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| | |-+  why aren't Westerns made anymore???/ western script
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Author Topic: why aren't Westerns made anymore???/ western script  (Read 3958 times)
Antonia
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« on: April 08, 2005, 02:02:33 PM »

Hi,
first off all, I'm new and I think it's great to have a board only about the great Sergio Leone!
I'm studying Film and I'm asking myself for a long time now why Westerns aren't made anymore? Does anyone have any ideas? Huh
I'm determined to write a Western script after I finished the one I'm writing currently. Anyone else out there writing a western script? Huh

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cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 05:03:13 PM »

They are made but not in any great numbers, we are lucky if we get one a year out of Hollywood. HBO has Deadwood, which is very SW in nature in that its cynical and not  Disneyfied candy coated  melodrama or spoon fed idealism. But its just a drama.

Leone created western mythology.

After all the pulp fiction stories, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and sixty-one years of Hollywood telling western stories and essentially building up a "code of the west" Leone came along and distilled down it down in to pure essence so to speak.

His no nonsence "ultimate westerns" mythologised the iconic characters to the extent  that in my opinion not many can approach that same plateau.

You can create western based stories with realistic charaters but they will seem human and not iconic Western Mythology.   Its hard to explain.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2005, 05:12:53 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2005, 06:53:36 AM »

I guess another way to put it is everyone was scratching around the western for decades Leone came along and created larger that life western "Gods" living in an Olympian West.

You could try and see how some Greek Mythology or any mythological tales for that matter translate into westerns, it could be a hoot, I'm sure some of it has been done, even fairy tales may work  Wink

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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2005, 12:50:49 PM »

There was an interesting article about this in Variety late last year. The author came to one of the conclusions  that the change of society and todays younger filmgoers are judged by Hollywood as not being able to identify with and keep interest in Westerns and yet one film comes along every few years, ala Unforgiven which is raved about. Also perhaps that there are few GOOD Westerns that have come out in the last decade (or longer) also may have sounded the death wail of the genre (perhaps coupled with the Heaven's Gate effect on Hollywood studios.) I hope, later on in my years, to direct a Western. A tribute to the filmmakers of old, Leone, Ford, Hawks, and how their stories have affected many ages of filmlovers and makers  Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2005, 03:56:46 PM »

Antonia, I have a number of ideas I'm working.  Foremost is my post-modernist Western, though I certainly have others.  But you're right, there doesn't seem to be a lot film makers can do with the Western that hasn't been done a hundred times before?  Demythologize the West?  50% of Westerns made since 1950's "The Gunfighter" have done that.  Parody it?  You've got "Blazing Saddles", the "Trinity" films, "My Name Is Nobody", "Shanghai Noon", etc.  There just isn't a whole lot you can do.

The only Westerns of the last fifteen years worth a damn have been "Unforgiven", "Dances With Wolves", and "Open Range" ("Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp" are debatable).  We've gotten pander to the young uns bullshit like "American Outlaws" and "Texas Rangers" (never cast Ashton Kutchner in a Western - PLEASE!).

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cigar joe
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2005, 04:11:18 AM »

The trouble is Groggy that any western that gets made seems like a big event now, in reality at least in my reality looking back on the recent ones Unforgiven has Clint so it is carrying in Clint the baggage of all the MWNN Leones with it. We know Clint is way cool and the payoff at the end caps it.

It almost seems as if since Leone and Peckinpah movie westerns are evolving back to their pre-SW & Leone days of "beautiful people westerns" with the only caveat being they are realistic in their violence. We are getting a lot of westerns now that have authentic dialoge now too it seams, give me a break.

It was interesting in that Frayling interview from The Independent that the reporter touched upon this in a way by noting that Leone films were visually driven and not script driven. I don't see how you can get a visually driven script off the ground or sell it to corporate Hollywood, (though Sin City somehow got made, so there is hope).

Of Kevin's two films "Dances With Wolves" is starting to seem like a "hippy-granola back to the land love fest period movie, "Open Range" was too mom, apple pie and hot dogs with a kind of dopey love story to boot. all I really remember was the great gun battle at the end and the depiction of a cloudburst flood.

I think you need a real simple storyline with a lot of cool visualls and great music, basically a graphic novel with original music.

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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2005, 06:18:52 AM »

 Dances with Wolves may have been good in 1990, but today it is nigh unwatchable.  Waterworld is a better rent.  And I turned off Open Range  when KC said "Let's rustle up some grub".  And as for "The Missing", what was Ron Howard thinking?

There are no good westerns made anymore.

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mrmagoo
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2005, 03:54:56 PM »

Im working on a Western Short right now actually.  Im producing and DOPing the bastard.  Its gonna be pure Spagetti style.  Ill keep you guys posted as to how it went.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2005, 02:20:15 PM »

Maybe if we start a list of Spaghetti Western iconic characters that were used we can figure out which remaining Western Characters that have potential.

Feel free to add to these,  they are just off the top of my head and relate to the SW's that I've seen.

Various major Spaghetti Western Iconic Characters:

Mysterious Stranger (Joe, Django, Blindman, Silence)
The Old Professional (Mortimer, Corbett, Ryan)
The Bounty Hunter/Killer (Blondie, Manco, Loco)
The Mexican Bandit (Tuco, Cuchillo, Juan)
Romantic Outlaw (Cheyenne, Beauregaurd Bennet)
Psycotic Outlaw (Indio, Wooden Hand John, Curley)
Profesional/Hired Gun (Frank, Angel Eyes, Talby)
Whore with the Heart of Gold (Jill)
Sherriff (Burnett, Corbett)
The Business Man (Morton, Pollicut)
The Mercenary (Kowalski, Sean, Tate)
The Mexican Revolutionary (Juan, Paco Roman, Santo, Tepeppa, El Cuncho)
The Gun Runner (Pederson)
The Pinkerton Detective (Siringo)

Ones yet to be used in "good" major SW roles:

The Marshall
The Gambler
The Cowboy
The Sheepherder
The Madam
The Dance Hall Girl
The Prospector
The Indian Trader
The Scout
The Mountain Man
The Buffalo Hunter
The River Pirate
The Horse Soldier
The Great Chief
The Warrior
The Miner
The Preacher
The Saddle Tramp
The Chinese Laborer
The Teamster
The Locomotive Engineer
The Stage Driver
The Blacksmith
The Mountie (obviously one gone bad, could be really cool, since it would be like a "Oh my God its Hank Fonda" moment,  lol)

Some of these are obvious and some may be a stretch but with a little twisted SW imagination and some cool job related weapons you never know, lol.


« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 08:28:57 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2005, 08:24:52 PM »

Someday when I'm older I'd like to be a director and make a kick ass western Cool

I think it would be great to take a Louis L'Amour western novel and make it more Spaghetti Western-ish. Like Flint or The First Fast Draw. Imagine Eastwood taking on The First Fast Draw. Directing in, that is Wink Robert Rodriguez or Clint Eastwood directing a story based on a L'Amour novel would be great.

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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2006, 09:19:50 PM »

I am hopeful we can see the Western come back again - all it takes is one sucessful film and the rest of Hollywood will follow the trend as is always the way.

I think there is a presumption that modern audiences want every film to be the summer action blockbuster mega hit nowadays so thats what gets made, but to be honest I think audiences are tiring of this. Now the pacing of a spaghetti western could be a problem for modern, younger audiences to get used to but if done effectivly I see no reason for it not to work.

Ken

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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2006, 11:16:50 PM »

The reason might be that in westerns there's not much room for special effects, which is the major factor by which Hollywood keeps being the major purveyor of cinema (I call it otherwise, but don't want to be censored) in the world from the late '70's onwards. New generations are brought up by cinema and ads alike to look for what is visually amazing (or at least for what they are being told so) and not going for higher motivations in what is supposed to be, anyway, an entertaining tale. So you have that one movie a year on a certain period of history (ancient romans, middle age, IIWW) and westerns are being included in the package. But as a major entertaining genre Westerns can't be but dead and can't be resurrected. 

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Sheriff
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2006, 12:56:54 PM »

I tell you what though I am really really glad that there is at least one genre as yet unadulterated with CGI. Thats something about classic Leone films - everything you see is real - and the films are so much better for it.

Ken

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