Lost Westerns Essay

615 words - 2 pages

I glanced down at my shoes, dusty from their cross-campus travels, and my thoughts suddenly wandered towards images of dusty boots with jangling spurs on the tips. The boots I saw in my mind's eye were worn by a cowboy from an old black and white film. After a few more minutes of thought on this subject, I came to a conclusion: the traditional Hollywood western-style film has been going the way of the dinosaur since the mid-70s in America. The mainstream movie-going audience no longer favors dueling gunslingers and cowboys versus Indians and hookers with hearts of gold. In my experience talking to others my age about westerns, the majority of them have said that they don't like westerns because they feel out of date. I think that old and worn-out feeling comes from two primary fronts in the movie business: the advance of special effects and technology, and the trend towards more historically accurate movies. It isn't enough to simply have a man get shot in a movie; now filmmakers have to show the path of the bullet in slow motion or have two pints of blood ejected from the wound in order to keep mainstream audiences' attention. The tension that once might have filled a duel between a hero and a villain in a quick-draw gunfight is lost on the epic battles and ratcheted violence levels of today's modern films. Even in some western style films that are currently being released, none that I have seen incorporate elements of older Hollywood westerns. In addition to newer special effects and technologies, historical accuracy is now a major part of serious filmmaking. When Indians were portrayed as crazed, scalping savages in westerns from the 40s and 50s, nobody gave it a second thought except for Native Americans,...

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