The Western is one of my favorite film genres. Something about the quintessentially American story that all Westerns tell has captivated audiences for over 100 years. Maybe its satisfying, consistent narrative arch resonated with the American creativity. Or perhaps the genre’s familiar symbols (guns, mountains, horses) are responsible. A cultural need to romanticize our country’s history may also account for the Western’s unique draw. Or just a longing for simple virtues and unbridled heroism.
In an effort to pay homage to the American story, to the Western, I created a montage film culled from 7 different Westerns from the genre’s creative highpoint, 1950-1960. This short film recreates the classic Western narrative with clips from the movies themselves. The lone hero, the guns, the whiskey, the women: the elements of America’s great film genre.
You can also check out the film on my new Vimeo page (vimeo.com/filmcapsule), where I’ll be posting other projects. You’ll see clips from Shane (George Stevens), Winchester ’73 and The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann), Rio Grande (John Ford), Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks), and Decision at Sundown and Comanche Station (Budd Boetticher). Here’s a closer look of the shots I used.