The Invention of the Western Film: A Cultural History of the Genre's First Half Century

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The Invention of the Western Film ranges across literature, visual arts, social history, ideology, and legend to provide, for the first time, an in-depth exploration of the early Western, from short kinetoscopes of the 1890s through 'classic' features of the 1940s. By examining the American Indian's rise and demise during the silent era, B-Westerns of the 1930s, and film noir-influenced Westerns of the 1940s, Scott Simmon's pioneering study silhouettes the genre's evolution against a myriad of cultural forces. This lively, encyclopedic book revitalizes familiar Western icons John Wayne and John Ford, and recovers forgotten masterworks from the Western film's formative years.