the Western: The Searchers

A GENRE FADES INTO THE SUNSET - DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WESTERN - NARRATIVE, MORAL CONFLICT, AND THE SEARCHERS - THE ART OF FILMMAKING - WESTERNS AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF MYTH - JOHN WAYNE, HOLLYWOOD STARS, AND AUDIENCES

While the Western may be a rarely produced genre in contemporary Hollywood, its legacy of themes and myths continues to influence films today. Straightforward tales of heroism ruled, where lone gunmen protected defenseless villages from Native Americans or violent gangs of white men. This guide explores the genre by looking at one of its great masterpieces: John Ford's The Searchers. It examines the film as a challenge to some of the dominant conventions of the genre, as well as looking at the figure of John Wayne and the Hollywood star system.

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