While many of these mash-ups e. Osterns , also known as "Red Western"s, are produced in Eastern Europe. They were popular in Communist Eastern European countries and were a particular favorite of Joseph Stalin , and usually portrayed the American Indians sympathetically, as oppressed people fighting for their rights, in contrast to American Westerns of the time, which frequently portrayed the Indians as villains.
Osterns frequently featured Gypsies or Turkic people in the role of the Indians, due to the shortage of authentic Indians in Eastern Europe. He became honorary chief of the Sioux tribe, when he visited the United States in the s and the television crew accompanying him showed the tribe one of his films. American actor and singer Dean Reed , an expatriate who lived in East Germany , also starred in several Ostern films.
The most rare of the Western subgenres, pornographic Westerns use the Old West as a background for stories primarily focused on erotica. Sweet Savage starred Aldo Ray , a veteran actor who had appeared in traditional Westerns, in a non-sex role. Among videogames, Custer's Revenge is an infamous example, considered to be one of the worst video games of all time. After the early s, many American filmmakers began to question and change many traditional elements of Westerns, and to make Revisionist Westerns that encouraged audiences to question the simple hero-versus-villain dualism and the morality of using violence to test one's character or to prove oneself right.
One major revision was the increasingly positive representation of Native Americans , who had been treated as "savages" in earlier films. A few earlier Revisionist Westerns gave women more powerful roles, such as Westward the Women starring Robert Taylor. Another earlier work encompassed all these features, The Last Wagon In it, Richard Widmark played a white man raised by Comanches and persecuted by whites , with Felicia Farr and Susan Kohner playing young women forced into leadership roles.
The science fiction Western places science fiction elements within a traditional Western setting. John Jakes 's "Six Gun Planet" takes place on a future planet colonized by people consciously seeking to recreate the Old West with cowboys riding robot horses Fallout: New Vegas is an example of a video game that follows this format, with futuristic technology and genetic mutations placed among the western themes and desert sprawl of the Mojave Wasteland.
The Space Western or Space Frontier is a subgenre of science fiction which uses the themes and tropes of Westerns within science fiction stories. Subtle influences may include exploration of new, lawless frontiers , while more overt influences may feature literal cowboys in outer space who use ray guns and ride robotic horses. Another example is the Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop. The classic western genre has also been a major influence on science fiction films such as the original Star Wars movie of , with 's Solo: A Star Wars Story more directly featuring western tropes.
During the s and s, a revival of the Western emerged in Italy with the " Spaghetti Westerns " also known as "Italo-Westerns". The most famous of them is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Spaghetti Westerns were characterized by the presence of more action and violence than the Hollywood Westerns.
Also, the protagonists usually acted out of more selfish motives money or revenge being the most common than in the classical westerns. The Western films directed by Sergio Leone were felt by some to have a different tone than the Hollywood Westerns. Eastwood, previously the lead in the television series Rawhide , unexpectedly found himself catapulted into the forefront of the film industry by Leone's A Fistful of Dollars.
The Weird Western subgenre blends elements of a classic Western with other elements. The Wild Wild West television series, television movies, and film adaptation blend the Western with steampunk. The Jonah Hex franchise also blends the Western with superhero elements.
The film Western Religion , by writer and director James O'Brien , introduces the devil into a traditional wild west setting. The Old Man Logan graphic novel combines the elements of superhero and post-apocalyptic fiction with western. In the s academic and critical attention to cinema as a legitimate art form emerged.
With the increased attention, film theory was developed to attempt to understand the significance of film. From this environment emerged in conjunction with the literary movement an enclave of critical studies called genre studies. This was primarily a semantic and structuralist approach to understanding how similar films convey meaning. One of the results of genre studies is that some [ who?
For example, a very typical Western plot is that an eastern lawman heads west, where he matches wits and trades bullets with a gang of outlaws and thugs, and is aided by a local lawman who is well-meaning but largely ineffective until a critical moment when he redeems himself by saving the hero's life. This description can be used to describe any number of Westerns, but also other films such as Die Hard itself a loose reworking of High Noon and Akira Kurosawa 's Seven Samurai , which are frequently cited examples of films that do not take place in the American West but have many themes and characteristics common to Westerns.
Likewise, films set in the American Old West may not necessarily be considered "Westerns. Being period drama pieces, both the Western and samurai genre influenced each other in style and themes throughout the years. Despite the Cold War , the Western was a strong influence on Eastern Bloc cinema, which had its own take on the genre, the so-called " Red Western " or "Ostern".
Generally these took two forms: either straight Westerns shot in the Eastern Bloc, or action films involving the Russian Revolution and civil war and the Basmachi rebellion. An offshoot of the Western genre is the "post-apocalyptic" Western, in which a future society, struggling to rebuild after a major catastrophe, is portrayed in a manner very similar to the 19th-century frontier. Many elements of space travel series and films borrow extensively from the conventions of the Western genre. This is particularly the case in the space Western subgenre of science fiction. Gene Roddenberry , the creator of the Star Trek series, pitched his show as " Wagon Train to the stars" early on, but admitted later that this was more about getting it produced in a time that loved Western-themed TV series than about its actual content.
More recently, the space opera series Firefly used an explicitly Western theme for its portrayal of frontier worlds. Anime shows like Cowboy Bebop , Trigun and Outlaw Star have been similar mixes of science fiction and Western elements. The science fiction Western can be seen as a subgenre of either Westerns or science fiction. Elements of Western films can be found also in some films belonging essentially to other genres. For example, Kelly's Heroes is a war film, but action and characters are Western-like.
The character played by Humphrey Bogart in film noir films such as Casablanca and To Have and Have Not —an individual bound only by his own private code of honor—has a lot in common with the classic Western hero. In turn, the Western has also explored noir elements, as with the films Pursued and Sugar Creek. In many of Robert A. Heinlein 's books, the settlement of other planets is depicted in ways explicitly modeled on American settlement of the West.
For example, in his Tunnel in the Sky settlers set out to the planet "New Canaan", via an interstellar teleporter portal across the galaxy, in Conestoga wagons , their captain sporting mustaches and a little goatee and riding a Palomino horse—with Heinlein explaining that the colonists would need to survive on their own for some years, so horses are more practical than machines.
Stephen King 's The Dark Tower is a series of seven books that meshes themes of Westerns, high fantasy , science fiction and horror. The protagonist Roland Deschain is a gunslinger whose image and personality are largely inspired by the " Man with No Name " from Sergio Leone 's films. In addition, the superhero fantasy genre has been described as having been derived from the cowboy hero, only powered up to omnipotence in a primarily urban setting.
The Western genre has been parodied on a number of occasions, famous examples being Support Your Local Sheriff! George Lucas 's Star Wars films use many elements of a Western, and Lucas has said he intended for Star Wars to revitalize cinematic mythology, a part the Western once held. The Jedi , who take their name from Jidaigeki , are modeled after samurai, showing the influence of Kurosawa.
The character Han Solo dressed like an archetypal gunslinger, and the Mos Eisley cantina is much like an Old West saloon.
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Meanwhile, films such as The Big Lebowski , which plucked actor Sam Elliott out of the Old West and into a Los Angeles bowling alley, and Midnight Cowboy , about a Southern-boy-turned-gigolo in New York who disappoints a client when he doesn't measure up to Gary Cooper , transplanted Western themes into modern settings for both purposes of parody and homage. Western fiction is a genre of literature set in the American Old West , most commonly between the years of and The genre's popularity peaked in the s, due in part to the shuttering of many pulp magazines, the popularity of televised Westerns , and the rise of the spy novel.
Readership began to drop off in the mid- to late s and reached a new low in the s. Most bookstores, outside of a few Western states, now only carry a small number of Western novels and short story collections. Literary forms that share similar themes include stories of the American frontier , the gaucho literature of Argentina , and tales of the settlement of the Australian Outback.
Television Westerns are a subgenre of the Western. When television became popular in the late s and s, TV Westerns quickly became an audience favorite. As demand for the Western increased, new stories and stars were introduced. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp was the first Western television series written for adults,  premiering four days before Gunsmoke on September 6, The peak year for television Westerns was , with 26 such shows airing during primetime.
Future entries in the genre would incorporate elements from other genera, such as crime drama and mystery whodunit elements. In the s and s, hour-long Westerns and slickly packaged made-for-TV movie Westerns were introduced, such as: Lonesome Dove and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
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As well, new elements were once again added to the Western formula, such as the Western- science fiction show Firefly , created by Joss Whedon in Deadwood was a critically acclaimed Western series which aired on HBO from through A number of visual artists focused their work on representations of the American Old West. American West-oriented art is sometimes referred to as "Western Art" by Americans.
This relatively new category of art includes paintings, sculptures, and sometimes Native American crafts. Initially, subjects included exploration of the Western states and cowboy themes. Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell are two artists who captured the "Wild West" on canvas. The popularity of Westerns extends beyond films, literature, television, and visual art to include numerous other media forms. With anime and manga , the genre tends towards the Science fiction Western [e. The story follows racers in a transcontinental horse race, the "Steel Ball Run" race. Western comics have included serious entries such as the classic comics of the late s and early s such as Kid Colt, Outlaw , Rawhide Kid , and Red Ryder , cartoons, and parodies such as Cocco Bill and Lucky Luke.
In the s and s, Western comics leaned toward the Weird West subgenre, usually involving supernatural monsters, or Christian iconography as in Preacher. However, more traditional Western comics are found throughout this period e. Western arcade games , computer games , role-playing games , and video games are often either straightforward Westerns or Western Horror hybrids. Western radio dramas were very popular from the s to the s. Sixgun first broadcast in , Have Gun—Will Travel first broadcast in , and Gunsmoke first broadcast in Westerns have been showcased in short episodic web series.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Western disambiguation. For The Olympics song, see Western Movies. Play media. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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Main article: Western fiction. Main articles: Westerns on television and List of westerns on television. Main article: Artists of the American West.
This audio file was created from a revision of the article " Western genre " dated , and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. Audio help. More spoken articles. Wild West Movies. John Ford and the American West. New York: Harry Abrams Inc.
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December 2, Straight Dope. Retrieved October 4, July 21, Archived from the original on October 6, The Psychology of the Western.
American Film Institute. Retrieved Computer Gaming World editorial. October Archived from the original on 2 December Retrieved 16 November Everson The Western: From Silents to Cinerama. New York: Bonanza Books.
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Archived from the original on Archived from the original on September 29, Will there be more books in the Mastered Series? At this time, there are no further books contracted for the Mastered Series. However, there are still stories to tell. If my schedule allows, I would love to write them. Watch my page and subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest information about new books in this series.
How many books will there be in the Need You series? What genre does this series fall into? Two more books will release in This series is a mainstream contemporary series set in Minneapolis. Will you continue with the Wild West Boys series? So this series is on hold indefinitely.
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Are all of your books available in audio? Not at this time, but you can find a list of my available audio titles on my printable book list. Is there a way to have my Lorelei James print books autographed? I love meeting readers at events, and coming to one of my signings is currently the best way to get a signed print book. Check back for upcoming events!