Fast Times at Liberty Valance High; or The Reel-Life Politics of Ford’s Anti-Western

I knew where it was going. Anyone who’s done his or her western homework would.

There are two American archetypes that were sometimes played against each other in old Westerns.

The egghead Eastern lawyer who lacks the skills or stomach for a gunfight is contrasted with the tough Western rancher and ace shot who has no patience for . . . → Read More: Fast Times at Liberty Valance High; or The Reel-Life Politics of Ford’s Anti-Western

Dead Man; The Backwards Journey of the Anti-Hero

“Know thyself” is part of the DNA of westerns—it’s what compels the hero to protect society or to fight it, to escape into the sunset or marry the storekeeper’s daughter. It’s the foundation of literary conflicts as old as the hills that Gilgamesh climbed in his search for immortality.

That’s why I doff my cowboy hat (red, . . . → Read More: Dead Man; The Backwards Journey of the Anti-Hero