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June 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
David Desser <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Jun 1994 15:01:00 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (36 lines)
>Department of English, University of Louisville
>Phone: (502)852-6770 or (502)852-6801. Fax: (502)852-4182.
>I, for one, would not be inclined to suggest that STAGECOACH, THE SEARCHERS,
>and THE WILD BUNCH give much insight into the history--as opposed to the
>myth--of the west. But of course the myth IS a key element of our history, and
>one of the values of this film is in their embodiment (and variation) on the
>myth. The other value, for me, is that each of them says a great deal about
>the time in which it was PRODUCED. STAGECOACH is both a myth of the west and a
>perfect manifestation of 1930s populism--largely a movie about class. THE
>SEARCHERS is both a re-examination of the myth--with great ambivalence toward
>it--and a manifestation of fifties-era attempts to deal w/ race and w/ issues
>of community and non-conformity. I've never taught THE WILD BUNCH, so I don't
>have as clear a sense of it, but it has always seemed to me very much part of
>its era as well, partly, as I recall, in its celebration of the outsiders and
>critique of the establishment. I agree that it's hard to defend the western as
>a genre that mirrors the history of the American west. But it seems to me
>extremely important as a measure of our cultural life in other ways.
>bitnet tbbyer01@ulkyvm; internet [log in to unmask]
>Thomas B. Byers
>Department of English/University of Louisville
>Louisville KY 40292
I AGRE WITH MUCH OF THE ABOVE.  But, again, time does not permit a full
disquisition.  However, I would say re:  THE WILD BUNCH not to overlook the
"Vietmnam" connection--quite in support of the notion that films can tell
us much about the times in which they were produced.
David Desser,UIUC Cinema Studies
2109 FLB/707 S. Mathews, Urbana, IL  61801