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General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on June 02, 2014, 10:48:26 AM



Title: I think it's time....
Post by: cigar joe on June 02, 2014, 10:48:26 AM
for shits & giggles.... to declare the Classic Western dead, and to designate all Westerns past the Classic Era as Neo Westerns  O0 O0 O0

We just have to debate a cut off or phase out point. I'm thinking also it will be pegged/linked to say, the end of TV's Gunsmoke or a similar TV Western with roots in the Classic Western.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 02, 2014, 04:57:23 PM
1976, the death of the John Wayne character in The Shootist, is end of classic era. I'm only counting sound movies, so call the classic western era 1939-1976


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: cigar joe on June 03, 2014, 03:15:40 AM
1976, the death of the John Wayne character in The Shootist, is end of classic era. I'm only counting sound movies, so call the classic western era 1939-1976

That is valid, but I think we have to include TV Westerns in the mix they had similar vibes to the film Westerns.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: wind demon on June 04, 2014, 01:53:33 PM
YES!!!!!!!!!


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: stanton on June 04, 2014, 02:15:55 PM
1976, the death of the John Wayne character in The Shootist, is end of classic era. I'm only counting sound movies, so call the classic western era 1939-1976

With or without sound, this is indeed the classic era of the western, from Stagecoach (1939) to The Shootist (1976). Heaven's Gate (1980) could be another contender for the "last" western, but The Shootist fits the lay-to-rest pattern more precisely. In 1980 the western was already dead, Heaven's Gate only buried it much deeper.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: noodles_leone on June 04, 2014, 03:33:34 PM
To me Heaven's Gate is one of the first westerns to re-bury a genre that had already been dead for years. Just like any Eastwood directed western, for instance.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: Novecento on June 04, 2014, 04:43:35 PM
Please tell me I'm not the only one around here who thinks Heaven's Gate is an unjustly maligned masterpiece of cinema.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: noodles_leone on June 04, 2014, 04:51:12 PM
I think Rrpower is on your side.

I see an overflawed film with lots of great stuff. It's a missed masterpiece, just like Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: stanton on June 05, 2014, 02:59:38 AM
To me Heaven's Gate is one of the first westerns to re-bury a genre that had already been dead for years. Just like any Eastwood directed western, for instance.

No, Heaven's Gate killed the genre finally. There wasn't much happening in the genre between 76 and 80, the genre was more or less dead, but after Heaven's Gate it was mega-dead.

And Heaven's Gate is clearly just another 70s twilight western, a last whisper from the past. Eastwood's Unforgiven is also a typical 70s western, but it had at least some success, and looked more fresh than it actually was.

The problem of the genre since the 70s is that nothing really new was developed. Still there were a few singular westerns which had originality, but had no real success.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: noodles_leone on June 05, 2014, 04:29:09 AM
I don't really see the difference between Unforgiven and Heaven's Gate. To me they're both neo-classic westerns playing around with the rules of the genre and talking about its death ( la OUATITW/FFDM/MNIN). I may very well be wrong because I'm not too well versed in 75-80 westerns but I doubt very much people at the time thought "Cimino is doing the last western". I think they thought "Cimino is doing a western? Seriously? They're still doing those films?" Just like with Unforgiven.

On the other hand, Unforgiven clearly talks about old westerns as something that happened decades ago and that people from today only heard about.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: stanton on June 05, 2014, 05:56:17 AM
Yes, because at that time the western was a genre that was not popular for 20 years. The twilight westerns of the 60s and 70s (beginning with the highly influential Ride the High Country) often had this self-reflective "something that happened decades ago" feeling. Only that in the 60s and early 70s the western was still developing into all directions, was then a still very vital genre.

When Cimino made his film it was clear that the western had a problem with the audience, but of course Cimino hoped to re-vitalise the genre, but the disastrous box-office results of HG ruined the genre ultimately. But actually the year's before HG there wasn't much happening either.

OUTW and MNIN are probably the only Spagies which are also twilight westerns. Especially MNIN is very much walking in Peckinpah territory.

FAFDM does not belong in that category imo.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: noodles_leone on June 05, 2014, 06:19:55 AM
To me FAFDM is about the death of the good old AW and the rise of the modern SW. The last minutes (From the 0:50 mark in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBdBCTvK5zM) make it very clear.

Anyway, ok for Cimino. I agree.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: dave jenkins on June 05, 2014, 08:43:04 AM
It's a missed masterpiece, just like Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.
A very pregnant comment. Well played.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 04:39:59 AM
(The version of Heaven's Gate I saw was 3:39; I saw it streaming on Netflix.)
I thought the first approx. 3 hours were terrific, but the last approx. 39 mins. didn't live up to that. I rated the movie an 8/10; discussed it more extensively in that movie's thread.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: Novecento on June 06, 2014, 06:14:13 AM
I see an overflawed film with lots of great stuff. It's a missed masterpiece, just like Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.

interesting comparison given the huge stylistic difference between the two. La Regle du jeu always makes me think of Citizen Kane due to its wonderful use of deep focus and angles in a relatively static composition in Academy ratio (a reflection of the times as much as anything else) . Heaven's Gate on the other hand draws me in through its use of anamorphic widescreen coupled with beautiful camera movement.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: stanton on June 06, 2014, 01:52:14 PM
Heaven's Gate is an uneven film with some magnificent flaws.

La Regle du jeu is meanwhile, after 4 viewings, close to the great film many want to see in it. Initially I did not understand it (not the story or the content, but the film)



Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: Novecento on June 06, 2014, 11:09:45 PM
Funny how in French it's "The Rule...", but in English it's "The Rules..." in the plural


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: T.H. on October 31, 2014, 11:30:53 AM
I view the western genre in this way:

the beginnings  - 190?-1938

The Classic AW - 1939 -1965/6

The Spaghetti Western + New Age American Western - 1965/6-1976

Modern Westerns/Post Western/Neo Western/Etc - 1977-


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: cigar joe on November 22, 2017, 06:26:43 AM
I view the western genre in this way:

the beginnings  - 190?-1938

The Classic AW - 1939 -1965/6

The Spaghetti Western + New Age American Western - 1965/6-1976

Modern Westerns/Post Western/Neo Western/Etc - 1977-

Reviving/adding this debate, (as a result of watching a few recent post 2010Westerns)

Yea this breakdown above by T.H. is pretty close, I would just push the "Modern Westerns/Post Western/Neo Western/Etc - 1977-category" to 1982 to include The Long Riders, Tom Horn, and The Grey Fox, I also believe we can split next category beyond into a further split into one that is reflecting the rise of the PC Western that's sort of coupled with the Woman centric Westerns.



Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: stanton on November 22, 2017, 06:39:33 AM


The Early Years  : 1901-1938

The Classic Westerns : 1939 -1960

The Twilight/Revisionist Westerns : 1961 - 1976 or 1980

The Spaghetti Western : 1964-1976

New Westerns after old models : 1977 or 1981 - the present

Logically the Spags should have been made after the twilight cycle of westerns had been finished. At least they started after the first twilight westerns were made, but reached their peak before the twilight themes became massively popular in the early 70s after The Wild Bunch.


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 22, 2017, 07:54:31 PM
Notwithstanding my earlier comment (saying the classic era ends with  the death of John Wayne in THE SHOOTIST), I think now Ill define classic era of the American Western as 1939-1962 (STAGECOACH to THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE).


Title: Re: I think it's time....
Post by: Cusser on November 23, 2017, 08:11:37 AM
There's no set cut-off point.  I'd suggest 1966 to include Nevada Smith, 1966 Stagecoach, Sons of Katie Elder....