By Peter C. Rollins
Hollywood’s West examines well known perceptions of the frontier as a defining function of yank identification and background. Seventeen essays by means of famous movie students remove darkness from the attract of lifestyles at the fringe of civilization and study how this area has been represented on giant and small monitors. Differing characterizations of the frontier in smooth pop culture exhibit a number of truths approximately American attention and supply insights into many vintage Western motion pictures and tv courses, from RKO’s 1931 vintage Cimarron to Turner community Television’s contemporary made-for-TV video clips.
Covering issues corresponding to the portrayal of race, ladies, delusion, and nostalgia, Hollywood’s West makes an important contribution to the certainty of the way Westerns have formed our nation’s evaluations and beliefs—often utilizing the frontier as metaphor for modern concerns.
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Additional resources for Hollywood's West: The American Frontier in Film, Television, and History
The two principal filmmakers introduced the idea of re-creating the 1889 land rush (that Ferber only alluded to in her novel); of inserting historical expositions, dates, and documents within the narrative; and of introducing the film with an extensive opening title, or text foreword (Estabrook, Cimarron shooting script; Estabrook, Cimarron continuity). Titles were an indispensable component of silent films, articulating dialogue and giving continuity to changes in time and place. But the opening titles had the greatest length and importance, particularly in silent historical films.
Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1999. Coyne, Michael. The Crowded Prairie: American National Identity and the Hollywood Western. London: Tauris, 1997. Crèveceour, Hector St. John de. Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America. Edited by Albert E. Stone. New York: Penguin, 1986. Fagan, Herb. The Encyclopedia of Westerns. New York: Checkmark Books, 2003. George-Warren, Holly. How Hollywood Invented the Wild West: Featuring the Real West, Campfire Melodies, Matinee Idols, Four Legged Friends, Cowgirls and Lone Guns.
By the late 1920s, Hollywood had produced a few Westerns with Indian or mixed-blood protagonists, including The Vanishing American and Red Skin (1929), both starring Richard Dix. George Seitz’s production of Zane Grey’s Vanishing American, released to great popular and critical acclaim by Paramount, may have prepared the way for Cimarron. One might speculate that RKO’s decision to film Cimarron with Dix as Yancey was evidence of a cycle of Native American Westerns and Hollywood’s recognition of the Indian perspective.