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Hollywood AestheticPleasure in American Cinema$
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Todd Berliner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190658748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658748.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021

Complexity and Experimentation in the Western

Complexity and Experimentation in the Western

Chapter:
(p.219) Twelve Complexity and Experimentation in the Western
Source:
Hollywood Aesthetic
Author(s):

Todd Berliner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658748.003.0012

Chapter 12 explains the aesthetic value of increased complexity in genre filmmaking by examining filmmakers’ efforts to continually complicate the figure of the western hero. The chapter studies the appeal, for western cinephiles, of Hollywood’s most complex westerns of the studio era. It also demonstrates how more recent filmmakers have kept the western alive by revitalizing outdated conventions and mining new material from the genre. The western is so solid and reliable that filmmakers found they could sledgehammer its foundational myths without cracking its structure.

Keywords:   Western, Genre, Complexity, Experimentation, Parody, Stagecoach, The Searchers, Unforgiven, James Stewart, Anthony Mann

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