"There are some things a man just can't walk away from." -- Stagecoach

Film O.A. Scott uncovers the Western genre and quotes from a few of the sources I used within my dissertation: "That description has been challenged by some recent scholarship. The film theorist Rick Altman, in “Film/Genre,” sees Porter’s film not as a western but as “a combination of travel and crime genres.” It was only over the course of the next decade, he argues, that the word “western” went from “a geographical adjective, designating a favored location for films of various types” to “a loosely defined film genre capitalizing on public interest in the American West.” In the earliest days of commercial cinema, exhibitors and advertisers described their wares as “cowboy pictures,” “Wild West films” or “westerns melodramas” (or comedies of romances). The West represented a setting and a style rather than a theme or a set of narrative conventions. The selling point, frequently, was a vicarious journey to an actual place. Altman reproduces a 1911 ad in Moving Picture News, purchased by a Chicago-based company, promising “real western pictures made in the land of the cowpuncher.”

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