The Reality of Cliffhangers; or, Real-Life Versions for Real-Life People

Reel-life cliffhangers in western serials run a narrow range. But cliffhangers in real life are much more subtle, devious, and hair-raising. Cue exclamation points here, and lots of them.

IN REEL LIFE:

A wagon hurtles over a cliff! (Don’t fret: The hero will jump off in the nick of time.)

A powder . . . → Read More: The Reality of Cliffhangers; or, Real-Life Versions for Real-Life People

Get Your Heroic Story Arc On; or, The Teachable Moments of Cliffhangers

It’s one of the hoariest cliches of westerns known to humankind: the cliffhanger. You know, the dramatic end of the episode when the good guy faces certain death and hangs from a cliff/is trapped in a room with a powderkeg’s lit fuse/is about to be eaten by mountain lions, only to save himself against all odds . . . → Read More: Get Your Heroic Story Arc On; or, The Teachable Moments of Cliffhangers

The Purple States of True Grit; or, Bridging the Gap, One Movie Theater at a Time

True Grit has accomplished the impossible. Unity! It’s a miracle! It’s hope, change, and Old West dialogue all mixed together!

True Grit has bridged the red state/blue state divide, Frank Rich of The New York Times writes. It’s a hit with coastal elites and Middle America family-values families alike, something that the blue/red mix of voters . . . → Read More: The Purple States of True Grit; or, Bridging the Gap, One Movie Theater at a Time

The Girls of Westerns, Part 2; or, Catherine Allen of Will Penny

No heaving bosoms. No limpid eyes filling with tears. No female stumbling after the hero in stupid high-heeled shoes. Ahhhh. Finally. A western heroine who isn’t a wilting schoolmarm or tart with heart of gold, or who doesn’t try to outshoot, outdrink, outswear, or outanything the hero. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

. . . → Read More: The Girls of Westerns, Part 2; or, Catherine Allen of Will Penny

The Girls of Westerns, part 1; or, The Quick and the Dead

I’m on a quest to find kick-butt cowgirl heroines, and although I appreciate the girl-next-door look of the singing cowgirls and I love-love-love the whip of Linda Stirling in Zorro’s Black Whip, I find that while there are many cowgirls that are hawtness personified, there are none with the on-screen charisma of a Clint Eastwood.
Is my . . . → Read More: The Girls of Westerns, part 1; or, The Quick and the Dead