On The Subject: Of Western Movies

Grab your saddle and settle in cause the OTS crew is talking a ride into the old west. We are discussing the history or Westerns, breaking down how they got started and how they “died”. Plus we look at our favorite and why the western has made such an impact on film.

Serial Dime Novels, Comic, Radio shows, TV and so on but we are here to talk Old West Films

Western Genre is a wide range of films that started when film started and has grown and changed as much as the film industry itself. Typically the films center around the American Frontier in the 19th Century but range from Mid 1800s thru early 1900s

Westerns are more of an American Mythology of the west with a Hero Cowboy and lawless times and the every changing new danger world

When we got talkies, the prototypical Western was Stagecoach, which featured all the things audiences of the '30s wanted – John Ford behind the camera, John Wayne in front of it, dangerous Apaches, Monument Valley backdrops and, of course, a stagecoach.


  • Cheaply made over produced and formulaic


  • 1903 - The Great Train Robbery (first western, silent film)

  • 1910's William S Hart Westerns

    • Silent Film western star

    • also did Ben-Hur 1907

  • 1930's Introduction of the talkies

    • John Wayne Films

    • Higher Production value

  • 1950's

    • Post WW2 Westerns

    • "Sex" Westerns

    • John Wayne still around

    • High Noon

  • 1960's

    • Vietnam

    • The first look at white privillage

    • Birth of Clint Eastwood

    • More Tension, Longer Shots, more violent

  • 1970's 

    • End of an Era

    • Acid Western

  • 1980s

    • Nothing of note

  • 1990's

    • Clint Eastwood Directing and starring

    • Cynical Look at the hero and west

    • High Plains Drifter

    • Pale Rider

    • Unforgiven

  • 2000s

    • Splattering of westerns

Classic Heroes

  • William S Hart

  • John Wayne

  • Clint Eastwood


  • Classic Westerns (1900-1930s)

  • Talkies

    • John Wayne

  • Charro Western 1930s

    • Mexican Influence

    • Singing

  • Comedy Westerns (1940s)

  • Spagetti Westerns (1960s)

    • Sergio Leone and scored by Ennio Morricone

    • Most Noteable and popular

    • Italian Directed

  • Acid Western (1970's)

    • El Topo

    • Keoma

  • Epic Westerns

  • Electric Westerns

  • Contemporary


  • The western is a canvas of an time to put your own stories, ideas and fable to adapt onto it.


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