Richard Etulain

The Magic West on Film

Films about the American West have entertained audiences around the world for more than a century. Why have these adventure stories, with their simple plots and stereotyped cowboys, Native Americans, and leading ladies, so captured our imaginations? This slide-illustrated presentation offers insights into this question through an overview of one hundred years of Western films. Classic films like Stagecoach, High Noon, and Shane are dealt with, as are leading figures like John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and John Ford. The talk also will deal with new kinds of Westerns like Little Big Man, Geronimo, and Lone Star that have appeared more recently.