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Whatever happened to westerns?

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    simplicity
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    #1202798334

    I’m re-watching The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (a masterpiece) and several other westerns, I noticed the dates on the films there was a stop in the genre around 1980’s. Did audiences grow tired of the genre and people’s interest just fade over time?

    Do you ever think the genre will possibility ever make a comeback or no? Even to this day I don’t really hear much about westerns which is unfortunate because westerns are one of my favorite genres.

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    Emmyfan
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    #1202798350

    I have watched a few westerns and they do not do much for me. Sorry

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    kellis
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    #1202798358

    It was around the time Godfather and mob movies started hitting it big. So basically a cultural genre shift.

    “No user starts this shady” - someone culturally relevant.

    Also got banned because...reasons? So, I guess ciao.

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    simplicity
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    #1202798364

    It was around the time Godfather and mob movies started hitting it big. So basically a cultural genre shift.

    Well that sucks, I wonder if it’ll ever make a comeback since now musicals are, if that boring genre can make a return, I wonder if Westerns can, but then again, if it’s a cultural genre shift, probably not.

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    RobertPius
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    #1202798367

    Changing views of native Americans maybe?

    Remember how Marlon Brando sent Satcheen Little Feather to decline his Godfather Oscar in part due to the depiction of Native Americans by the film media and “in television reruns.”

    Maybe they listened to her/him.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by RobertPius.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by RobertPius.
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    simplicity
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    #1202798375

    Changing views of native Americans maybe? Remember how Marlon Brando sent Satcheen Little Feather to decline his Godfather Oscar in part due to the depiction of Native Americans by the film media and “in television reruns.” Maybe they listened to her/him.

    They could make westerns completely unrelated to the Native American’s though.

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    BenNunis
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    #1202798384

    Probably the death of most old Western filmmakers and actors: John Ford, John Wayne, Howard Hawks, Gary Cooper coupled with the violence of the newer Westerns like The Wild Bunch meant they were no longer seen as morality tales. Eastwood had to go all the way to Italy to make those spaghetti Westerns. That’s not to say that there are not still good and great Westerns being made infrequently in the last three decades like Unforgiven, Open Range, Assassination of Jesse James, 3:10 to Yuma, Appaloosa, True Grit, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight and Buster Scruggs, oh and Tombstone. Haha.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1202798416

    Westerns had somewhat of a comeback thanks to the Coen brothers.

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    Pollo crudo
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    #1202798601

    This is what will happen to superhero movies sometime. I hope the next decade is their last one.

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    Foolio
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    #1202798755

    Westerns are still around, going strong even. Chloe Zhao and the Coens directed celebrated westerns last year alone.

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    SHT L
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    #1202799185

    Well that sucks, I wonder if it’ll ever make a comeback since now musicals are, if that boring genre can make a return, I wonder if Westerns can, but then again, if it’s a cultural genre shift, probably not.

    Boring genre? I just had an inkling to provide a list of some brilliant movie musicals. IMO, musicals/westerns/martial arts films and even action films are very similar in that they have narratives structured around some sort of commentary expressed through certain sequences. For musicals, it’s song and dance (some times sans dance). For westerns, it’s the action sequences. For martial arts films, it’s the choreographed fighting scenes.

    I remember when Ang Lee was commentating on making Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he said filming a martial arts film is like filming a western essentially. I don’t think it’s much different than filming musicals since both can deal with storytelling through intricate choreography.

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    This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.
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    jman02
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    #1202799500

    The white hat-vs-black hat Westerns as most people know it peaked in the 1950s, a time when the Red Scare was reaching its own peak and American-ism was something to be celebrated and revered, characterized by the lone cowboy standing up to a criminal gang (see: High Noon, 1952). The Technicolor films also made Western movies an epic genre.

    In the 1960s, TV was starting to gain traction and shows like Bonanza became popular, making the Western more accessible to audiences. People wanted something new and different. By the time Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns came around, attitudes toward good vs. evil were shifting, providing reason to reinvent the genre. This morality shift is best characterized by Clint Eastwood’s anti-hero persona and Henry Fonda’s being cast as a villain.

    By the 1970s, directors like Scorsese and Coppola were more concerned with making films about urban and city problems. Problems people see everyday. The splintering of the Hays Code started seeing films become more violent and grittier, opening up filmmaking to more people and more genres were being explored. Filmmaking became academic and experimental. During this time, filmmakers who grew up watching traditional Westerns started branching out into different genres of filmmaking, making parodies (Blazing Saddles), sci-fi/thrillers (Westworld), and revisionist Westerns (A Man Called Horse).

    Most importantly, this decade saw the evolution of the genre into one that would affect later generations of filmmaking the most: the space Western, through the release of Star Wars in 1977.

    While Westerns have had a quiet resurgence in the recent years both in films (The Revenant, Hateful Eight, Mad Max to some extent, etc.) and in TV (Deadwood), it’s possible the genre in its purest form won’t have the same impact it once had on Hollywood cinema. Largely because it’s no longer seen as an “epic” genre compared to other genres nowadays (which was part of its appeal in the 50s) and perhaps due to the outdated morals in traditional Westerns (see: revisionist Westerns). Moreover, the shift in concentration of box office to worldwide grosses may suppress this resurgence further, especially considering Westerns are a uniquely American genre and other countries have their own versions of the genre anyway (i.e. samurai films in Japan).

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    Boidiva02
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    #1202799795

    I think it was a cultural shift; people’s tastes changed as a new generation of moviegoers came of age who had different life experiences and didn’t connect to the themes in westerns as much. By the 1980’s Generation-X was becoming the primary movie-going generation and their tastes were vastly different than the baby boomers who had grown up on westerns.

    I don’t think they’ll ever have the same prominence they once had in our culture as they are so deeply rooted in history and will always seem like a throwback. But there will always be some new director trying to put their stamp on it.

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