Saturday, June 14, 2008

Western Star of the Week: Intro

As I've mentioned before, the Western has a privileged place in both the history of film and my love of film. It was the dominant film genre for the first 70 or so years of Hollywood cinema, from the 1903 12-minute masterpiece The Great Train Robbery and the very first feature-length film, 1906's The Story of the Kelly Gang, up until the end of the 70s revisionist age and the films of Leone, Peckinpah, and Eastwood. So I've decided to start a weekly column: every Sunday, I'll highlight a different Western movie star. I'll talk about their Western persona, their best films, and their place in the history of the Western genre.

I'm going to mix it up a little on the first Sunday of every month; instead of a Western Star, I'll highlight a Tenderfoot - an actor not known for making Westerns, but who shone in a Western or two or three. And I'll play fair and try to make most of my tenderfeet from the 70s or earlier; sure, Russell Crowe has only made two Westerns, but that's two more than most of his contemporaries. He's no tenderfoot, is what I'm saying; he just happens to live in age where the Western is a novelty.

I'm going to start with my two personal favorite Western Stars, then move from there to the Duke. After that, I'm gonna go as long as I still have stars to talk about. I hope you come along for the ride. See you tomorrow!

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