Ride, Boldly Ride
Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western by Mary Lea Bandy, Kevin Stoehr
This comprehensive study of the Western covers its history from the early silent era to recent spins on the genre in films such as No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, True Grit, and Cowboys & Aliens. While providing fresh perspectives on landmarks such as Stagecoach, Red River, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Wild Bunch, the authors also pay tribute to many under-appreciated Westerns. Ride, Boldly Ride explores major phases of the Western’s development, including silent era oaters, A-production classics of the 1930s and early 1940s, and the more psychologically complex portrayals of the Westerner that emerged after World War II. The authors also examine various forms of genre-revival and genre-revisionism that have recurred over the past half-century, culminating especially in the masterworks of Clint Eastwood. They consider themes such as the inner life of the Western hero, the importance of the natural landscape, the roles played by women, the tension between myth and history, the depiction of the Native American, and the juxtaposing of comedy and tragedy. Written in clear, engaging prose, this is the only survey that encompasses the entire history of this long-lived and much-loved genre.