THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF THE WESTERN CINEMA
The western movies are film genre where the scene generally takes place in North America during the American conquest of the West in the last decades of the nineteenth century. This genre appears since the invention of the cinema in 1985 finding its inspiration from literature and painting arts of the American Wild West. This genre reached its first success in the mid-twentieth century during the golden age of Hollywood studios, before it had being reinvented by European filmmakers in the 1960s.
The term Western has since been attributed to other visual arts such as literature, painting, television, cartoon, and now refers to all artistic production influenced by the atmosphere and the clichés…show more content… In the 1880s, the Wild West was the theme of many shows such as the famous Wild West Show by Buffalo Bill. By 1900, the theme is already so popular that it naturally became a source of inspiration for the pioneers of the film industry. In 1903, hollywood released the first Western movie “The Great Train Robbery”. It is a twenty minutes silent movie written, produced, and directed by Edwin S. Porter. This production was directly inspired by the true story of the Wild Bunch gang also know as the Doolin-Dalton gang during the 1890s (Clapham). The Western became officially a film genre in the 1920s.
Very quickly, the western got detached little bit from reality to gain more freedom and imagination. Hollywood now created a mythical representation of the cowboy. This simple cowherd has become a heroic and virtuous character with impeccable and irreprochable qualities (Clapham, p.13). The western has also built a legend around iconic figures such as Billy the Kid and Jesse James. It was inspired by events such as the Gunfight of OK Corral, which was staged in many films. At the end of the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, produced by John Ford in 1962, a phrase captures the essence of western: “When the legend sells better than the