FILM2401/HUMA2740 – Intro. To Film, Television & Society
Lecture #3: May 8, 13
• Western films were the single most popular genre in the US in the 1960s.
• Genre (TYPE):
o Aform of product differentiation
It was an economic category
• Certain studios made certain film genres and that’s how
they were associated.
o Asystem of classification
Genres allow people to be more familiar with the films;
filmmakers and audience accept this set of conventions and rules.
o Acategory of critical analysis
• Genres were part of the process of how Hollywood turned into an industry.
• Studios would recycle scripts and remake movies
Film Genre Reader, Barry K. Grant, ed. (from intro to the book)
“Genre movies are those commercial movies which, through repetition and variation, tell
familiar stories with familiar characters in familiar situations. They also encourage
expectations and experiences similar to those of similar films we have already seen.”
Case Study #3: The Early Western Film and Empire Building
• Westerns are usually stories that are set in the period between 1865 and 1900.
• They usually take place in the continental US between the Mississippi River and
the Pacific Ocean.
• The Western genre was popular because it was trying to make sense what was
actually happening at the time.
Antecedents of the Western Film
• In the frontier stories of James Fenimore Cooper in the early 19 cc.
• The dime novels of the 1880s and after which pr